Microsoft Excel’s responsiveness issues are common. The issues could occur from a minor glitch or another problem with the app. If you can’t resolve the issue by closing and relaunching Excel. you might want to look into more advanced solutions.

There are actually various ways to fix Excel when it freezes. You can launch it in safe mode, disable add-ins, and even use the repair utility to fix all Office apps. Here are a few solutions you can try to resolve your problem.

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    Open Excel in Safe Mode

    A quick way to check if your configured options or add-ins are causing Excel not to respond is to launch the app in safe mode. Excel only loads essential items when you do this, leaving out any add-ins and customized options.

    This allows you to figure out if your add-ins are the culprit. If that’s the case, you can disable those problematic add-ins.

    1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run box.
    2. Type the following in the Run box and press Enter:excel.exe /safe
    1. Excel should open in safe mode.

    If Excel loads in safe mode, your configured options or add-ins are likely the cause of the issue. In this case, follow the second fix below to turn off the problematic add-ins.

    Disable Add-Ins in Excel

    Add-ins are often the cause of various Excel issues, and it’s worth turning these off to see if your problems are resolved. It’s easy to disable Excel add-ins, and you can quickly turn them back on whenever you want.

    1. Open the Run box by pressing Windows + R keys at the same time.
    2. Type the following in the Run box and press Enter: excel.exe /safe
    3. Select File > More > Options when Excel launches in safe mode.
    1. Choose Add-ins from the sidebar on the left.
    2. Select COM Add-ins from the Manage drop-down menu and choose Go.
    1. Untick the boxes for all add-ins displayed on the window. Then, select OK.
    1. Quit Excel and reopen Excel in normal mode (not safe mode).
    2. If Excel is no longer unresponsive, enable one add-in at a time to find out the culprit one.

    Change the Default Printer on Your Windows 10/11 PC

    Excel’s unresponsiveness issue doesn’t have anything to do with your printers directly. Still, since the app uses your printer’s margins, it’s worth changing your default printer to see if that resolves the problem.

    You can always go back to your original default printer with the same steps.

    1. Launch Settings by pressing Windows + I keys at the same time.
    2. Choose Devices followed by Printers & scanners in Settings.
    3. Select a non-default printer from the list and choose Manage.
    1. Select Set as default to make the newly selected printer the default.
    1. Launch Excel and see if the app responds.

    If you’ve fixed the issue by changing your default printer, your printer drivers likely have issues. In this case, uninstall and reinstall your printer on your PC, which should most likely resolve your problem.

    You may also continue with the current setup and choose the actual printer when you want to print something, if you wish.

    Disable Your Antivirus Software to Fix Excel Not Responding Error

    Some antivirus programs detect safe files as suspicious ones, which could be why Excel doesn’t respond on your computer. Your Excel app might be recognized as a potential threat by your antivirus.

    In this case, temporarily turn off your antivirus protection and see if Excel opens. The exact steps to disable the protection vary by the program you use. In most apps, you can turn off the protection by right-clicking the program on the system tray and choosing the disable option.

    If your issue is resolved by doing that, you’ll have to whitelist the Excel app in your antivirus. Or, you may choose to get a new antivirus program if you want.

    Repair Microsoft Office

    Microsoft products often include repair tools so you can fix most issues without seeking anyone’s help. This is also the case with Microsoft Office, and you can use Office’s repair utility to fix all your MS Office apps in a few clicks.

    The repair tool offers both a quick repair and an online repair option. You can start with the quick fix option to see if that helps fix your issue.

    1. Open Control Panel by accessing the Start menu, searching for Control Panel, and selecting the utility in the search results.
    2. Choose Uninstall a program on the Control Panel window.
    1. Find and select Microsoft Office in the list. Then, choose Change at the top.
    1. Select Yes in the User Account Control prompt.
    2. Select the Quick Repair option and choose Repair. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to repair your Office apps, including Excel.
    1. Once your Office programs are fixed, restart your PC and launch Excel.

    Update Microsoft Office

    An existing bug can also cause Excel not to respond to your actions. In this case, updating to a newer Office version can likely resolve your problem. You can perform an Office update from any Office app on your computer.

    Since you can’t use Excel, utilize the Word app to update all your Office apps at once.

    1. Launch the Microsoft Word app on your computer.
    2. Select File > Account in Word.
    3. Choose Update Options > Update Now to update your apps.
    1. When your apps are up to date, open Excel, and the app should respond normally.

    Check and Install a Windows Update

    Like Microsoft Office, you should keep your Windows version up to date as well, so you have the most recent bug fixes. Windows usually automatically checks for and installs the latest updates, and you have the option to run a manual update check, too.

    1. Access Settings by pressing Windows + I keys.
    2. Choose Update & Security in Settings.
    3. Select Windows Update on the left and Check for updates on the right.
    1. Install the available updates and restart your PC.

    Many Ways to Resolve the Excel Not Responding Issue

    If your Excel app ever becomes unresponsive, and you can’t continue with your spreadsheet tasks, use one or more of the methods above to possibly get around the issue. Once you’ve fixed the underlying problems, your Excel app will work as it’s supposed to. Good luck!