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How to resolve Microsoft Excel not responding issues – Excelchat

Have you ever encountered an “Excel not responding” message error while working with Excel? Well, this is not uncommon, most of the times we encounter these errors that come all of a sudden as we work with Excel sheets. There are many reasons why Excel can freeze while someone is working on them. In this post, we shall look at how to Excel file not responding issues.

Figure 1: What to do when Excel freezes up

Resolving the error message is Excel

We have a number of methods to resolve an Excel error when we realize that Excel has stopped working. Having knowledge about these methods is essential as it can help us easily navigate the problem and proceed with our work. Below are some of the methods that are available to us when Excel stops responding.

Run Excel in safe mode when Excel locks up

The first method available for us to resolve Excel not responding error is to simply run the Excel in safe mode. To do this, we have to open the command prompt and type Excel.exe/safe. This will allow us to run Microsoft Excel in Safe Mode.

Figure 2: Run Excel in safe mode when it locks up

To open the command prompt, we have to press Windows + R. we can still open the command prompt by choosing the Run option from the Start Menu as well.

After we have run the Excel in safe mode, we can now try to open it again. Note that this method is only effective if we have another program or ‘add-in’ is the cause of Excel freezing up.

Changing Excel default printer when MS Excel is not working

Figure 3: Change Excel default printer when Excel keeps freezing

Usually, every time we open an Excel document such as a spreadsheet, it first attempts to communicate with the printer. This is so as to find out margins that are supported by the default printer. In the event that this communication fails, then this will be the reason why Excel will not be responding.

When this is the case, you have to change the default printer in order to resolve the problem. To do this head over to the Control Panel and click on Devices and Printers. Set Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the default printer. This is done by simply right-clicking on it.

Repair the Office

Figure 4: Repair Microsoft Excel when it fails to respond

Repairing Microsoft Office is another way on how to solve ‘Microsoft Excel is not responding’ order to repair Microsoft Excel, go to the Control panel then choose Programs and Features. Select Microsoft Office in the list and then click on change button at the top. This will automatically repair Microsoft office.

Uninstall and reinstall office

You might be stuck on how to recover files when Excel is not responding, and this might pose a serious headache to you. Imagine a case where you have typed lots of data then Excel just freezes from nowhere.

If you have tried all the above methods but Excel keeps freezing, then perhaps you need to try uninstalling and reinstalling Microsoft office. This method can either be done manually or using a program called Easy Fix tool, which can uninstall and reinstall Office for you.


It becomes boring and time consuming when Excel keeps locking up as you try to work. This will slow you down, and can even make you lose morale for the work you have been doing. By knowing corrective measures when Excel stops responding, you would be in a position to easily go on with your work.

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