Fix Microsoft Excel Freezing or Slow [8 Simple Methods 2024]

Written By Steven Arends

Perhaps you know how worthy and powerful tool Microsoft Excel is, crammed with data analysis and documenting features. But, can you relate to the fact that Microsoft Excel often irritatingly freezes or slows down? Do you know how to solve this?


I struggled with the same problem for a couple of months until I came to know a number of surprisingly effective solutions. So, don’t worry. I am going to share those hacks with you.

Keep reading. Please, read till the end to clear all your doubts.

Why does Excel Freeze or Slow?   

Excel crashing or not responding apparently indicates problems either with the application or the particular spreadsheet you are working on. Not unexpected, there are some other reasons actively rolling behind this issue.

Why does Excel Freeze or Slow?

The primary reasons held accountable for this are- outdated MS Excel, improper installation of MS Office, conflict with anti-virus or other programs, downloading of any corrupted or damaged Excel files, etc.

Here are the reasons for Excel freezing or getting slower on Windows:

  • If you use an outdated version of MS Excel, you may face this sort of problem.
  • If you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, it may conflict with the Excel application and prevent it from opening.
  • Sometimes for improper installation of MS Office, you can have a bad experience with Excel.
  • In case of incompatible add-ins, MS Excel may perform slowly.
  • If the Excel file you want to work on is corrupted or anyhow damaged, then MS Excel may crash as well.
  • Storing an enormous amount of data within a single file can also cause Excel lagging.
  • Sometimes even an update to the Excel application can make it slower to respond.

These are the most common reasons for Excel freezing. Are you a victim of one of the above? If you can find it out, let me know.

How to Fix Excel Freezing or Slow?

Let’s have a quick look at the easy fixes to the Excel Freezing problem. A perfect implementation of any one of these will undoubtedly solve your issue.

Here are the steps on how to fix Excel freezing or slow on Windows:

1. Run Excel in Safe Mode

  • Initiate the Run dialog box or press (Windows + R) in the shortcut.
  • Type exe/safe and hit Enter.exe-safe

Your job is done! You are now running in safe mode. While running in Safe mode, your Excel application will deliberately avoid alternative Startup locations, toolbar changes, and even add-ins.

This way, the application itself will bypass the issues.

Check out the easiest way to fix Microsoft error code 6009.

2. Disable Hardware Acceleration

  • Open the Excel application.
  • Navigate to File at the top-left.
  • Go to the Advanced
  • Uncheck or turn off the option Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration under the Displaydisable-hardware-acceleration
  • Click OK.

I Hope, this will work for you. If not, go for the next one.

3. Disable COM add-ins

  • Open the Excel application.
  • Go to File and choose Options.
  • Click on Add-ins from the left pane.
  • Go to the Manage option at the bottom of the dialog box and change it to COM Add-ins.disable-com-add-ins
  • Click on Go.
  • Uncheck all the enabled boxes of COM Add-ins.
  • Click OK.

That’s it.

Check out our separate post on how to enable equation editor in Microsoft Word.

4. Remove Unused Formulas

Using new or hardly used formulas is a common reason to make your Excel application not respond.

So, open the application and give up formulas like sumifs, countifs, vlookups, etc. Convert these functions or formulas into the existing other functions. Hope, this will serve your purpose.

5. Repair or Reinstall MS Office

  • Go to the Start
  • Click on Control Panel.
  • Choose Programs and then Programs and Features.
  • Find out Microsoft Office in the list and click on it.
  • Tap to Change from the options that appeared next to
  • Click on Quick Repair from the appeared dialog box.
  • Click on Repair.

Now, wait till the repairing process ends. When it finishes, check if the problem is resolved.

6. Check for Conflicting Programs

  • Open the Run dialog box or hit (Windows+R) as a shortcut.
  • Type msconfig in the box. Another dialog box named System Configuration will appear.
  • Navigate to the Services
  • Check Hide all Microsoft services located at the bottom-left of the box.
  • Select Disable all.
  • Click on Apply and then OK.hide-all-microsoft-services
  • Navigate to the Startup
  • Click on the Open Task Manager.
  • Choose the Startup tab from the Task Manager
  • Right-click on the program or process you want to disable and choose Disable.
  • Close the Task Manager.
  • Restart your computer.

It is pretty unlikely that you will not be succeeded even after following this method. So, please let me know what ultimately happened to you.

7. Excel Freezes in only one Spreadsheet

If your one or two selective spreadsheets do not respond while running, the problem is most likely on the content inside the Excel sheet. In that case, follow the steps below.

  • Open the Excel file that contains issues.
  • Navigate to the Home
  • Choose Conditional Formatting, and then Clear Rules.
  • Select Clear Rules From Entire Sheet.
  • Click on the File
  • Press Save Changes.

This will make your application as well as your file fresh. Check whether or not your problem remains.  

Check out the easiest way to use a Green Screen with Microsoft Teams.

8. Clear Objects or Shapes

If keeping objects in your spreadsheet is not mandatory, then you may go for this option.

  • Hold Ctrl and G A dialog box named Go To will appear.
  • Choose the Special You will be redirected to the Go To Special screen.
  • Click on Objects and then OK.
  • Tap to Delete.

Hopefully, at least one of these methods mentioned above will be able to fix your problem with Excel. If nothing works, comment below describing your entire problem.  


In essence, Microsoft Excel as a multidimensional tool is incredible. Therefore, Microsoft Excel being slow or not responding can be devastating to you. I suggest you consciously follow my methods along with their steps, and I am confident that your problem will be resolved because many other users have reported me so.

One thing, though the main issue is Excel crashing, the language of the messages Excel conveys may differ- Excel is not responding, has stopped working, and so forth. No worries. My methods are applicable in all cases regardless of the message.

So, take a deep breath and get it done. Happy fixing!

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

Leave a Comment