Microsoft Excel For Mac Not Responding


Summary: Like any other program, Microsoft Excel 2016 can also fail while opening to start or sometimes during the task. Consequently, error messages such as ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ can pop up. Let’s say you worked on an important Excel document which is to be presented during a meeting the next day.

  1. Word For Mac Not Responding
  2. Excel For Mac Not Responding
  3. Word Not Responding Save Document

The Excel spreadsheet included critical graphs and charts, and more. While saving the document, there was a power failure due to which your system got shut down abruptly in the absence of power backup. After the power resumed, you restarted your system to check the Excel file.

Word For Mac Not Responding

To your dismay, the ‘Microsoft Excel 2016 is not responding’ error popped up. Consequently, you were not allowed to access the Excel file. How do you tackle this situation?

Excel for Mac crashes and slow performance FIXED Excel does not respond when using 'Save as Picture' WORKAROUND Excel prompts you to grant access to files and then hangs or shows a warning that it cannot open the.xlsx file because the format or extension is not valid. Known issues, changed functionality, and blocked or discontinued features. Feb 22, 2020 Reasons for Excel hanging, freezing, or not responding may be as follows. Microsoft Office is not the latest update. Excel may be in use by another process. Conflict with a program, process, service, or installed add-ins in Excel. Problems result from Excel file contents. Antivirus software is outdated or conflicting with Excel. Apr 28, 2016  Dear Community I have recently upgraded my Mac Office to Mac Office 2016. Since then, the Excel Solver add-in is not working at all. I can select all relevant parameters and cells, but once I click. Apr 16, 2018  Word for Mac document stops responding when you try to open a document. Content provided by Microsoft. When you try to open a Microsoft Word for Mac document, Word for Mac stops responding. Additionally, you may have to use. Jan 29, 2013  If not? Try: hold shift key down and try opening Excel. Quit Excel, then locate all occurrences of com.microsoft.excel.plist remove to trash. I recommend that you download the utility EasyFind type in search box and initiate search. (Much easier and safer than digging into system).

Read on to know a few solutions that can help recover from the error.

Despite its string of benefits, like any other program, it is not foolproof. Let us look at an instance.

Suppose, you worked overnight on a very critical document which is to be presented at a meeting the next day. This Excel spreadsheet includes critical graphs and charts, and much more. When you are about to save it, there is a power failure, and your system shuts down without warning. When the power is up, you restarted your system to check your Excel. To your dismay, a message pops up – “Excel Crashed” or “Microsoft Excel not responding”. It may be frustrating, yet there is no need to despair as there are solutions to not only overcome this error but other corresponding errors such as freezing, hanging, etc.

Solutions to fix the ‘Microsoft Excel 2016 is not responding’ error

All the solutions described below have been found useful in one or the other case. Try them one by one.

Solution 1: Open Excel in Safe Mode

Opening Excel in Safe Mode is a common do-it-yourself and straightforward solution to fix ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ problem. Excel can overcome some startup issues wherein another program or add-in crashes Excel. The steps to open Excel in Safe Mode are as follows:

  1. Press Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run box
  2. Type exe /safe

Solution 2: Change the ‘Default Printer’

Although it may seem irrelevant, changing the default printer is another easy and effective solution to overcome the error. Reason being, Excel communicates with the printer to find supported margins when we open an Excel sheet. If Excel doesn’t find the supported margin, it crashes. The steps to change the default printer are as follows:

  1. Open Control Panel on your Windows system
  2. Click Printer and Devices
  3. Right-click Microsoft XPS Document Writer to set it to the default printer
  4. Reopen the Excel document to check whether the error occurs or not

Solution 3: Install the latest Windows and Office Updates

This problem may also occur if Windows and Office Updates are not updated. Therefore, install the latest updates for both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

You can set the installation and update option to ‘Automatic mode’ so that Excel gets the latest update consistently, without the need for manual intervention. The steps to enable automatic updates are as follows:

Microsoft excel for mac not responding windows 10
  1. Go to Control Panel on your Windows systems
  2. Click System and Security and set it to the Automatic Mode by using ‘Start Maintenance’ option

Solution 4: Remove or disable unwanted Add-ins

There are two types of Add-ins — COM add-ins (Add-ins to be installed and include Registry Key and DLLs) and add-ins saved as XLAM, XLA, or XLL file (Add-ins loaded in the Excel user interface). A few of both types of add-ins can cause this problem. Follow the steps below to disable unwanted Add-ins:

  1. Click File tab
  2. Go to Options button to open ‘Excel Options’ window
  3. Click Add-ins button to view and manage ‘Microsoft Office Add-ins’
  4. Select the unwanted add-ins and click ‘Remove’ button

[Tip]: Remove one add-in at a time. If you see any recently added add-ins, remove it first.

Solution 5: Repair Microsoft Office 2016

A corrupt or damaged Microsoft Office can also cause the ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ problem. The steps to repair Microsoft Office 2016 are as follows:

  1. Close all running MS Office programs
  2. Go to Control Panel on your Windows system
  3. Click Programs and then ProgramsandFeatures
  4. Select Microsoft Office and in the Microsoft Office 2016 window, select ‘Repair’ and click ‘Continue’ button

Solution 6: Remove and Reinstall Microsoft Office

Sometimes, removing and reinstalling Microsoft Office can resolve the ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ problem. To do so, execute the following steps:

  1. Close all running MS Office programs
  2. Go to Control Panel on your Windows system
  3. Click Programs and then ProgramsandFeatures
  4. Select Microsoft Office and right-click it
  5. Click Uninstall

Solution 7: Upgrade the installed Anti-virus

To check if the problem is due to anti-virus update, disable it and re-check the Excel document. If yes, update the installed anti-virus program on your system.

You can refer to Microsoft support for more details: Excel not responding, hangs, freezes or stops working

Solution 8: Repair Microsoft Excel (XLS/XLSX) file

In several situations, a corrupt or damaged Excel (XLS/XLSX) file is the cause of this error. In such a difficult situation, Stellar Repair for Excel can rescue you by repairing the damaged or corrupt Excel file. Consequently, the software resolves the problem. The steps to use the Excel file repair software are as follows:

  1. Download, install and launch the Excel file repair software
  2. Select the corrupt Excel file to start repair
  3. Click the ‘Scan’ button to start scanning the selected Excel file
  4. Preview the repaired Excel file
  5. Save the repaired Excel file at default or specific location

Excel For Mac Not Responding


Now that the methods for fixing the ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ error are before you, you can try all these and see which one works for you. If the cause of this error is a damaged or corrupt Excel file, only repairing the XLS/XLSX file resolves the issue.

For this purpose, it’s recommended to use a reliable software such as Stellar Repair for Excel as it offers an easy-to-use interface, thereby making Excel file repair process a seamless experience.

The software has several key features, as it: recovers table, chart, chartsheet, cell comment, number, text, shared formulas, image, formula, sort and filter, and other objects, preserves worksheet properties, layout, and cell formatting, repairs multiple XLS/XLSX files simultaneously, fixes all Excel corruption errors and more.

All these features extend the software capabilities beyond just fixing the ‘Excel 2016 is not responding’ error.



Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.


When you open or use Microsoft Excel, Excel stops responding, hangs, freezes, or stops working. Additionally, you may receive one of the following error messages:

Excel is not responding.

Excel has stopped working.

A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.


Use the following methods in the order in which they are presented. If you try one of these methods and it does not help, go to the next method.

Method 1: Start Excel in safe mode

Safe mode lets you safely use Excel without encountering certain startup programs. You can open Excel in safe mode by pressing and holding Ctrl while you start the program or by using the '/safe' option (that is, excel.exe /safe) when you start the program from the command line. When you run Excel in safe mode, it bypasses functionality and settings such as alternative startup location, changed toolbars, the xlstart folder, and Excel add-ins. (However, COM add-ins are excluded.)

Word Not Responding Save Document

If your issue is resolved after you run Excel in safe mode, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

291288 Description of the startup switches for Excel

280504 How to troubleshoot startup problems in Excel 2013

If your issue is not resolved after you start Excel in safe mode, go to method 2.

Method 2: Investigate possible issues with COM add-ins Many developers create add-ins for Excel. These add-ins are divided into two types

  • Excel add-ins that are saved as .xla, .xlam, or .xll files.
  • COM add-ins. These add-ins usually have to be installed and include DLLs and registry keys. COM add-ins created for one version of Excel frequently are incompatible with a newer version, and may cause the system to stop responding. They are not disabled by safe mode.

The simplest way to resolve this possible cause is to run this troubleshooter.

If the troubleshooter resolves the issue, but it recurs, you'll have to determine which add-in is causing the problem. To disable COM add-ins, follow these steps:

  1. Select File > Options > Add-ins.
  2. At the bottom of the dialog box, change the Manage dropdown to COM add-ins, and select Go.
  3. Clear the check box for any enabled COM add-ins. select OK.If disabling the COM add-ins alleviates the issue, try enabling them one at a time to test for the problem add-in.

If these steps do not resolve your issue, continue to method 3.

Method 3: Investigate Excel file details and contents

Excel files can exist on the computer for a long time. They are upgraded from version to version and frequently travel from one user to another user. Frequently, a user inherits an Excel file but doesn't know what is included in the file. The following areas can cause performance or crashing issues:

  • Formulas referencing entire columns.
  • Array formulas referencing an uneven number of elements in the arguments.
  • Hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of hidden or size 0 height and width objects.
  • Too many styles caused by frequent copying and pasting between workbooks.
  • Too many (as well as invalidly defined) names.

Inspect and simplify your files if possible.

If these steps do not resolve your issue, continue to method 4.

Method 4: Check whether your file is being generated by a third party

Sometimes Excel files are generated by a third-party application. In this case, the files may be generated incorrectly, and some features may not work correctly when you open the files in Excel. If this occurs, test the features in new files outside the third-party application. If the features work correctly, make sure that the third party is aware of the issue.

If your issue is not resolved after you test it outside the third-party application, go to method 5.

Method 5: Perform a selective startup to determine whether a program, process, or service conflicts with Excel

When you start Windows as usual, several applications and services start automatically and then run in the background. These applications and services can interfere with other software on your device. Performing a selective startup (also known as a 'clean boot') can help you identify problems with conflicting applications. To perform a selective startup, see How to perform a clean boot in Windows.

Selective startup is used to help identify the process, service, or application that conflicts with Excel.

If your issue is not resolved after a clean boot, go to method 6.

Method 6: Check whether your antivirus software is up to date or is conflicting with Excel

Antivirus software can interfere with Excel, and cause performance issues. Frequently updating your AV software can correct the issue.

How to check whether your antivirus software is up to date

To keep up with new viruses that are created, antivirus software vendors periodically provide updates that you can download from the Internet. Download the latest updates by visiting your antivirus software vendor's website. For a list of antivirus software vendors, see the following Microsoft website:

How to check whether antivirus software is conflicting with Excel

If your antivirus software includes integration with Excel, you may experience performance issues. In this case, you can disable all Excel integration within the antivirus software by creating exceptions for Excel files.


Changing your antivirus settings may make your PC vulnerable to viral, fraudulent, or malicious attacks. We do not recommend that you try to change your antivirus settings. Use this workaround at your own risk. You may have to contact your antivirus software vendor to determine how to configure software to exclude any integration with Excel.

If updating your antivirus software or excluding it from integrating with Excel does not resolve your issue, go to method 7.Method 7: Verify or install the latest Windows and Office updates

Windows updates

You might have to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can frequently correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities.To install the latest Windows updates, see Microsoft Windows FAQ.

Office updates

For more information about the latest Office updates, see Office Updates.

If your issue is not resolved after you install the latest Windows and Office updates, continue to the advanced troubleshooting in the More Information section.

More information

Advanced troubleshooting

If the methods that were mentioned earlier did not resolve your issue, the issue might be either environmental or file-specific in nature. The following section describes how to troubleshoot additional issues that can cause Excel to stop responding.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors are just as important as file contents and add-ins when you are troubleshooting problems. You can help us determine the cause of your issue by taking the following actions:

  • Follow basic troubleshooting steps.
  • Test files in the cleanest possible environment.

The following sections describe troubleshooting tips that might help diagnose the problem.

Where the file is stored

Several issues can arise when you save an Excel file over a network or to a web server.Moving the file locally will help determine whether there's something wrong with the file or the server where the file is saved. Save the file to your local hard drive is one of the following scenarios is true:

  • You have redirected 'My Documents' folder to a server location.

  • Your files are stored offline.

  • You are trying to open files from SharePoint or a Web folder.

  • You are using Remote Desktop or Citrix.

  • You are using network appliances.

  • You work in a virtualized environment. For more information about Microsoft software that's running in a virtualized environment, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    897615 Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software


Excel files can grow fairly large when you add text formatting and shapes. Make sure that your system has enough RAM to run the application. For system requirements of the Microsoft Office suites, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

Printers and video drivers

When Excel is started, it examines the default printer and video drivers that will display the Excel workbooks. Excel is printer-intensive. Therefore, it will run even slower when Excel files are saved in Page Break Preview view. Testing the file by using different printers such as the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer driver or the VGA video driver will determine whether the problem is with a specific printer or video driver.

If you still have hanging or crashing issues in Excel after you work through the resolution methods that are mentioned here, contact Microsoft Support for guided troubleshooting.