FIX: Excel cannot complete this task with available resources

Many users have reported one or more of the below mentioned errors while working on Microsoft Excel. While these  errors can be very generic, they don’t always identify the real cause behind the issue. But if your spreadsheet contains a large amount of formulas, macros and data, it is possible that your computer actually is running out of resources while processing it. In some cases simply restarting all the instances of excel workbooks may resolve the issue.

Proceed with the instructions in this guide, and at the end you will know if it’s your computer running out of resources or some other software related interference.

Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. Choose less data or close other applications OR Out of Memory

Not enough System Resources to Display Completely

There isn’t enough memory to complete this action. Try using less data or closing other applications. To increase memory availability, consider:

Using a 64-bit version of Microsoft Excel.

Adding memory to your device

Solution 1: Free Up CPU Resources

Make sure your sheet is not exceeding the limits defined by Microsoft. You can check the limits here. If your sheet is crossing the data limits, you will have to break down your sheets into individual workbooks. If you are working on a large spreadsheet with lots of formulae and data even under the limits, and are using multiple applications at the same time, Microsoft Excel maybe running out of memory it need.

Close any other program that you are running except the Excel’s spreadsheet you are working on.

Press and HOLD Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager. You can see your Excel sheet with its name in the Applications tab under Tasks and also all the other applications currently running. Excluding the excel sheet you are working on, Right click on every other program, including any other excel sheet that is running & not currently in use, and click End Task.


You can also try and close/end task the excel applications and then re-open it. BUT before you do that, make sure you have the saved copy of the excel sheet otherwise you may lose the data.

Solution 2: Turning Automatic Calculation Off

Open Microsoft Excel. Press and HOLD ALT + F + T to open Options window. Click on Formulas. Press ALT + M to select “Manual” under Workbook Calculations. Click OK. Restart Excel. Check if you get the error again. If yes, move on to the next solution.


Solution 2: Turning Off Detail pane and Preview pane.

Hold Window Key + R. In the Run dialogue box, type excel and press Enter2015-12-19_125254

Hold the CTRL Key and Press O. In the Open window, click on the Organize button in the upper left corner. Click on Layout.


Uncheck Details pane and Preview pane.


Now try and open the Excel sheet to see if it works.

Solution 3: Clear Temporary Data

Close all excel sheets. Backup the sheet you were previously working on. (Copy it to external drive or attach it and send it to your e-mail so you can download it later)

Press Windows Key + R. In the run dialogue box, copy and paste the below given path:



And Click OK. A folder will open. Select and Delete all files and folders in there.

Repeat the process for the below given paths (without quotes):



C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\XLSTART” (For 32 bit version)

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\XLSTART” (For 64 bit version)

The folder Office14 may change depending on your version of Office. Once done, and files cleared in the specified folders (reboot the PC and then test)

Solution 4: Uninstall Unwanted Programs

Sometimes, other programs can conflict with Office programs, these are usually the ones that adds themselves to the add-ons. Press Windows key + R. In the run window, type appwiz.cpl to open Program and Features and press Enter.

Uninstall Windows Live Essentials and Microsoft Outlook Social Connector for Live Messenger if they are in the programs list. See if the issue persists. Still there? Move on to Solution 5.

Solution 5: Repair Microsoft Excel

Press Windows key + R. In the run window, type appwiz.cpl to open Program and Features and press Enter.

Right click on Microsoft Office and click Change. Select Repair from the opened window and click Continue.

If your problem is not resolved, you will have to uninstall office completely from Programs and Features and reinstall again.

If you’re still getting high Physical memory usage in Task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), you will have to consider upgrading your Computer’s RAM to a minimum 4 GB, and upgrading Microsoft Excel to a 64 bit version. To be sure, run Excel and check (cpu and memory usage) from the Performance tab.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.
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Expert Tip

FIX: Excel cannot complete this task with available resources

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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