How to Fix Excel Keeps Crashing on Windows?

Recover Excel File After Crash

MS Excel keeps crashing” is a common problem, from time to time various users reported this dreaded issue. As per the users while launching or performing any task like calculations, maintaining data etc., or sometimes while saving the file the excel crashes unexpectedly, freezes, and stop responding.

Excel keeps Crashing
Excel keeps Crashing

This is a very frustrating issue as this leads to XLS/XLSX file corruption and data loss scenarios. It happens due to several different reasons like running an outdated excel program, add-ins incompatibility and much more than we will discuss in detail below.

Microsoft Excel is a popular and highly used application and this is the reason it is highly prone to corruption and due to this the corrupted Excel file can’t be opened and in a few cases crashes and show the error message “The file is corrupt and can’t be opened”.

Luckily there are ways that worked for numerous excel users to solve the Excel workbook keeps crashing problem. And after doing research on the issue, we find out there are many different reasons that lead to the problem. So, here have a look at the common ones:

Why does My Excel Keeps Crashing?

  • Incompatibility of Add-Ins – When the add-in in the Excel file gets corrupted or become incompatible it starts causing issues with the Excel document. Removing the problematic add-ins may work for you to solve the problem.
  • Excel is outdated – Windows operating system is regularly updated to become more stable and secure and if your Excel file is missing the important updates, it is more likely to become incompatible with the Windows update version and causes problems like crashing, freezing, excel not responding and much more.
  • Other applications conflicting with Excel – If you recently installed any 3rd party programs then there is a possibility it is interfering and conflicting with the excel file and stopping it from working. Disabling or uninstalling the conflicting programs may solve the problem for you.
  • Any issue with the installation of MS Office – If your Microsoft office is installation file gets corrupted or the update is applied poorly, this corrupted the Excel installation as well and may cause various problems including the one crashing. Reinstalling the MS office updated version properly might work for you.
  • Excel file is partially damaged or corrupt – Sometimes due to unexpected closure of the excel file due to sudden power cut the opened workbook gets partially corrupted and cause a problem like crashing and freezing.
  • Issues created by certain formatting and styles – When the excel workbook contains a number of worksheets using a different, improper combination of formatting this cause issues such as crashing and freezing of excel file. If this case is applicable then removing different formatting and style may work for you.
  • Excel is created via third-party software – There are applications that are utilized for generating the Excel file for fetching data like downloading data from analytics in Excel format. And if it is not created properly via third-party apps. Some of the features won’t work as intended and cause crash, freeze and hang like problems.

As of now, you know the culprits that cause the issue, it’s time to perform the below-mentioned solutions.

Restarting Excel in Safe Mode

In this first solution, it is suggested to run MS Excel using safe mode. Safe mode allows Excel to run with a limited number of functions, bypassing Excel add-ins but excluding COM add-ins. You can try opening excel in safe mode follow the steps mentioned below –

  1. First, Close the Excel sheet.
  2. On the desktop, create a shortcut for excel.
  3. Open the excel program, while pressing and holding the Ctrl button.
  4. A prompt will appear on the screen. Press Yes to confirm.
Excel keeps crashing
Open MS Excel in Safe Mode

There is another alternative method to launch excel in safe mode. Open Run command by pressing Windows +R. Here type “excel/safe” and hit Enter. Check by opening an existing file that this issue has been resolved or not. If not, you should try the next solution.

Type excel/safe in the run box

Remove Problematic Add-Ins in Excel

If the excel is performing absolutely fine in safe mode, then there might be a possibility that defective add-ins are causing excel to crash repeatedly. These installed add-ins might be interfering or conflicting with the MS excel program.

So, finding and removing the problematic add-ins may help you to solve the Excel crash issue

Follow these steps to remove the faulty add-ins:

  1. Open Excel program normally. Open File. Scroll to Option and open Add-ins.
  2. A drop-down box will get opened. Select COM Add-ins from there. Press on GO after that.
    Excel keeps crashing
    Choose COM Add-ins option
  3. Click on OK by unchecking all the boxes.
  4. Check whether the issue has been resolved by reopening Excel.
  5. If you find the Excel stopped crashing and freezing just open COM add-ins and enable one add-in at a time, after that restart the Excel file. Do, the same with all the add-ins to find culprits.
Excel keeps crashing
Enable COM add-ins

In this manner, the add-in which is causing all the problems can be detected. Simply remove that particular add-in causing the error.

If this solution does not solve the issue, then move to the next possible solution.

Install Latest Updates

If the option of downloading and installing Windows updates hasn’t been set to automatically, then you need to turn that option ON. The Windows update not only gives an upgraded look to the operating system but can also fix applications that are facing issues in the operating system, like MS Office. So upgrading your Windows to the latest update may solve the issue.

Apart from updating Windows, it is equally important to manually update MS Office. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Open MS office. Move to File and open Account.
  2. In Product Information, click on Update Options and finally click the option – Update Now.
Updating Office

If the Excel you are using has been downloaded from the Microsoft Store, then you need to open the Store and update the MS Office. This not only fixes Excel crashing issue but is also a handful in solving various errors.

After updating MS Office as per the latest update, check whether the issue has been resolved or not. If not, move forward to the next potential solution.

Clear Conditional Formatting Rules

In some cases, only a particular sheet might be causing issues like freezing or crashing. In such scenarios, try clearing the “Conditional Formatting Rules” to solve an issue with that specific sheet.

Follow the below steps to clear conditional formatting rules:

  1. In the Excel sheet which is causing problems, Open Home and find Conditional Formatting. Just click on it and go to Clear Rules. Then proceed to Clear Rules from the Entire Sheet.
    Excel crashing
    Click Clear Rules from Entire Sheet option
  2. You can replicate these steps in all the sheets where you are facing similar issues.
  3. Go to File and click on Save. Save this Excel file in a new folder as a new sheet. By this, you can avoid making any changes or overwriting the original sheet

Now check whether the issue you were facing has been resolved or not.

Eliminate Numerous Cells Formatting & Styles

There are cases when the excel workbook is edited and shared by the different users on different platforms and in this scenario, there is a possibility numerous cells were formatted in a different manner and this can cause issues like freezing and crashing of the Excel sheet.

This problem is likely to occur when a single workbook contains multiple worksheets with varied formatting. You should remove the different cell styles and formats, by referring to this link following the guide. After removing all the formatting open Excel to check whether the issue has been resolved or not.

Discard the Microsoft Excel Animation

Adding animation in excel need additional processing resources and power, so here it is suggested to remove animations in the MS Excel workbook. Doing this not only fix the Excel workbook crashing or freezing problem but also optimize the excel performance.

In Excel, the animation option is turned on automatically and, in many cases, cause various issues to the users. This generally makes the Excel file slow and, in some case, even crashes and stop responding.

So, follow the steps to disable animation in Excel.

  1. First Open the excel sheet, Go to File then click on Options
  2. Select Advanced and make a tick on the option Disable hardware graphics acceleration animation
    Excel keeps crashing
    Click on the Disable hardware graphics acceleration animation option
  3. Then Click on OK to close the window and then you need to restart MS Excel

It is estimated disabling the Excel animations works for you to solve the crash problem in MS Excel, but if in case you still see the problem while opening or saving the file then head to the next potential fix.

Review the Conflicting Processes or Programs

Many processes and programs get automatically started as soon as you boot Windows. So, there are a lot of chances that these processes and programs might create an error in your Excel application. And to solve the problem you need to make selective startup or else you need to clean boot your Windows system. So that the application can run successfully.

Below are the few steps that you need to perform, one by one:

  1. Turn On your System
  2. You need to sign in as an Administrator.
  3. Click the Windows + R key on the keyboard,
  4. Now, in the Run dialogue box type msconfig and hit Enter
    Opening up System Configuration
  5. Then the System Configuration window will appear on your Windows screen.
  6. Next, you have to click the Services tab, and then you need to select the tick mark option Hide all the Microsoft Services.
    Hiding all Microsoft Services
  7. Click on Disable All option then select Apply and then Hit the OK button.
  8. After completing that, you need to go to the Startup tab and then select the open Task Manager window.
  9. After opening the Task manager go to the startup tab. Next right-click on the item you need to disable and select the disable option.
    Select the disable option.
  10. Now click on close Task Manager.
    Launch Task Manager
  11. Turn On the Startup tab located in the System Configuration dialogue box. Click the OK button and then reboot your system.

This solution worked for several MS Excel users but if this won’t solve the problem in your case then head to the next solution.

Repair the MS Office Package

Repairing the MS Office package also worked for several users to solve the crashing problem in MS Excel. And probably it is one of the good solutions to fix the issue.

Follow the steps given to do so:

  1. Press the Windows key + R, and then in the Run box type appwiz.cpl and hit on the OK button.
    Opening the appwiz.cpl utility
  2. This will help you to open the programs and features windows, present in the Microsoft Office list, then right-click and now click on Change.
    Excel keeps crashing
    Click on Change.
  3. A new dialogue box will pop up, here click on the Quick Repair option.
    Excel keeps crashing
    Hit the Quick Repair option
  4. Open the box, click on the Repair after that click on continue to start finding and fixing related problems or issues.
  5. It takes some time to finish the process. Once the process is completed you need to restart your system and open the Excel sheet to check the status.

Reinstall Microsoft Office

If running the repair of the Office won’t help you to stop excel from crashing then reinstalling the MS office suite may work for you. There is a possibility that your office installation gets corrupted and therefore showing errors.

So, uninstall and reinstall MS office by following the steps given below:

  1. Close the entire MS Office application and launch the Control Panel on your computer
  2. Now click the Programs and then hit the Uninstall a program option
  3. Then look for Microsoft Office after that click on the Uninstall option
    Change the Microsoft Office installation
  4. Click ‘Yes’ to uninstall MS Office installation

Once the uninstallation process is complete restart your PC and then reinstall the Microsoft office on your computer.

Run the Open and Repair Tool

If none of the above-listed solutions works for you to solve the Excel spreadsheet keeps crashing problem, then there is a possibility that your Excel file is undergoing a serious problem and show errors like “The file is corrupt and cannot be opened” and as a result fails to open and stop responding.

So here it is suggested to run the Excel inbuilt Open and Repair utility, this solves many Excel problems and helps to recover Excel file after crash.

Follow the instructions given to do so:

  1. Press Windows + S and then type excel in the search box & select MS Excel.
  2. On the File tab then Open, click Browse and locate the excel sheet (which is causing the problem) select it
  3. Click on the next arrow to the Open button and then you have to click on “Open and Repair”.
    Open and Repair with Excel
  4. A new dialogue box will appear on your desktop screen, next you need to click on the Repair This option will help you to recover all the data of MS Excel.
  5. Click on “Extract Data” to extract the formulas and values from MS Excel.

So, this is all about the Excel keeps crashing problem in Windows 10 & 11. It is estimated following the solutions given will help you troubleshoot crashing, freezing and not responding to Excel problems.


Hardeep Kaur

Hardeep is a passionate technical writer with more than 7 years of experience. She has a keen interest in PC games, Windows OS and everything surrounding it. She is a technology enthusiast and fascinated with technology since her childhood days.