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5 Most Faced Performance Issues in MS Excel and Their Suitable Fixes

Author: Brook Perry
by Brook Perry
Posted: Dec 09, 2013

Finding problems with your Microsoft Excel such as no responsiveness, problems in copy pasting, trouble in deletion and insertion of rows, slow loading etc? These are called performance issues of Microsoft Excel. Undoubtedly, these issues give you a bad Excel experience and slow down your speed and productivity.

Listed below are some of the frequently cropping up performance issues and suitable fixes to those:

Issue 1: How to troubleshoot the issue of slow workbook loading, when it is opened in Excel for the first time?

Solution: It often happens that when you try to open a workbook in Excel for the first time, it takes more time than the usual and even while closing the file, you may be prompted with messages like: ‘Do you want to save the changes you made to Filename?’ This slow loading happens because Microsoft Excel, recalculates the formulas before opening a file last saved by an earlier version of Excel, which makes the entire process time consuming. To overcome this problem, you must always save your workbook in the latest version of Excel. The latest Excel version might take less time to open.

Issue 2: How to troubleshoot Crashing and Not Responding Issues with Excel?

Solution: It often happens that while opening Microsoft Excel, you come across issues like crashing, hanging or freezing of the worksheet. Users often get sared of error messages like “Excel is not responding.” There can be various reasons for such unexpected crashing of the Excel worksheet. However to troubleshoot such issues, you can try the following fixes:

  • Verify and install the latest and recommended updates n your Windows, which can fix the issues by replacing outdated files by the new ones and by fixing vulnerabilities.
  • You can try opening your Excel in ‘Safe Mode,’ which will protect your Excel from certain startup programs. To open the Excel in Safe Mode, you need to press ‘Ctrl’ button while starting the file. Safe Mode enables the Excel program to bypasses functionality and settings such as changed toolbars, alternative startup location, Excel Add-Ins, the XLstart folder, etc and by avoiding these you can avoid many startup problems.
  • You should also make sure that the antivirus software in your system is up to date so that it doesn’t conflict with the Excel. Older version of antivirus programs can’t shield newly created viruses. Hence, it is important to keep your antivirus updated. For this, you can visit your respective antivirus software vendor’s website and download the updates from there.

Issue 3: How to fix the “Excel found unreadable content in the file” error message in Excel?

Solution: If you are using 2007 and above version of Excel then one of the common performance issues are the Style-related error messages such as “Excel found unreadable content in the file” or “Microsoft Excel can’t paste data” or you see that the complete formatting gets stripped out or file size grows bigger after copying and pasting between workbooks. This issue crops up when your workbook has more than approximately 64,000 combinations of cell formats in Excel 2007 and higher versions. To resolve the issues you can take up the following measures:

  • When you copy content from a workbook, even the built-in styles also get copied; to avoid this you need to install the latest Excel updates from the Windows Update.
  • Run “XLStylesTool” for Excel formats (xlsx, xlsm) and “Remove Styles Add-in” for password protected workbooks or Binary Excel formats (xls, xlsb) to cleanup those workbooks from Excel that already have excess styles.
  • Keep simple formatting in your workbooks. For instance use a standard font in all the cells.

Issue 4: How to fix the issue of Excel 2013 taking extended time for inserting or deleting rows after a custom sort on many named columns?

Solution: If you are using Excel 2013, then you might have come across performance issue that when you try to insert or delete rows after a custom sort on many named columns, it usually takes more than the usual time. This happens because of the defined names. In 2013, there are more than one million rows per column, so when you refer to a whole column for performing an operation on that column, automatically those millions of rows gets loaded into memory. This cause the slow insertion or deletion of rows after sorting. To cope up with this problem instead of naming the whole column, try creating a dynamic defined name on ranges.

Issue 5: How to troubleshoot startup problems in Excel?

Solution: Startup problems in Excel are perhaps the most irritating problem. Although it’s a very vast topic as there can be numerous reasons that can cause startup problems in Excel and also there are many possible remedies. Usually when you face any startup problem, an error message is prompted up. The most possible error messages are:

  • Corrupted shortcut to the Excel program
  • Problematic file in Excel startup folder or alternate startup file location
  • Conflict with another program
  • Incorrect version of a core Microsoft Office file
  • Corrupted Excel toolbar file (*.xlb) or Excel.pip file
  • Corrupted add-ins under the Tools menu
  • Corruption in the registry keys, etc.

If you are prompted with an error message while opening Microsoft Excel, then go to the ‘Advance Search’ option in the Microsoft Website and put your exact error message to get the guide on how to resolve the issue.

Practicing these measures, you can resolve the performance issues of MS Excel. However, majority of issues occur because of running an older version of Excel. So, keep your Excel application updated which will automatically resolve many issues. You can get the MS Excel updates from ‘Windows Office Updates’ from the ‘Support’ section of ‘Microsoft Windows’ website.

About the Author: Brooke M. Perry is an ardent technician associated with Qresolve internet security with wide experience of fixing issues with PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. With a strong track record of devising effective ways of online computer support and system security, she has so far helped thousands of users across the globe. Her writings on tech issues are the reflection of her in-depth interest and command she carries as a online technical support technician. Her blogs and articles have been rated high for their lucid style and easy to understand language.

About the Author

Brooke M. Perry is an ardent technician associated with Qresolve computer security, with wide experience of fixing issues with PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

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Author: Brook Perry

Brook Perry

Member since: Oct 25, 2013
Published articles: 71

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