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Microsoft Excel freezes up

If you are running one of our add-ins, they normally will complete any task in just a few minutes.  Most will complete their tasks in just a few seconds. If your data is extremely long - say a hundred thousand rows, the task can take up to 5-10 minutes to do.  While the task is being done there is almost always a status message being updated at the bottom left of the screen.

Sometimes the status message will stop updating.  This is a very rare and almost all the time the task is still being done and will be completed in a few minutes.  If you hold down the CTL key and press the BREAK key, this will interrupt the code and display a Microsoft Excel visual basic dialog box like the following

When this box appears, click on the Continue button.  This will cause the status bar to update.

If Excel is truly frozen, which is extremely rare, you will need to kill Excel via the Task Manager.  Press ALT-CTL-DELETE keys, select Excel and click End Task.  Any work will be lost.

The primary cause of lockups in Excel are memory related. 

I you have had Excel open for many hours, Excel will slowly run out of memory due to memory leaks.  Simply closing Excel and re-opening every hour or so is the best policy and often avoids problems.

Some PCs do not have enough memory.  Most stores sell PCs with just enough memory to run Windows and the internet and not do anything else.  For information on what memory is needed, please see our page on memory problems.

Other than not having enough memory on a PC, the most likely cause of problems are too many add-ins running.  Or running any COM add-in. COM add-ins are compiled add-ins, and often have memory conflicts with Excel.  COM add-ins from Adobe and other trustworthy companies often get loaded. Unfortunately their COM add-ins often cause memory problems.  Having too many VBA add-ins can cause problems.

Our page on memory problem gives detailed instructions on how to remove COM and VBA add-ins.  Doing so will often solve Excel freeze-ups.


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