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Excel spreadsheets intermittently taking a very long time to open RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been seeing an intermittent problem with the Office 365 version of Microsoft Excel where spreadsheets sometimes take a very long time to open (20 minutes or even longer). Basically the user will double-click a spreadsheet file and nothing will happen. There is no sign of Excel opening, no splash screen, and no Excel.exe showing in task manager. However sometime later (I've had times reported of 10 to 30 minutes) Excel will suddenly open the spreadsheet. After that point all spreadsheets will open normally. While the problem is occurring all spreadsheet files will behave in this way.

    The problem occurs intermittently, but mostly seems to happen after the computer has been shutdown or restarted. The user can open the Excel program itself fine, and can create new spreadsheets fine, the issue only occurs when opening existing files. I've also been told that this affects opening spreadsheets from the file menu within Excel. The only workaround I've found so far (apart from waiting half an hour!) is to open Excel, then drag the spreadsheet into the Excel window which seems to open it immediately for some reason. It doesn't matter whether the spreadsheet is on a network share or locally on the copmuter. It's also not specific spreadsheet files, it seems to affect all of them.

    This only affects Excel, other Office programs like Word work correctly. I have been seeing this since about February, but it is still happening with the latest version of Excel (1803).

    I have reinstalled Windows 10 from scratch on an affected laptop, fully updated it and installed the latest Office, and I'm still getting exactly the same problem.

    I am seeing this a lot, with a lot of different users on different systems so it doesn't seem to be a problem with Windows or the hardware. Most are probably running Dell laptops, but I've had it reported on a Microsoft Surface Pro as well. I'd guess most users are on Windows 10, but I'm not 100% certain on that.

    While searching I've come across what sounds like our exact problem being caused by a certain version of a Realtek Audio driver, however this isn't installed in all of the affected systems and where it is upgrading the driver didn't resolve the problem.

    Can anyone shed any light on what is causing this problem and how I can resolve it?

    Tuesday, May 15, 2018 4:26 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Do your company use any third-part add ins or prgrams in Windows 10?

    First check if Excel will open farster in safe mode: Press Win + R, type " excel /safe" in the blank box, press Enter. If it works fine in safe mode, please check the add-ins in your excel and disable them.

    Then please disable active Antivirus product in Windows and check the result.

    I also suggest you try to perform a clean boot in Windows and cehck the result:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

    Any updates please let me know, I'm glad to help you.

    Regards,

    Emi


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    Wednesday, May 16, 2018 9:26 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi, 

    Just checking in to see if the information was helpful. Please let us know if you would like further assistance.

    Regards,

    Emi


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.


    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Teams.

    Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:41 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Emi,

    We're still testing, the problem is that the issue is intermittent so we have to wait for a time when it's occurring before we can try your suggestions.

    To answer your earlier questions, we don't use any third party add-ins for Excel, though obviously we have other programs installed on the computers. This affects a wide range of users in different companies, so there's no obvious single program that they all use.

    I'm not convinced that the antivirus will be the cause, because this affects users using both ESET AV and users with Windows Defender. However we haven't tried disabling it yet, so I will let you know when we've tested.

    Thanks,
    David

    Thursday, May 17, 2018 10:06 AM
  • OK, so we've managed to do some further testing. For reference this was on a Microsoft Surface Book.

    1) Excel in Safe Mode
    First confirmed that double-clicking spreadsheet files (or anything that opens in Excel - we tried it with a .csv file too) failed to open them. Then opened Excel in safe mode and double-clicked a file. The spreadsheet opened immediately. Closed Excel, then double-clicked a spreadsheet. Nothing happened. Opened Excel normally (not in safe mode) and double-clicked a file. The spreadsheet opened immediately. So in this case spreadsheets would open immediately if Excel was already running, regardless of whether it was in safe mode or not. However I've also seen a version of this problem on another laptop where the files still wouldn't open even if Excel was already open.

    2) Disabling AntiVirus
    Wasn't able to try this as it was locked down by policy, but the antivirus on this laptop was Windows Defender so you'd hope (!) it'd be compatible with Excel.

    3) Clean boot of Windows
    Excel wouldn't work at all under a clean boot.

    Any more ideas?

    Thanks,
    David

    Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:58 PM