Excel - worksheet freeze and high cpu usage RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi. I have Office 365 installed and sometimes worksheets and ribbon get freezed. The weird thing is that workbook works, because I can close it. When it happens the Excel process makes a huge cpu usage. Any idea why this is happening?

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016 10:58 AM


All replies

  • Hi Cartovi,

    Did this issue appear in all Excel files?

    Where did you open files? From local computer or network?

    Are the size of these files large?

    This issue might be caused by several reasons, first I suggest you try to open file in safe mode, if it works in safe mode please try to disable add-ins:

    Click File > Excel Options > Add-Ins on the left side of the dialog. Then click the drop-down arrow at the bottom of the dialog box and select "COM Add-Ins" from the list, then click the GO button. What comes up is a list of COM-Add Ins that are loaded and running.

    I suggest you refer to this support article and try methods it provides:

    Please provide more information about your problem and I'm glad to help you.


    Emi Zhang
    TechNet Community Support

    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016 7:36 AM
  • Same problem with Excel 2016. It happens usually when I have more than one (two or three) workbook open and they quite big. 5-50 MB.

    Have all updates automatically installed. 

    • Edited by ChristerSjo Tuesday, August 9, 2016 7:59 PM
    Tuesday, August 9, 2016 7:57 PM
  • I am also having a similar issue however I have Excel 2016 installed.  This is not only on one computer - several users are experiencing the same issue.  Excel seems to be frozen however you can take steps to save and/or close the workbooks.

    All updates for hardware and MS Updates have been installed including Office Updates.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:45 PM
  • Hi there

    Are you still having a problem with this issue? Do you mind to share the findings? We had these since early August and been troubleshooting this with no luck.


    Our networks: - community classifieds, - Online Gears, - tech & creative social media, - Managed IT Services, Business Intelligence, Software Development & Creative

    Friday, September 2, 2016 2:18 AM
  • I can confirm the same behavior with most recent update of Excel (16.0.6741.2071) as well as earlier versions of Office 365 ProPlus, and no Addins enabled. Seems like it is related to older workbooks, but not able to find the exact combination of action, workbook actions, size or number of books open. Happens quite frequently, like every day.


    Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:00 PM
  • I can confirm this as well.  Fully patched/updated Win10 Enterprise with updated Excel 2016, no addins.  55%+ CPU usage and Excel mostly unusable.  We can save the file(s), but can not click in and cells or use most of the ribbon.  Users started to see this behavior this week and is now happening multiple times per day.  Closing out of Excel and reopen of same files fixes CPU use (reboot not needed).  Files will then behave as expected for 30 - 60 minutes, then same CPU problem again. 

    My next step is the Office repair install, however since these systems are recently configured/deployed, I have doubts that this will do much...

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:27 PM
  • I am experiencing the same issue. Quite frequently. Especially with large files. It has nothing to do with excel trying to calculate anything
    Wednesday, November 9, 2016 1:33 PM
  • We are an MSP and one of our O365 accounts is really hurt by this same behavior. I remoted to her PC just a few minutes ago, five large Excel file open, all locked up and CPU at 65% with 55% due to Excel. The only way out was to End Task. This has been going on for months. Followed all the "methods" in the microsoft support url posted above to no good.  

    It also affects other users at this one company, so I am inclined to believe it has something to do with the xls files themselves.

    Hoping for some real answers or t/s steps to get this fixed once and for all/

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:28 PM
  • Same problem here.  help!

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017 4:14 PM
  • I havae the same problem and it sometimes takes quite a while to resolve!  Hasn't anyone found a solution?  So frustrated!
    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:42 PM
  • Options, Advanced. Go to the Display section and check the option for "Disable hardware graphics acceleration"

    Solution extracted from

    • Edited by aprasha2 Thursday, November 9, 2017 2:27 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Burpy the Hippo Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:02 PM
    Thursday, November 9, 2017 2:23 PM
  • This issue was driving me crazy because the only way to get back to the Excel sheet was to disable the Excel file in the task manager.    If you didn't save the file you could only hope that the auto save feature captured most of your changes.    Well today I found a better way where I no longer lose data and I think this will work for everyone.    When you notice that excel is not responding and you can hear the hard drive grinding and if you go into the task manager under processes and see that excel is using up most of your CPU time . . . . try this.

    Look in the processes for another instance of Excel that is not using the CPU time and end that Excel process.   I don't know why but it clears up Excel for me so I don't lose any data and for the Excel program it may have closed I can just reopen.    Hope this works for you.    It may be an overloaded flux capacitor . . . LOL.

    • Proposed as answer by Accountant55 Thursday, December 27, 2018 6:20 PM
    Monday, March 5, 2018 11:44 PM
  • Re ianamo 12: I don´t see how that can be done. All instances of Excel (in my case 4) show "not responding" and the CPU usage (in my case variable around 62%) in shown for Excel as a whole, not by instance. Note also with some dismay that MS has not found a solution for a very annoying issue that is at least two years old. In fact if forcing closing all  work done in the work session is lost.

    Update: opened a new instance of Excel. Ran properly. Closed it. No influence on the unresponsive instances.

    • Edited by Ilum1 Monday, April 23, 2018 7:49 AM
    Sunday, April 22, 2018 2:18 PM
  • This fixed the issue for me. Thank you!
    Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:03 PM
  • Thank you iamno12, this worked for me.
    Thursday, December 27, 2018 6:20 PM
  • The problem usually happens when more than two excel files are open, in my case. So, the iamno12's solution worked for me. Thank you.

    Alternatively, you can right-click on Excel icon in windows taskbar and select "Close all windows". This also works.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:51 AM
  • Re iamno12: I see how this might help to not loose data, however I would not consider this to be a solution.

    This issue is driving me crazy and nobody has got a solution, not even microsoft. So please, microsoft, fix this issue in Excel!

    Friday, February 22, 2019 9:28 AM
  • Still happening in June of 2019. Now to beging going through all these comments...
    Monday, June 10, 2019 3:06 PM
  • It's been happening with me for the last 3 years or more but it only happens when I open certain files and affects the performance of Excel even when working on other files while culprit file is opened. 

    I noticed that it never happens with files that I have created. It's always with files I receive from others and it is not related to file size or number of formulas in it. It could happen with very small files. Furthermore, I almost sure that it's always files that are produced by ERP or CRM applications or converted from other formats which makes me suspect that it has to do with incompatibilities or improper implementation of Excel file generation code widely used by application developers. 

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 4:54 PM
  • The only solution that worked for me is:

    >>Issues in Protected View:
    File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View > Uncheck all options
    File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > File Block Settings > Uncheck all options

    • Proposed as answer by Krellyn Monday, August 26, 2019 6:50 PM
    Friday, July 5, 2019 4:54 PM
  • Thanks! This dropped CPU usage from 100% to 32%! 
    Wednesday, July 10, 2019 2:46 PM
  • Can confirm that this still happens in september 2019, and that it has been the case for several years.

    Frankly, a complete joke. Microsoft can't debug a simple and highly reproducible bug in one of their most key programs, that cause regular long delays for those using it?

    Sunday, September 8, 2019 11:43 AM
  • F5 (opens Go To window)



    OK (selects all objects - graphics and things)


    Worksheet works again!

    Friday, October 18, 2019 4:28 PM
  • Thank you so much. Worked a treat.

    Thursday, July 2, 2020 8:35 AM
  • verify CPU and Memory Usage, if there is nothing find unistall with revo uninstaller download fresh installer and try
    Thursday, July 2, 2020 8:46 AM