Can’t Type in Excel: Common Reasons & How to Fix It

Corrupt program files may interfere with Excel's activities

by Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Passionate about technology, Crypto, software, Windows, and everything computer-related, he spends most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. He also enjoys... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • Not being able to type in Excel can be due to your cell font color being set to white.
  • Other programs running in the background may also cause issues with Excel.
  • Starting Excel in Safe Mode will close any activities impeding its performance.
can't type in excel

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It can be so annoying to want to work on Excel, and you can’t type anything in the Excel cells. It means you literally can’t work on it. Also, users complain about not being able to access Excel toolbar for some reason.

Why can’t I type in Excel all of a sudden

The reasons why Excel won’t let you type may differ on various computers. One of the common factors is your cell format and font color being set to white. It will prevent your texts from being visible due to the white font matching the white page background. So, it may not be a typing issue, but not showing.

Other factors that may be responsible for you not being able to type in Excel are:

  • Hardware Graphic Acceleration in Excel Hardware Graphic Acceleration option enabled in Excel can cause the issue. It will cause the texts you’re typing to be invisible or not allow any to pop up in the cells.
  • Interference from other installed apps Excel may be affected by the activities of other apps running on your computer. It can be due to an app recently installed on your PC, such as Antivirus software, impeding its functionality.
  • Corrupt program files When there are corrupt Excel files or missing ones, it can affect how the program executes functions.

Some causes above can also be why you can’t type in Excel without double-clicking. Nonetheless, these causes can be fixed by troubleshooting Excel and your PC.

What can I do if I can’t type in Excel?

Go through the following before trying any advanced troubleshooting steps:

  • Ensure you change your cell font color to black.
  • Turn off background apps running on your computer.
  • Close and reopen Excel.
  • Restart your PC and check if you can type in Excel.

If you can’t fix the problem, proceed with the following solutions.

1. Start Excel in Safe Mode and disable the Excel Add-Ins

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialog box, type excel.exe /safe, then click OK to start Microsoft Excel in Safe Mode.
  2. Go to File in the top menu bar, then select Options from the menu on the left.
  3. Select Add-ins on the right, select Excel Add-ins, then click on the Go button.
  4. Uncheck the boxes next to the active Add-Ins and click OK to save the changes.
  5. Restart Excel and check if the error persists.

Starting Excel in Safe Mode fixes third-party app interference while disabling the Add-ins will fix any issues for corrupt add-ins.

2. Verify the editing options settings

  1. Open Excel, click on Files in the top menu bar, then select Options from the menu on the left.
  2. Select the Advanced option and check the box for Allow editing directly in cells.
  3. Close Excel and reopen it, then check if you can now type.

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The Allow editing directly in cells checkbox is most likely unchecked. Checking the box will fix the problem.

3. Repair Microsoft Office

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialog box, type appwiz.cpl, and click on OK to open Programs and Features.
  2. Right-click on Microsoft Office and click on Change from the drop-down.
  3. Click the Quick Repair option on the new windows, and tap the Repair button.
  4. Try the Online Repair option if Quick repair can’t fix it.

Repairing Microsoft Office will resolve missing or corrupt app files that may cause you unable to type in Excel.

You may be interested in adding the Run command to the Start menu in Windows 11.

4. Disable the hardware graphics acceleration

  1. Launch Excel, click on Files in the top menu bar, then select Options from the menu on the left.
  2. Select the Advanced option.
  3. Go to Display, check the box for Disable hardware graphics acceleration, and click on OK to save the changes.
  4. Close and restart Excel, then try typing and see if you can.

Disabling the hardware graphics acceleration will fix graphics issues that may cause you to be unable to type in Excel.

5. Download the latest updates for Excel

  1. Launch Excel and click on Files in the top-right corner.
  2. Click on Account from the menu on the left, click Update Options, then tap on the Update Now option.
  3. Restart your PC and check if the save function in Excel works.

If any update is available, it will automatically install it. Updating Excel will fix bugs that may be causing issues with it and install the latest features for Excel.

In conclusion, you may be interested in the ways to fix the Excel file that could not be found error on your computer. Also, our readers can check our article about Excel file format and extension not matching and how to fix the problem.

For more questions or suggestions on this topic, kindly drop them in the comments section below.

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