Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action [FIX]

2 minute read
fix excel won't open files

When this specific error shows up on your display, you have some options of dealing with it.

What is an OLE action?

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) action is a technology allowing Office apps to interact with other apps. It allows an editing app to send part of a document to other apps and then it imports it or it takes it back with more content.

Why does the OLE error appear?

Sometimes the following error might be displayed on your screen if the required response doesn’t come fast enough: Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action.

How to fix the “Excel is waiting for OLE” issue

The first solution is, of course, rebooting your machine and trying again. If the problem persists try the following workarounds:

1. Enable the “Ignore other application that use DDE” feature

2. Disable add-ins

  • Open the Excel sheet
  • Go to the File menu
  • Click on Options
  • Click on Add-ins
  • Select Excel add-ins and click on the Go button
  • Uncheck all boxes and click OK

3. Other methods for attaching the Excel Workbook

Using Excel’s “Send Using Email” option could lead to the error mentioned above. You can send your workbook by attaching it as a file into an email in Outlook or Hotmail, for instance. You can use any email app to solve the issue.


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