Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete ole action

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of his age, the Internet was an... Read more
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There’s a variety of errors appearing on all applications, even the first-party applications like Microsoft Excel, a part of the Office suite.

The error we’re talking about is the infamous “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error.

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

How do I solve the “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error?

  1. What is an OLE action?
  2. Why does the OLE error appear?
  3. How to fix the “Excel is waiting for OLE” issue

1: 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.

2: 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.

3: 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 uses DDE” feature

  1. Open the Excel sheet
  2. Go to the File menu
  3. Click on Options
  4. Go to the Advanced tab
  5. Scroll down to the General area and check “Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)”
  6. Restart Excel

2. Disable add-ins

  1. Open the Excel sheet
  2. Go to the File menu
  3. Click on Options
  4. Click on Add-ins
  5. Select Excel add-ins and click on the Go button
  6. 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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With that said, we can wrap it up. Tell us in the comments section below if you’ve managed to resolve the error with the aforementioned steps.

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