Excel Not Responding When Saving: 5 Ways to Get It to Work

Try these quick fixes if Excel fails to respond when saving

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
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Excel not responding when saving can occur for many reasons, including issues with Excel Add-ins.
  • Attempting to save to a particular location can be problematic if other programs use Excel.
  • Using the Save as option allows you to change where the file is to be stored.
excel not responding when saving

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Being able to document your work or do other things after using Excel on your PC can become an impossible task. A common problem users report is Microsoft Excel not responding when saving.

Also, users complain about running into the Microsoft Excel out-of-memory error that appears when using the app.

Why is Excel not responding when saving?

Many factors can cause issues with Excel when saving files as pdf, saving files to a network drive, saving to OneDrive, etc. One of the factors is corrupt program files. Corrupt program files can cause Excel not to respond to its functions.

Other factors that are liable to cause Excel not responding when saving are:

  • Outdated Excel program – An outdated program indicates that it can’t access updates and patches for fixing bugs and improving performance. So, it can sometimes contribute to Excel not responding when saving.
  • Other activities running on Excel Other processes or tasks running in the background on Excel. These processes can prevent it from being able to use the save function when invoked.
  • Issues with Excel Add-ins Add-ins on Excel can become malicious or run into problems, causing issues with Excel. So, Excel may not respond when saving due to a faulty Add-in on the app.

Nevertheless, you can fix the problem by troubleshooting the Excel app and your device.

What can I do if Excel fails to respond when saving?

Before proceeding with any advanced steps to fix the problem, try the following:

If you still run into problems with saving on Excel, proceed with the solutions below.

1. End task for Excel on your computer

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Task Manager from the menu.
  2. Navigate to the Processes tab, select the Excel app from the list, right-click on it, then click End Task from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on OK to confirm and restart your computer to help it sync the changes effectively.

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Ending tasks for Excel on your PC will kill any background activities on the app interfering with the save function. You can check for shortcuts to open Task Manager on your PC.

2. 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. Select the Quick Repair option on the new windows, then click the Repair button.
  4. If Quick repair can’t fix it, select Online Repair.

Repairing Microsoft Office will fix any missing or corrupt app file issues that may cause Excel not to respond when saving to OneDrive or Network drive.

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

3. Download the latest updates for Excel

  1. Open Excel and click on Files in the top-right corner.
  2. Click on Account from the menu on the left, select the Update Options, then click 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, fixing bugs and installing the latest features for Excel.

4. Use the Save as option to change the file location

  1. While on the file you want to save on Excel, on File in the top menu bar.
  2. Click on Save as from the menu on the left to prompt the available locations.
  3. Try saving the file in a different location and check if it works.

The issue may occur if there is a problem with the location the file is trying to store. So, using Save as to change location will fix Excel not responding when saving to a network drive or saving to OneDrive.

5. 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. Click on File in the top menu bar, then select Options from the menu on the left.
  3. Click on 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.

Alternatively, you can read about fixing too many different cell format errors using Excel. Also, we have a guide on how to fix Microsoft Excel if it can access files.

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