Microsoft Excel is trying to recover your information error

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
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  • Check whether this is a general occurrence, or if it just happens when you try opening a particular file.
  • If it's a general issue, check whether your antivirus software is up to date or is conflicting with Excel.
  • Excel is an indispensable office tool, so we wrote extensively about it. Got to our Excel how to hub to check for solutions to other issues. 
  • If you want to know everything there is to know about Microsoft Office, the Microsoft Office - Best tools and guides hub is for you.
microsoft excel is trying to recover your information

Microsoft Excel is part of Microsoft 365 business-oriented programs and acts as the default spreadsheet of the suite.

However, like all other files created by any of the programs belonging to the suite, it too can encounter the occasional error.

Such would be the case with some users that have been reporting a constant error in Microsoft Excel.

I have upgraded to office 2016 and I constantly get the error message
Microsoft Word / Excel is trying to recover your information
Now, everything does work. I can open the documents and they are fine, but these error messages keep coming up.
It also comes up when just browsing files in file explorer. If I want to just select a file to move it this message comes up and then goes after a few seconds. But it happens on EVERY document I click on and is really annoying.

How can I get rid of the information recovery error in Excel?

First of all, check whether this is a general occurrence, or if it just happens when you try opening a particular file.

If you observe that this is a general issue, consider doing one of the following:

1. Check whether your antivirus software is up to date or is conflicting with Excel

Updating your antivirus software varies based on what antivirus you use.

Additionally, try to shut down the antivirus and see if Microsoft Excel has any issues then.

Please check the manufacturer’s website for more details on how to update or shut down your antivirus software.


Looking for an antivirus that is efficient and free? We’ve got you covered.


2. Disable the Preview Pane in file explorer

While no explanation exists as to why this happens, it seems that many users found disabling the Preview Pane useful in getting rid of this error message.

  1. Press Windows + E
  2. Go to the View tab
  3. Click on Preview Pane

microsoft excel is trying to recover your information preview pane

3. Perform a clean boot

You must first make sure you are signed in as an administrator:

  1. Press Windows
  2. Type in MSConfig
  3. Select System Configuration
  4. Go to the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box
  5. Click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box
  6. Click Disable all
  7. Go to the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box
  8. Click Open Task Manager
  9. Disable all items on the listmicrosoft excel is trying to recover your information clean boot
  10. Close Task Manager
  11. Click OK to confirm all changes
  12. Restart the PC

4. Install the latest updates for Microsoft Excel

  1. Open Microsoft Excel
  2. Click on File
  3. Select Account
  4. Click Update Options
  5. Click Update Nowmicrosoft excel is trying to recover your information update office
  6. Let the updates run their course

5. Please make sure that your system has enough RAM to run Excel.

While this may seem simple enough, you need to make sure your PC meets the minimum system requirements to run Microsoft Excel.

This is especially the case when you have a dated PC and a version of Microsoft Excel that is relatively new.

6. Install the latest updates for your Windows System

  1. Press Windows
  2. Select Settings (The cogwheel-shaped button in the start menu)
  3. Select Updates & Security
  4. Click on Check for Updatesmicrosoft excel is trying to recover your information check windows updates
  5. Let the updates run their course
  6. Restart the PC

7. 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

Do you also receive an error stating that Microsoft Excel is trying to recover your information?

Did you try a solution not mentioned in this list that worked? Let us know in the comments section below.

FAQ: Read more about Excel

  • How do you recover an Excel file that is not responding?

Look for the file in Recent Workbooks and click on theRecover Unsaved Workbooks button. If it fails to recover your file, read our full guide on how to fix this.

  • Why does Excel stop working?

Check if you installed the latest updates, and make sure that Excel is not in use by another process. If Excel is not opening, follow our comprehensive guide to fix the problem.

  • How do you restart Excel?

What you need to do is terminate all its processes from Task Manager and start Excel again.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2019 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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