High CPU usage in Excel? We’ve got the solutions to fix it

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
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high cpu usage excel

Microsoft Office is and always will be the go-to office suite for the majority of Microsoft users. It’s reliable and the interface used in the Office defined how text processors and spreadsheet editors look today.

However, even the most sturdy native applications have had certain issues in the Windows platform. One of the most peculiar concerns high CPU usage in Excel.

We made sure to enlist some applicable solutions below and help you address this as soon as possible.

Fix high CPU usage caused by Microsoft Excel

  1. Update Office
  2. Repair Excel
  3. Delete local files
  4. Disable third-party applications
  5. Try using Excel in a Safe mode
  6. Reinstall Excel

Solution 1 – Update Office

Let’s start by updating the Office suite. As you probably know, all updates for Office come via Windows Updates. Most of them are security patches and minor fixes, but Microsoft usually addresses a major issue when it occurs. And this high CPU usage caused by Excel is certainly a widespread problem.

If you’re not sure how to update Office, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security.high cpu usage excel
  3. Select Windows Update.
  4. Check for updates.high cpu usage excel

Also, try running the application as admin. Here’s how to grant administrative permissions to Excel:

  1. Right-click on the Excel shortcut and open Properties.
  2. Choose the Compatibility tab.
  3. Check the “Run this program as an administrator” box and confirm changes.

Solution 2 – Repair Excel

Another viable solution in case the Excel installation got corrupt is to repair it. This precedes the reinstallation since you at least get to do it with the system resources. After you repair the installation, the problem should be resolved. Have in mind that this isn’t as successful as the clean reinstall is, but it’s still worth a try.

Here’s how to repair Excel in a few simple steps:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Control and open Control Panel.
  2. Open “Uninstall a program” under the Programs section.high cpu usage excel
  3. Locate Office, right-click on it and choose Repair.
  4. Wait until the installation is repaired and restart your PC.

If this wasn’t helpful, we suggest moving onwards with the steps below.

Solution 3 – Delete local files

Besides the repair, which should resolve the high CPU usage in Excel on its own, a manual approach might be a better choice. If there’s a problem with Excel formulas or configuration, deleting configuration files might plummet the high CPU usage. After you delete them, everything should return to normal.

Here’s where to look and what to delete:

  1. Make sure Excel is fully closed.
  2. Navigate to C:UsersYour UsernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftExcel.
  3. Open the Excel folder and copy the whole content of the folder. Paste it somewhere else to back it up.
  4. Delete everything from the Excel folder.
  5. Restart your PC and try using Excel again.

Solution 4 – Disable third-party applications

Another possible reason for this kind of unusual behavior might be found in the background activity of certain third-party apps. Some of them won’t affect the execution of Excel, while others can. The most common issues occur due to a third-party antivirus, but there are some other third-party apps which might slow down Excel.

That’s why we suggest starting your PC with a Clean Boot. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type msconfig and open System Configuration.
  2. Under the Services tab, check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box.
  3. Click “Disable all” to disable all active third-party services.high cpu usage excel
  4. Now, select the Startup tab and go to Task Manager.
  5. Prevent all programs from starting with the system and confirm changes.
  6. Restart your PC.

Solution 5 – Try using Excel in a Safe mode and disable Add-ins

Another way to troubleshoot high CPU usage caused by Excel is to run it in Safe mode. With that, you’ll learn about possible impact certain add-in or COM has on the application execution. If the CPU usage drops while in Safe mode, we suggest disabling Add-ins one by one with the system of elimination until you find out which one is causing the issue.

Here’s how to run Safe mode in Excel:

  1. Press and hold the CTRL and double-click on the Excel shortcut to run it in Safe mode.
  2. If there are performance improvements, remove Add-ins to fix the error.
  3. Also, try removing recent formulas.

Solution 6 – Reinstall Excel

Finally, if none of the solutions worked for you, a clean reinstall should address this. Of course, there are some other things which might affect this, but they’re out of our grasp. In addition, we suggest a clean reinstallation which includes deleting all Excel -associated locally-stored files. For that, you’ll be needing the Fixit tool.

Follow these steps to reinstall Excel on your PC:

  1. Back up your license key.
  2. Download Fixit tool, here.
  3. Run the tool and follow the instructions.
  4. After that, restart your PC and install Office again.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Hopefully, it was an informative read and we helped you resolve high-CPU issues in Excel. And, just in case you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.