Issue with data model preventing Excel from opening workbook

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • When using an older version of Excel on Windows 10 you might get a We couldn’t load the data model error.
  • We're showing you three ways to go around this annoying error.
  • Want to be prepared for any Excel-related issue? Read more in our Excel Hub.
  • Also, you'll find everything you want to know about the Office suite in our Microsoft Office page.
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Certain older apps or software might have few issues when running on Windows 10.

With Office 365 suite, one of these issues is We couldn’t load the data model error that users encounter when trying to open a PowerPivot for Excel 2013 Manage window.

The issue isn’t a serious one and it can be easily resolved by using one of our solutions.


How do I fix We couldn’t load the data model error in Excel?

1. Change the office suite

We’re recommending from the very beginning to change the office suite to a lighter alternative.

Office 365 is a very reliable option and one of the most recommended productivity suite for business and educational purposes. However, there are a lot of lighter, cheaper and more versatile solutions.

One of them is WPS Office. With more than 300 million monthly users, the suite’s popularity comes partially from its freemium model, as well as from the ease of use with the browser-like all-in-one mode.

The suite includes 3 main tools –  WPS Writer, WPS Presentation, and WPS Spreadsheet, that are fully compatible with Microsoft’s Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, respectively; it also includes full support for PDF documents.

With one single account, you get access to the entire suite, anytime, anywhere. All your work is automatically saved in the cloud, no need to save anything locally.

As mentioned, the basic suite is free, with the possibility to upgrade to a paid plan, to have access to the full features. It’s worth a try!

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2. Change Local Group Policy settings

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type gpedit.msc. Press Enter or click OK to run it.
    gpedit
  2. Once Local Group Policy Editor opens, you need to navigate to the following in left pane:
    • Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/User Rights Assignment
      group-policy
  3. Locate Increase a process working set Policy and double click it.
  4. A list will appear in a new window. This list should include Users group, but if for some reason Users group isn’t on the list, click the Add User or Group button.
    add-user-or-group
  5. In Enter the object names to select enter Users and click Check Names and OK.
    users-add
  6. Users group should be now added. Click Apply and OK to save changes.

3. Turn off SQL Server Analysis Services (Tabular) servicesturn off SQL Server Analysis Services

Users reported that We couldn’t load the data model error message also appears when creating new Excel 2013 workbook and adding a table into Data Model.

In order to fix this problem, users advise to turn off SQL Server Analysis Services (Tabular) services.

Some users also suggest removing Analysis Services 2012 completely from your computer, so you might want to try that as well.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open  Control Panel and double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Under Currently installed programs, select Microsoft SQL Server, and then click Change.
  3. On the Component Selection page, under SQL Server instances, select the instance that includes the instance of Analysis Services that you want to remove.
  4. On the Feature Maintenance page, select Analysis Services to launch the Microsoft SQL Server Installation Wizard.
  5. On the Change or Remove Instance page, click Remove Microsoft SQL Server.
  6. Click Next, and then follow the instructions on subsequent wizard pages.

So, to conclude, the We couldn’t load the data model error message usually affects PowerPivot for Excel 2013,  and as you can see, it can be easily fixed by using one of our solutions.

Have you tried one of these or anything else. Let us know in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2016 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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