This error can occur if you have a very large spreadsheet (for example, over 10,000 rows). The following steps may resolve the issue:

  1. Close all applications, including Excel, and re-open the spreadsheet. Also ensure that all other Excel spreadsheets which are not needed are closed.
  2. Remove any (unneccessary) formatting in your Excel sheets:
    • Select all (Ctrl + A)
    • In the right-hand side of the "Home" ribbon, select "Clear" and then "Clear Formats".
  3. Set automatic calculations to manual. By default, Excel (re-)calculates any formulas whenever a change is made. To improve Excel performance, you can set this to manual as follows: (i) Click on the Excel ribbon or on 'File' in the top-left corner (depending on your version of Excel), (ii) Select "Options", (iii) go to the "Formulas" ribbon, (iv) select "Manual" (under Calculation options), (v) select OK. To carry out any calcutions manually, go to the "Formulas" ribbon, and select "Calculate Now" (on the right-hand side of the toolbar).
  4. Restart your computer if the above steps still did not resolve your issue.
  5. Close any non-crucial background applications after restarting, such as Google Desktop Search, as follows:
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up the Task Manager (or Ctrl + Alt + Del and select the Task Manager)
    • Click on the "Processes" tab
    • Select the service or program you want to shutdown, but please note: do not shutdown any task where the username is "System" or if you are not sure what the application is. Shutting down any essential system processes can cause your computer to freeze.
    • Click on End Task at the bottom of the Task Manager to end the application.
  6. Permanenty disable background/startup applications:
    • Press Windows Key + R.
    • Type msconfig, and click 'OK'.
    • In the "General" tab choose "Selective Startup".
    • In the "Startup" tab, disable (uncheck) any items which are not required.
    • In the "Services" tab, select "Hide All Microsoft Services", then disable (uncheck) any items which are not required.
    • Select 'OK' and restart your computer.
  7. Split your data into multiple spreadsheets.


Hardware and software upgrades:

  1. Increase your computers RAM, e.g. to 4 or 8 GB.
  2. Upgrade to 64-bit Excel, which can take advantage of more than 2 GB RAM and enables much larger workbooks.