3 Common Microsoft Excel Problems and It’s Solution

Microsoft Excel, as we all know, is basically a spreadsheet application to gather and enter data of various types. Arranged in row and column, a variety of calculations can be done on the data apart from sorting, merging or summation stuff.

Functions can be written in VBA (Visual Basic for Application) or Add-in can be loaded as per the requirement. Though quite a robust application, there are certain problems that users typically face while using Excel. Below are listed some common problems users may face.

Unable to launch Microsoft Excel through start menu

Sometimes when the user clicks Excel shortcut (in Start menu – All Programs – Microsoft Excel), nothing happens. As expected Excel should launch, but this doesn’t happens due to reason unknown.

selecting excel windows home popup board
This could be due to corrupt short cut.

Steps to analyze the situation are as under:

a) Go to Start – Search. This would open a search window

b) Search file ‘Excel.exe’.

c) Once found, make a note of the location of the excel executable (.exe)

d) Browse to the respective folder (where excel.exe is situated)

e) Double click on the file and see if it launches the application

f) If yes, then delete the current short cut and make a new one

g) If No, Please refer to the trouble shooting steps as mentioned below

excel options in micrsoft excel option

Error message displayed while launching Excel

The users most commonly face this problem. The error displayed could be of some kind of conflict or corruption or more. Most generalized way to address this problem is to follow steps as below.

microsoft office excel encoutered problem image

This error could have been manifested due to corrupt tool bar file (.xlb), corrupt menu update file (.pip) or due to conflicted Add-in. To handle this Please follow the steps as below:

a) Search for .xlb file (proceed as mentioned in first heading)

b) Rename this file (or simply take backup)

c) Relaunch Excel

d) If works fine, OK, else follow steps below

e) Search for the .pip file (menu setting file)

f) Rename the file (or simply take backup)

g) Relaunch Excel

h) If works fine, OK, else follow steps below

i) Launch Excel in safe mode (run ‘Excel.exe_locationexcel.exe /safe’). Here ‘Excel.exe_location’ is the actual location of excel executable. This could be located as mentioned in first problem listing

j) If runs fine then probably some add-in is creating conflict, since in safe mode no Add-in or menu customization is loaded and excel runs with minimal basic resources

k) Try unchecking add-in one at a time and then run normally. Please refer to the image below

microsoft excel book 1
Add-Ins menu
Add-Ins Window
Add-Ins Window

l) Once the faulty Add-in is identified, Please remove it.

m) Now Excel should work normally

‘File in use’ message

This error is also quite common. On opening a certain file in excel, ‘File in use’ message is displayed, while in actual file it is not used by anybody. This is because while closing that file (in some previous session), excel didn’t release it properly.

So the only way to neutralize this is to restart the system. Once a restart is done, the file shall open normally.

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