Fix a slow loading/saving Excel spreadsheet

By | July 14, 2021

Here is a trick that may solve the issue of an excel file that opens very slowly, or one that takes forever to save it.

Obviously if the file has a tremendous amount of data it will open more slowly and this l may not help much or at all.  This applies more towards an Excel spreadsheet that you cannot understand why if takes so long to open or to save.

First, make a backup copy of the file just in case something goes wrong, which may take some patience but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Go down one row past the last row that contains any data.

Click on the Row number on the Left and then press CTRL plus SHIFT and the DOWN arrow on the Keyboard.

This will select all the cells below that row.

With it still highlighted RIGHT CLICK your mouse so that all the empty columns are selected RIGHT CLICK on the mouse and select DELETE.  This will delete all the contents in those cells.

Next you should find the last column that contains any data and select the next column to the right.  Click on the column heading so the renter column is highlighted.

Then press CTRL and SHIFT and the RIGHT ARROW so that all the empty columns are selected.

Then RIGHT click on the mouse and select DELETE.

If the spreadsheet has data in several sheets you may have to do it to this on each tab of the spreadsheet to solve the issue.

Now SAVE the spreadsheet.   If the spreadsheet no longer takes forever to save then congratulations you have solved the issue!

Why does this happen?  Because Excel has A LOT of cells to keep track of, not only what is in each cell but the format of each cell, the result of the formula, etc.  So, to save memory Excel will take some shortcuts to save space & memory.    Sometimes as we work in a spreadsheet, we make a change that interrupts Excels internal shortcut.  So instead of Excel saying to itself “cells A662 to then end of the spreadsheet are all the same format”, if starts track it in much small ranges that cause excel to come to a crawl.

Again, this won’t solve the problem in every instance.  But I have found it works almost every time when a spreadsheet is staking forever to open or save that does not contain a large amount of data.

Need help?  Contact Me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.