Prevent Excel from Freezing When Opening Local Files

Users of Excel 2010 who have WorkSite installed may had the application freeze up when attempting to open files saved not to the document management system but on a network share or local drive. Excel will lock up, and it will not be possible to past this point:

Here are some ideas on how to prevent this from happening. I tried each of these about a week ago and Excel has not frozen up.

1. Set your default printer to Microsoft XPS Document Writer. It's hard to say why this works, but it seems to be the best solution to the problem. XPS Document Writer is a print to file driver that Microsoft developed as an alternative to PDFs. It allows you to save content in a viewable form. It may be that the drivers used for HP and other manufacturers' printers have a problem creating an image of the spreadsheet that is used on the Info panel.

2. It may also be helpful to delete the file named Excel14.xlb in this directory:

C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel

This file is associated with the toolbar in Excel, and may become corrupted. Excel will automatically recreate the file after you reboot. You should be able to use Excel normally after it is deleted.

Note that this folder path may be hidden. You need to set Windows Explorer to view hidden files.

3. Go to File . . . Options . . . Advanced. In the display section set the number of recent documents to be shown to zero, or at least to no greater than 5. If you've opened a lot of large spreadsheets lately, having them in the 'Recent' panel under File may cause the freezing problem.

4. As a last resort, before going to File . . . Local Open, you may try going to File . . . Recent and clicking in 'Recover Unsaved Workbooks' in the lower right corner.

It's possible that none of these solutions will prevent the problem from reoccurring unless you keep performing them. It's not necessarily convenient to have XPS Document Writer set as your default printer indefinitely. However implementing these steps has saved me some trouble.

Contact Me With Your Litigation Support Questions:

  • Twitter Long Shadow

© 2015 by Sean O'Shea . Proudly created with