How to Fix Excel if It Freezes When You Copy and Paste: 9 Ways
Microsoft designed Excel to save you time by using templates, creating patterns, and organizing data. So, there’s nothing more annoying and time-wasting than Excel freezing when you copy and paste new data into your spreadsheet.
When this happens, you want to fix it as quickly as possible. So, let’s take a look at how you can make Excel work again.
1. Update the Office App
A software glitch or bug might cause Excel’s inability to copy and paste without crashing or freezing. Most of the time, installing the latest available update will fix the problem.
To update the Office apps on a Windows computer, launch the Microsoft Store and select Library. Then, click the Get updates button to install any pending updates.
If you’re using Office on Mac, open any Office app and go to Help > Check for updates. Installing updates is a common method to solve bugs and glitches, which is why you shouldn’t use a pirated copy of Microsoft Office.
2. Remove App Conflict
There’s a chance that Excel freezes when copying and pasting because of software conflict. This happens when a different app negatively impacts Excel’s operations.
Maybe you’ve installed something without realizing it, or a different user made changes to your system. In this case, you should take a look at the list of installed apps on your computer and remove those that might cause you problems.
If you need those apps and can’t uninstall them, stop them from launching at system startup. Also, it might help if you create a local user account for other people, so you’re the only one that can change your system settings.
Additionally, your antivirus might interfere with certain Excel macros. Try to temporarily turn off the antivirus and check if Excel goes back to working as usual. If there’s no app hindering Excel functionalities, you should take a look at Excel settings.
3. Change the Cut, Copy, and Paste Settings
If Excel encounters a problem with the Paste box functionality, it may lead to the entire app freezing or crashing. To prevent this from happening, you should change the Paste box settings. Here’s how you can do it:
- Head to File > Options.
- In the Excel Options window, select Advanced.
- Go to the Cut, copy, and paste section.
- Uncheck the Show Paste Options button when content is pasted and Show Insert Options buttons options.
- Click OK.
- Restart the app and check if Excel still freezes when you copy and paste.
4. Turn Off the Live Preview Option
If you’re using the paste special options, Excel will preview how inserted data will look. Usually, this shouldn’t make Excel freeze, but if you’ve opened a lot of apps and using a lot of your system resources, your computer might have a hard time trying to keep up with a task.
- Go to File > Options.
- Select General.
- From User Interface options, uncheck Enable Live Preview.
- Click OK to save the change.
Also, Excel might freeze when you copy and paste if your computer is really old, and you’re editing an unusually large spreadsheet, with a lot of objects and formatting rules.
5. Check Excel Add-Ins
While add-ins are designed to make your life easier when working in Excel, sometimes they cause the app to malfunction and freeze while you copy and paste.
The quickest way to check if an add-in is causing you problems is to start Excel in safe mode. Press the Windows key + R to launch a Run dialog. Then, type excel /safe and press Enter. With Excel opened in Safe mode, try to copy and paste and check if the problem persists. If Excel stops freezing, you should check the list of installed add-ins.
- To open the Excel Options menu, press Alt, followed by F and T.
- From the left pane, click Add-ins.
- Set Manage to COM Add-ins and click Go. Excel will now open the list of installed add-ins.
- Uncheck the add-ins one by one to find out which one is causing you the copy and paste issue.
- Once you find the culprit, go through the above steps again and remove the malfunctioning add-in.
Now, close Excel and open it again as usual.
6. Delete Cache Files
If Office has gathered too much cache data, you might encounter all sorts of issues, including Excel freezing when you copy and paste. To fix it, you should delete cache files. Here’s the easiest way to do it:
- Launch any Office app and go to File > Options.
- Click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings and select Trusted Add-in Catalogs.
- Check the Next time Office starts, clear all previously-started web add-ins cache option.
- Click OK.
7. Inspect Your Document
Excel comes with a tool that you can use to scan your spreadsheet and detect issues regarding hidden properties or personal information. To scan your document, open the File menu and go to Info. There, click Check for Issues and select Inspect Document.
Once it completes the inspection, Excel will provide you with the results. If there are any detected issues, click Remove All next to them.
8. Set a New Default Printer
This may be a weird trick, but it could solve the copy and paste problem. Excel constantly communicates with the default printer, and if there’s something wrong with the printer’s driver or settings, it may cause Excel to malfunction. To fix it, you should change the default printer in Windows.
9. Repair Microsoft Office
If you’ve tried changing Excel settings, and you’re still dealing with the app freezing, you can try to repair the Office installation. On a Windows computer, press the Windows key + I to bring up the Settings menu and go to Apps. There, select Microsoft Office and click Modify. In the pop-up window, select Quick Repair and click Repair to start the process.
If you are still having problems after repairing Office, you can go through the instructions again and select Online Repair, as long as you are connected to the internet.
Stop Excel From Freezing When You Copy and Paste
Hopefully, you can now copy and paste without Excel freezing every time. Most of the time, you need to tweak Excel settings to get it working again. Also, keeping Office updated and removing cache data regularly will keep the apps running smoothly.
Copy and paste is the easiest way to insert new data into your spreadsheet, but there are more ways you can use to increase the productivity of the process.
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