Microsoft Excel is a popular program used for creating worksheets, data entry operations, creating graphs and charts, and so on. It helps the users to organize their data and perform analysis on this data. It has been seen that memory issues are common with all versions of the Excel app. Many users have reported seeing the error message “Not enough memory to run Microsoft Excel. Please close other applications and try again.” while trying to open Excel on their Windows PC. Once this error is displayed, users are not able to use MS Excel as the spreadsheets won’t open. Some users have reported seeing this error while opening an Excel file downloaded from any email client or at the time of attaching the file in mails.
Are you confronting this memory error with Excel on your Windows 11 PC? Then, go ahead and read this article. Below you will find some methods listed that can be used to fix the “Not enough memory to run Microsoft Excel” error on Windows 11.
Fix 1 – Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration
1. Launch Excel.
Click on File –> Options.
2. Go to the Advanced tab in the Excel Options window.
Look for the section named Display on the right.
Here, check the box associated with Disable hardware graphics acceleration.
Click on OK.
3. Close Excel and restart it.
Check if the error Not enough memory to run Excel is resolved.
Fix 2 – Clear the Excel Folder
We know that Excel or any other Microsoft Office app creates an unsaved copy of the file in the Excel folder when you create a new Excel sheet or make changes to an already existing sheet. This helps to recover the unsaved document when either your system or Excel app crashes. These files are temporarily stored in the AppData Roaming folder till the worksheet is saved by the user. Other than these unsaved files, temporary cache files may also be created in this folder.
1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
Type %appdata%\Microsoft\Excel and hit the Enter key to go to the Excel folder in the Roaming folder within AppData.
2. Check if this folder contains any files or folders.
Press Ctrl + A to select all the files/folders here.
Then, move all the selected files and folders to another location on your computer.
After you have created a backup of the existing files/folders , Just delete the files/folders from the Excel folder. This makes the Excel folder empty.
3. Open the problematic Excel file and check if the problem is resolved or not.
Note: To find the path to the Excel folder, you need to find the XLSTART path. The XLSTART folder is present within the Excel folder itself. To find this path perform the steps below
- Open the Excel application with a blank workbook.
- Press Alt + F11 key combination to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Application window.
- Here, press Ctrl + G to open the Immediate Window if it is not visible at the bottom. Else, you can go to the View menu and choose the option Immediate Window.
- In the Immediate Window, type “? application.StartupPath” without the quotes and hit Enter.
- The path will be displayed below the command that you typed.
Fix 3 – Disable Excel Add-ins
Add-ins that are installed on Excel can create these memory issues. In order to identify the add-in that is causing this error, you need to open Excel in the safe mode to see whether Excel opens without any error. If the issue is resolved, then you need to disable the add-ins one at a time till the error is resolved.
1. Hit the Windows Start button on the taskbar and type Excel.
Now, hold down the Ctrl key while you click on the Excel app in the search result until you see a dialog pop up.
Click on Yes in the dialog that asks whether you want to start Microsoft Excel in safe mode.
2. If you don’t see the error, then click on the File tab.
Then, click on the Options on the left panel.
3. In the Excel Options window, click on the Add-ins tab.
On the right side, use the dropdown next to Manage and choose the option COM Add-ins.
Next, click on the Go button.
4. You will see a list of Add-ins in the COM Add-ins window.
Uncheck all the add-ins in this list and click on OK.
Now, all the add-ins are disabled.
5. Relaunch Excel in normal mode and check if the error is fixed.
If yes, then go back to the Add-ins and select one add-in at a time to check which Add-in was causing this error for you.
After you find the add-in that is the culprit, remove it from MS Excel.
Fix 4 – Unblock the Excel File
If this error is seen with Excel files that are downloaded either from the internet or received in your Outlook mail or any other email client, then you need to unblock them.
1. Go to the location of the Excel file.
Right-click on this file and choose the option Properties.
2. In the Properties window, make sure that you select the General tab.
At the bottom, check the box next to the option Unblock in the Security section.
Click on Apply and then on OK.
3. Check if you are able to open the Excel file without any errors.
Fix 5 – Change Trust Center Settings
Even after unblocking the file, if you are seeing the Not enough memory error in MS Excel, then try changing the Trust Center Settings and check if it helps.
1. Tap on the Windows (Start button) in your taskbar.
Type Excel in the Windows search box.
Click on Excel in the search result to open the Microsoft Excel application.
2. Click on the Options tab at the bottom on the left side.
In the Options window, select the Trust Center tab.
On the right side, click on the Trust Center Settings… button.
3. This opens up the Trust Center window.
Here, choose the Protected View tab on the left panel.
On the right, uncheck all the options in the Protected View section.
Then, click on the OK button to save the Trust Center Settings.
4. Now, go back to the Trust Center Settings again as mentioned in Step 2.
Select the File Block Settings tab in the Trust Center.
Make sure to uncheck all the boxes in the Open column for all the Excel file types listed there.
Then, click on OK.
5. Close the excel application.
Try to open the problematic Excel file and check if the error is fixed.
Fix 6 – Log in to Windows with New User Profile
1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
Type ms-settings:accounts and hit Enter to open the Accounts Settings page.
2. Select the box labeled Family & other users.
Click on Add account button associated with Add other user in the Other users section.
3. This opens up the Microsoft Account window asking for information regarding the sign-in.
In this window, click on the link I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
Next, click on Add a user without a Microsoft account.
Enter all the details required to create a new user on this page (username, password, and security question).
Click on Next to complete the local account creation process.
4. After you have created a new user profile, log out from your current account.
Login again using the newly created profile from the Windows lock screen.
Check if the problem is solved.
Fix 7 – Turn Off Cortana
1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
On the left pane, choose the Apps tab.
Move over to the right and click on the box labeled Apps & features.
2. On the Apps & features page, type the text Cortana in the textbox below the App list.
Now, click on the three-dot menu associated with the Cortana app and select Advanced options.
3. On the Advanced options page, scroll and locate the section named Runs at log-in.
Here, turn off the toggle below Cortana to disable it.
4. Restart your computer.
Open the Excel file and see if the error is resolved.
Fix 8 – Change the Default Printer
1. Tap on the Windows key on your keyboard and type printers in the search box.
Click on Printers & scanners in the search results displayed.
2. On the Printers & scanners page a list of all the printers that are added to your computer will be displayed.
Select the printer that you want to set as default.
On the page of the selected printer, click on the Set as default button to set that particular printer as the default.
Any virtual printer in the list like Microsoft Print to PDF or Microsoft XPS Document Writer can also be set as the default.
3. After the default printer is changed, check if the error still persists.
Fix 9 – Close any Non-Essential Background Applications
This is one of the most obvious solutions as it is indicated in the error message to close other applications. As indicated in the error message, you can try closing other background applications on your PC that are not required at that moment.
1. Press the Windows + X key combination to open the context menu for the Start button.
In the menu that pops open, click on Task Manager.
2. Once the Task Manager opens, go to the Process tab.
Look for the applications that need to be closed and are not essential.
Right-click on this application and select the option End Task.
In the same way, end all the non-essential applications currently running.
3. Open your Excel file and check if the problem is fixed.
Fix 10 – Run Excel with Administrative Privileges
1. Click on the Windows Start button on your taskbar.
Type Excel in the search box.
Right-click on the Excel app shortcut and select the option Run as administrator.
Check if Excel opens without memory errors.
2. If this fixes the error on your system, then follow the steps to make Excel always run as administrator.
Search for Excel using the Windows search bar as in Step 1.
Then, right-click on the Excel icon and choose Open file location.
In this folder, right-click on the Excel shortcut and again select the option Open file location.
This takes you to the EXCEL.EXE file in the C drive. The path of EXCEL.EXE on our system is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16.
Right-click on this file and choose Properties.
In the Properties window, go to the Compatibility tab.
Here, check the box next to Run this program as an administrator in the Settings section.
Click on Apply and then on OK to apply the settings for the current user.
Launch your Excel file and check if the file opens without any error.
Fix 11 – Toggle the Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) Mode
1. Open MS Excel.
Go to the File Menu.
Select Options in the left pane.
2. In the Excel Options window, click on the Advanced tab.
Scroll down on the right side until you reach the General section.
Here, check the box next to the option Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).
Click on OK.
Close the Excel application.
3. Relaunch Excel.
Go to the Advanced tab in the Excel Options window as mentioned above.
Now, uncheck the option Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) to disable it.
Click on OK.
Exit and restart Microsoft Excel.
You should not see the error anymore.
Fix 12 – Update Windows
1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
On this page, select the Windows Update tab in the left panel.
2. Move over to the right side and click on the Check for Updates button.
Windows will start the search for updates and download if there is any update available.
Once the Windows update process finishes, restart your computer and check for the error with the problematic Excel file.
Fix 13 – Get Your Microsoft Office Updated
1. Open any MS Office app either Excel or Word or Powerpoint.
Click on the Account tab at the bottom in the left pane.
Now, click on the box Update Options next to Office Updates.
In the context menu that opens, select Update Now.
2. Office starts searching for any latest updates.
If any new updates to Office are found, then save and close any ongoing task to start the update.
Once the update completes, check if the problem is resolved.
Fix 14 – Repair Microsoft Office
1. Press Windows + R to open the run dialog.
Type ms-settings:appsfeatures and hit Enter to open Apps & features.
2. On this page, type Microsoft Office/Microsoft 365 (based on the version you are using) in the textbox below App list.
Once the search results are displayed, click on the three-dot menu at the right end of the Microsoft 365 app and select Modify.
3. The repair window pops open asking how would you like to repair Office.
Here, select the option Quick Repair.
Click on the Repair button.
At last, again click on the Repair button to start the process.
Quick Repair runs faster but only replaces the corrupted Office files.
4. Restart your PC and check if the problem is fixed.
If the error is still seen, then perform an Online Repair by selecting the option Online Repair in Step 3 above and continue with the process. This is a long process but needs an internet connection as it does an uninstall and complete repair of Office.
Thanks for reading. We hope that you are now able to launch Excel without any errors.
Did you find the fixes in this article informative and helpful in resolving the Not Enough Memory to Run Microsoft Excel error on your Windows 11 PC? Please let us know the fix that worked for you in the comments below.
A software engineer turned into an educator with vast teaching experience in universities. Currently working towards my passion for writing.