Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action Error: Fix

Many users report of the “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error in Windows 11/10 when using Office apps. For instance, you may encounter this error as you try to open Excel using a BI launchpad or when you try to run a VBA script.


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OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) technology was introduced by Microsoft to help the Office apps to communicate with other programs. Using this technology, one editing program to share a section of a document with other programs and then import the section of the document or bring it back with the other program’s content.

So, for instance, if you are working on Excel and it tries to interact with Word, it will send a message to OLE object and will wait till it receives a response from Word. But, when the response is delayed beyond the required time, you will see the “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error.

The error can pop up either due to the DDE protocol which is turned off in Excel, when the Office suite installation is corrupt,if you have Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker as the add-in and it’s interfering with Excel, or if the Internet Explorer is conflicting with Excel. While closing the Excel completely, restarting your computer and starting all over again can help, you can also try the below methods in case, it does not.

Method 1: By Allowing Other Applications that Use DDE

 

Step 1: Open Excel and go to the File tab on the upper left of the screen.

 

Open Excel File Tab

 

Step 2: Select Options from the File menu.

 

File Menu Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options window, go to the left side and click on Advanced. Now, on the right side, scroll down and find the General section.

Here, check the box next to Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).

Press OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Ignore Other Apps Min

 

 

 

Now, go back and try the same operation which you were doing previously and see if the error is still there. If you still see the error, try next method.

Method 2: Disable all add-ins

Step 1: Open Excel and go to the File tab on the upper left of the screen.


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Open Excel File Tab

 

Step 2: Select Options from the File menu.

 

File Menu Options

 

Step 3: – Now, Select Add-ins from left side menu.

Step 4: Now, choose Go near manage excel add-ins.

Screenshot 2022 05 30 182924 Min

 

Step 5: Now, Uncheck all the add-ins available and click OK.

Screenshot 2022 05 30 183153 Min

 

Now, try again.

Method 3: Turn Off Compatibility Mode of Excel

 

Step 1: Go to the MS Excel app on your desktop, right-click on it and select Properties from the right-click menu.

 

Desktop Ms Excel Right Click Properties

 

Step 2: In the Microsoft Excel Properties dialogue box, go to the Compatibility tab. Now, navigate to the Compatibility mode section and uncheck the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode for.

Press Apply and then OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Excel Properties Compatibility Tab Run This Program In Compatibility Mode For Uncheck Apply Ok

 

Method 4: By Removing Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker

 

Adobe acrobat PDFMaker is known to have incompatibility issues with the MS Excel. Therefore. it’s advised to diable the add-in. Let’s see how.

 

Step 1: Launch Excel and navigate to the File tab on the extreme upper left of the sheet.

 

Open Excel File Tab

 

Step 2: From the File menu, select Options.

 

File Menu Options

 

Step 3: In the Excel Options dialogue box, click on Add-Ins on the left side of the pane.

Now, go to the right side of the window and find the Manage option towards the bottom. Select COM Add-ins from the drop-down next to it and press the Go button.

 

Excel Options Add Ins Manage Com Add Ins Go

 

Step 4: Now, in the COM Add-Ins box that pops up, uncheck the Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM Addin and press OK to save the changes and exit.

 

Now, simply reboot your PC and try to open Excel again or run the VBA script to check if the error is gone. If the problem still persists, try the 2nd method.

Method 5: By Ending the Internet Explorer Process

 

Step 1: Navigate to the Taskbar and right-click on it. Select Task Manager from the context menu.

 

Taskbar Right Click Task Manager

 

Step 2: In the Task Manager window, under the Processes tab, find and select the Internet Explorer Process. Then press the End Task button on the bottom left of the window.

 

Task Manager Processes Internet Explorer End Task

 

Go back to Excel and see if the error is gone. If you still encounter the error, try the 4th method.

Method 6: By Restricting the Excel Application Messaging

 

Try this method if you encounter the “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error while running a VBA script. However, this is just a workaround and does not solve the issue itself. But, it can get you through by running the VBA script for the moment and by blocking the error message. Here’s how to go about it.

 

Step 1: Open an Excel sheet and press the Alt key + F11 together on your keyboard to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications editor window.

 

Step 2: In the Project – VBA Project bar on the left, find ThisWorkbook under Microsoft Excel Objects.

Right-click on it, go to Insert in the right-click menu and from the sub-menu, select Module.

 

Vba Editor Project Bar Microsoft Excel Objects Thisworkbook Right Click Insert Module

 

Step 3: It creates a new Module on the right side of the pane. Copy the below code and paste it into the module:

 

Private Declare Function CoRegisterMessageFilter Lib "ole32" (ByVal IFilterIn As Long, ByRef PreviousFilter) As Long

Public Sub KillMessageFilter()

Dim IMsgFilter As Long

CoRegisterMessageFilter 0&, IMsgFilter

End Sub

Public Sub RestoreMessageFilter()

Dim IMsgFilter As Long

CoRegisterMessageFilter IMsgFilter, IMsgFilter

End Sub

New Module Copy & Paste Vba Code


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Step 4: Alternatively, you can also copy the below copy the below code and paste it in the new module. Either of the codes will work.

 

Sub CreateXYZ()

Dim wdApp As Object

Dim wd As Object

On Error Resume Next

Set wdApp = GetObject(, "Word.Application")

If Err.Number <> 0 Then

Set wdApp = CreateObject("Word.Application")

End If

On Error GoTo 0

Set wd = wdApp.Documents.Open(ThisWorkbook.Path & Application.PathSeparator & "XYZ template.docm")

wdApp.Visible = True

Range("A1:B10").CopyPicture xlScreen

wd.Range.Paste

End Sub

 

Alternative Code New Module Copy And Paste

 

Step 5: Now, go to the File tab on the upper left corner of the editor and select Save Book1.

 

Vba Editor File Tab Save Book1

 

Step 6: After you press the Save button, you will sees prompt that says, The following features cannot be saved in macro-free workbooks.

Press the No button.

 

Prompt The Following Features Cannot Be Saved In Macro Free Workbooks No

 

Step 7: Now, select the location where you want to save this workbook, create a suitable File name, and set the Save as type field as Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook.

Click the Save button to save the new VBA workbook.

 

Select Location Name The File Save As Type Excel Macro Enabled Workbook Save

 


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Step 8: Once you have saved the VBA file, now, close the editor and go back to the Excel workbook. Here, press Alt +  F8 keys together on your keyboard. From the Macro dialogue box, select the Macro that you just created and press the Run button.

Now that you have successfully completed the process, you should no more see the error. But, if you still find the error popping up, try the 5th method.

You can try repeating the previous operation in your Excel and you should no more see the “Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action” error in your Windows PC while running a VBA script or opening Excel.

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