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excel 2013 64 bit memory limit

Posted on 2015-02-12
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Last Modified: 2015-07-13
I am working with a 285,000 row excel spreadsheet and am performing a number of filtering  and unique filtering operations.  This is a Windows 8.1 64-bit machine, installed with 16 GB of RAM.  Office 2013.   When doing these operations, Excel only ever uses about 2 gig of the available 16 gig of RAM.  How can I get it to use more and work through the operations faster?  It is only using a small amount of CPU and virtually no disc I/O.
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Question by:fhcdaver
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by:Rafael I
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You must be using the 32-bit version of MS Excel, which has a 2GB memory limit. Excel 64-bit does not have a memory limit, and will use as much memory that it needs that is available. The OS and hardware you have is a good start, but most software doesn't take advantage of 64-bit by default - you have to install it specifically.  

Good luck!
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by:fhcdaver
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But, when I look at the Excel-About I see Office  64 bit.  So, I assume I'm using that.  ?  What should I be looking at to confirm what I'm really running?
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VB ITS earned 500 total points
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If you're seeing 64-bit in File > Account > About Excel then you've got the 64-bit version of Office installed. As rawsteak has mentioned above, there is no memory limit when it comes to Excel 2013 64-bit workbooks.

Have you checked if the Excel file you are working with has been saved in the older .xls format and not in the newer .xlsx format?

Did you originally create this file with the 64-bit version of Excel or did you receive it from someone else? Try creating a new workbook and copy/paste the contents from the old file into the new one - monitor the memory usage and verify if Excel goes above the 2GB cap or not.
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by:fhcdaver
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A little more information:   We installed a full 64-bit version of office.  Then for a specific project, we uninstalled the 64-bit Access, and installed a 32-bit Access, but left the other Office components at the 64-bit level.  Would that have anything to do with this?

Will try the create new/copy/paste and will advise on results.
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by:VB ITS
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A little more information:   We installed a full 64-bit version of office.  Then for a specific project, we uninstalled the 64-bit Access, and installed a 32-bit Access, but left the other Office components at the 64-bit level.  Would that have anything to do with this?
If you only opted to install the 32-bit version of Access then I doubt it would have had an effect but you just never know these days with Microsoft. Only some testing with a vanilla system can verify this. Unfortunately I don't have the time to do this right now so if you're willing to wait a few weeks when I am back from my holiday then I can test it out for you?
Will try the create new/copy/paste and will advise on results.
Did you get a chance to do this yet? If so, how did the testing go?
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by:fhcdaver
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No we haven't had the chance to test it.  The person for whom this is a problem is maxed out on some other projects as well, and she won't let me near her PC until her projects are done.  

I would like to test it when her projects are done, in april.

I don't know if this ticket needs to be closed or if it can remain in suspended animation until that time.  

Dear Moderator: please advise how you wish me to handle this.

thanks
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Author Closing Comment

by:fhcdaver
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Our (human) memory has gotten a little cold.  We believe we tried re-creating the sheet using copy-paste using Excel 64-bit as described here  and things then appeared to work better.    User now saying her machine is working very well, with much larger Excel sheets than the original 285,000 row version.
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