Microsoft Excel takes long time opening documents.

Greetings All!

I have been working on a particular user's issue with Excel for some time now and have exhausted pretty much any leads I can find or think of and would like to pose this to the group. This issue has been consistent even though we changed out a good laptop for a newer and better build; so we can rule out (I think) the PC.

The PC is a Dell Latitude 3550, Intel i5-5200 2.2GHz Processor, 8GB Memory, 64-bit Windows 7 Professional and the version of Excel in question is Office 365 (2016).

The problem is that it takes a very long time to open documents. Documents will also close down (closing all of Excel down with it) leaving no error messages and nothing in the Event Viewer that would aid in troubleshooting. While documents open, there is a message which I am not sure whether it is relevant that states "Calculating (4 processor(s))". This only affects this user. No one else has these troubles working with Excel documents. The user has the same network rights as anyone else on the staff.

The problem persists whether she opens a document residing on her computer or a network share. It happens whether she is in the office or at home connected via VPN.

Here is what we have done to troubleshoot (none of which were done for any particular reason other than to rule out):
  1. Repair Office
  2. Remove Office/Reinstall
  3. Scan for Virus/Malware/Spyware
  4. Ensure all network locations set as Trusted Locations
  5. Ultimately, Performed factory Restore on NEW PC and manually loaded everything back into PC
  6. Dropped new Ethernet cable run from Network Switch to PC
  7. Windows Updates
  8. Office Updates
  9. Drivers all updated
  10. Created new user on Domain
  11. Created new PC profile

PCs use Microsoft Security Essentials; Servers use Trend-Micro. None of my other 100+ users have this issue. The issue cannot be duplicated by any other user. I'm pretty stumped and ready for some fresh opinions. I appreciate any help on this subject. Thank You,

Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Do all users have the same office version? Does she have extra add-ons? Try disabling all.
Edward PamiasTeam Lead RRS DeskCommented:
run Excel in safe mode see if that speeds things up.
Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAuthor Commented:
We have a split as far as versions as we are transitioning. So, that being said, we have users on OFC365 and users on Office 2007 Enterprise.

I have tried running excel with no add-ons and it makes no difference.

I am planning a "tactics" session this week by trying any new solutions on her PC. I will add Safe-Mode to that list to check the behavior. She is an accounting controller and they are working on Month-End from Feb so I cannot get on her work station today. Will post back the Safe-Mode result. Thanks,
Ensure Business Longevity with As-A-Service

Using the as-a-service approach for your business model allows you to grow your revenue stream with new practice areas, without forcing you to part ways with existing clients just because they don’t fit the mold of your new service offerings.

Edward PamiasTeam Lead RRS DeskCommented:
Also, in the past I found the printer drivers may cause the same issues with Excel files opening. Try changing the driver and see if that helps.
Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAuthor Commented:
I did just ask her to try the Safe-Mode option and as we did, the files take just as long to open in Safe-Mode as they do in regular mode. I am hoping to get dedicated time with her PC tomorrow in which case, I will look to be sure all of her printer drivers are up to date. I will then report back. Thank You,
Edward PamiasTeam Lead RRS DeskCommented:
For the printer driver if she is using PCL 6 try PCL 5 or vice versa.
Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAuthor Commented:
Regarding the printer driver, I usually try and use the latest PCL6 and never the PCL5. I do not have a particular reason for doing this, I just think/thought PCL6 was more up to date and the better option to use. Additionally, the printers are Kyocera and they have a setup program that installs everything necessary automatically (I know..leaving it to the manufacturer to do the right thing..crazy). That being said, i will need to see what Kyocera is dishing as far as the PCL.
Does this happen also with local files? I remember previous office versions to have a problem with excel loaging network files, there was ms fix it patch for this.
Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAuthor Commented:
Arana - Yes, it does not matter whether the file is on the network or on the PC. Thank You,
Are the excel documents password protected? office takes more time to open locked (protected) files than unprotected ones.

hmm regarding the "Calculating (4 processor(s))".
and try again.

Some other things to try (a lot actually), in order of time it will take you to accomplish, one or the other should work, no need to try them all at same time:

  • Software:
  • I don't think you should have this in recent versions of office but not sure, in case you do: STOP /Disable MDM (machine debug manager service) in case you have it running, this one slows everything and i mean EVERYTHING.
    • Temporary Disable antivirus, and try. some of them analyze the office files for macros and this is specially slow in protected office documents not only the decryption but they are also ZIP files, may take a while before the antivirus gives a green light to open.
    • Are the files in a read only share? In this cases excel might need to create a temporary copy and if it is a huge file you will have delay (that together with the decryption, decompressing etc).
    • The printer spooler may be corrupted, go to the folder and clear its contents: --
    • Clearing the Print Spooler
    • Try a to set a PDF printer as default, that should discard driver issues.
    • Open Resource monitor  and try to see if there is some
    •     Wait Chain
    •       hogging CPU , if there is then it will most likely be something that has to do with printer drivers. (many 64 bit drivers are not FULLY compatible with 64bit windows)
    • Try login in with local account with network cable unplugged. (just making sure it is not an AD or domain trust issue with network or credential/authentication etc).
    • Uninstall (I know AGAIN right? =P ), and be sure there are no traces of current Office installation , try an earlier version of office (2007) , see if problem persists.
    • Try the 32 bit version of office (or 64bit depending on which one you are using now) and see if it still happens (this one discards issues with .
    • CLONE an already working PC with a disk imaging utility , this will help you determine if it is a software /installation problem  (I like
    • macrium
    • it's free but that's up to you).
  • Hardware
    • Compare the bios settings (bios version even) with another similar PC that is not having the issues and modify accordingly.
    • SWAP the HDD with one of the other PCs that are working fine, see results, discard a mainboard/hardware/memory problem.
Joel MichalecTechnology ManagerAuthor Commented:
Good Morning All!

We seemed to have found the problem. What we were not told that we found out during our diagnostics is that there were Circular errors in this (and maybe other sheets). After checking with the staff member, we were assured there were no calculation errors in this sheet, so we made a copy of the sheet and saved it to another location. We then opened the document, ran the checker tool and told it to ignore the errors. We then saved that copy and closed everything out and re-booted the machine and now the document that we experimented with opens up without the processors calculating while the original maintains the same issue.

We also opened other files that ranged from 3MB to 50MB in size without incident so it seems that not all documents in Excel take this long to open as we were told. Thank you EVERYONE for your tips, advice and suggestions. I hope if anyone else stumbles upon this issue they can find what we did to be valuable.


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Edward PamiasTeam Lead RRS DeskCommented:
I am giving the solution to the author since he fixed the issue himself, and assisted points to Arana for supplying great suggestions in her comments.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Excel

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.