How to Restart Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshoot Effectively

How to Restart Excel

Sometimes, Excel acts up, and the only way to get it working again is to give it a fresh start. Restarting Excel is pretty simple and can be done in just a few steps. You’ll close the program completely and then open it again, which often solves common glitches and performance issues. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps in detail.

How to Restart Excel

Restarting Excel can help resolve issues like slow performance, unresponsive features, or error messages. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Close Excel

Save your work, and then close the Excel application by clicking the "X" button in the top-right corner of the window.

Make sure to save any open documents to avoid losing your work. If Excel is unresponsive, you can use the Task Manager to force it to close.

Step 2: Open Task Manager

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Task Manager.

Task Manager helps you see all running programs and processes. If Excel is still running in the background, you can end the task here to ensure it fully closes.

Step 3: End the Excel Process

In Task Manager, find "Microsoft Excel" in the list, click on it, and then click "End Task."

This ensures that Excel is completely shut down. Sometimes, even after closing the window, Excel may still run in the background, causing issues when you try to reopen it.

Step 4: Restart Your Computer (Optional)

If Excel is still not behaving properly, try restarting your whole computer.

A full restart helps clear any lingering issues that might be affecting Excel. Sometimes, other programs or background processes can interfere with Excel.

Step 5: Open Excel Again

After closing Excel or restarting your computer, open Excel again from your Start menu or desktop shortcut.

Reopening Excel should load it fresh, without the issues that were causing problems before. Your application should now run smoothly.

Once you’ve completed these steps, Excel should be running as good as new. You should notice improved performance, responsiveness, and fewer error messages.

Tips for Restarting Excel

  • Save Frequently: Always save your work before attempting to close Excel to prevent data loss.
  • Check for Updates: Keeping your Excel updated can fix bugs and improve performance.
  • Disable Add-Ins: Sometimes, third-party add-ins can cause issues. Disable them if Excel keeps freezing.
  • Clear Temporary Files: Deleting temporary files can help Excel run more smoothly.
  • Use Safe Mode: Open Excel in Safe Mode if it crashes on startup. This disables add-ins and might solve the issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Excel not responding?

Excel might not be responding due to a large file size, outdated software, or conflicting add-ins. Restarting Excel can often resolve this issue.

Can I restart Excel without closing other programs?

Yes, you can restart just Excel without closing other programs. Follow the steps to close Excel and reopen it without affecting other applications.

How do I open Task Manager?

You can open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard. Alternatively, right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the menu.

What if Excel still doesn’t work after restarting?

If restarting Excel doesn’t fix the problem, try restarting your computer or reinstalling Excel. Ensure your system and Excel are up to date.

Is there a shortcut to restart Excel?

There isn’t a direct shortcut to restart Excel, but you can quickly close it with Alt + F4 and reopen it from your Start menu or desktop shortcut.


  1. Close Excel: Save work, then click "X."
  2. Open Task Manager: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  3. End the Excel Process: Find and end "Microsoft Excel" in Task Manager.
  4. Restart Your Computer: Optional, but helpful.
  5. Open Excel Again: Launch from Start menu or shortcut.


Restarting Excel is a simple yet effective way to fix many common issues. Whether it’s slow performance, freezing, or error messages, a quick restart often does the trick.

Keep these steps in mind, and don’t forget the extra tips to keep your Excel running smoothly. Always save your work before closing the application, and consider updating or disabling add-ins if problems persist.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be back to crunching numbers and creating charts in no time. If you encounter further issues, don’t hesitate to explore more advanced troubleshooting or seek help from online communities. Happy Excel-ing!

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