Slow Excel Response Times

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)

1

John described a situation in which Excel ran fine on his laptop when it was connected to his network, but ran very, very slowly when it was disconnected from the network.

According to reports from other Excel users, this may not be that uncommon of a situation. There are some things that should be checked to help rectify the situation. (And the interesting thing is that most of the things to check have absolutely nothing to do with Excel.) First of all, you may need to check your power management settings. This is a feature of Windows whereby different parts of your laptop can "shut down" or go into a low-power mode when they are not used for a while. Thus, if you walk away from the computer for a while, the hard drive may shut down after a bit. This can be bothersome, as any future activity that requires accessing the hard drive can be painfully slow because you need to wait for the hard drive to come back up to speed. To get around this problem, you can adjust your power management settings within Windows so that it never goes into the "sleep" mode.

Another possible reason for the slow response time of formatting or anything to do with appearance could be the printer settings for you workbooks. For some reason, Excel will look to see what kind of printer it would possibly be printing to, and it may even check the status of the printer (to see if it is online or offline). Most likely, you are printing to a network printer when connected to the network so there is no difficulty for Excel to look for printer information. When you are disconnected from the network Excel cannot find the printer. To solve this problem, you can setup a fake local printer and choose that as the printer to print to when you are away from the network.

If the same sort of slowdowns happen in other programs on the laptop, the problem may be with your network configuration. For instance, it is possible to configure the network settings on a laptop so that whenever network resources are required, the computer will attempt to make the network connection. If the connection cannot be made through normal methods, the computer will try to use a dial-up connection. All that checking can take a great deal of time that stops the computer from doing the work you expect it to do at the moment. The only solution to this problem is to check your network settings, paying particular attention to the network bindings.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2537) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Off Screen Updating

When working with macros, you can often speed up processing by turning off the updating of the screen. Best news is that it ...

Discover More

No-border Text Boxes by Default

Text boxes can be a great design element when laying out your documents. If you want those text boxes to have no borders (or ...

Discover More

Resetting a Function Key

Function keys are often used, in Word, for common operations. You can, if desired, change the way in which a function key is ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Zooming with the Keyboard

Excel doesn't provide a keyboard shortcut that allows you to zoom in or out on your workbook. It is easy, however, to create ...

Discover More

Using the Same Range Name on Different Worksheets

Defined names can be a great boon when working in a worksheet. Usually names are available throughout an entire workbook, but ...

Discover More

Disappearing Toolbar Buttons for Macros

One of the important configuration files for Excel is known as the XLB file. You should periodically make backups of this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

2016-02-17 16:00:50

NS

The section about the printer is huge!!!After reading, I made the PDF printer the default printer and no more Excel slow issues. My macro publishes several PDF files on Sharepoint and was taking nearly 20 minutes. After changing the printer, it takes 10 secs. Thank you sooooooo much!!!


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.