How to Fix Microsoft Excel Freezing When Copying and Pasting

Is Microsoft Excel freezing when copying and pasting data on cells?

Microsoft Excel is one of the best spreadsheet tools for PC. Depending on the file you are accessing, Excel can take up a lot of your system resources, especially when processing hundreds or thousands of cells. 

Due to this, many users encounter performance issues with Microsoft Excel when accessing their files on an entry-level system. 

Recently, there have been complaints from several users who encounter freezing problems when copying and pasting data on cells. Most of the time, this issue is caused by a hardware bottleneck. 

When processing thousands of data, Microsoft Excel will require more computing power from your CPU. If your system can’t deliver the power, you’ll start to encounter lags and other issues on Excel. 

On the other hand, this problem could also be due to third-party applications, improper configurations, or corrupted data. 

Today, we will show you what to do if Microsoft Excel is freezing when copying and pasting data. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

Performance issues on your computer are often caused by temporary bugs and glitches in your system. To fix this, you can try restarting your computer to flush out temporary data and caches and eliminate errors in the process. 

Here’s how you can restart your computer: 

  1. First, save your progress and ensure that Microsoft Excel is closed. 
  2. After that, access the Start Menu and click on the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, choose Restart and wait for your computer to reboot. 
Restart your PC

Once done, go back to Microsoft Excel and see if its performance improved. 

2. Close Unused Applications. 

Third-party applications could also be the reason you encounter freezing issues on Microsoft Excel. Your system could be running out of resources, which affects Excel’s performance. To ensure your computer has enough CPU cores and RAM, try turning off unused applications in the background. 

  1. First, launch the Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC on your keyboard. 
  2. After that, go to the Processes tab and click on CPU or RAM to sort your apps based on their usage. 
  3. Lastly, identify the applications you are not using and close them. 
Task Manager

Go back to Microsoft Excel and check if the problem is solved. 

3. Remove Conditional Formatting. 

Conditional formatting on Microsoft Excel can put a lot of load on your system when copying them from one cell to another. Due to this, we recommend disabling conditional formatting on your data before pasting them on other cells. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On Microsoft Excel, go to the Home tab. 
  2. Next, click on Conditional Formatting under the Styles tab. 
  3. After that, hover your cursor over the Clear Rules option. 
  4. Finally, select the option you need to clear. 
Microsoft Excel freezing when copying and pasting

Once done, go back to your spreadsheet and see if the problem is solved. 

4. Remove Issues on Your Document. 

Excel has a built-in tool that lets you scan your document for hidden properties or personal information that has issues. 

Check out the steps below to access it: 

  1. First, click on the File tab and choose Info. 
  2. After that, select the Check for Issues option and click on Inspect Document
Microsoft Excel freezing when copying and pasting
  1. On the next window, click on Inspect and wait for the scan to complete. 
  2. Lastly, click on Remove All if the tool detected issues. 
Microsoft Excel freezing when copying and pasting

Restart Microsoft Excel afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

5. Update Microsoft Excel. 

Some of Microsoft Excel’s resources may have gotten corrupted during use, which causes performance issues on the app. You might also be using a build that has existing issues, which explains the problem. 

To fix this, see the steps below to update Microsoft Excel: 

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel and access the File tab. 
  2. Now, go to Accounts
  3. Lastly, click on Update Options and choose Update Now or Enable Updates
Microsoft Excel freezing when copying and pasting

Relaunch Microsoft Excel and see if you’ll still encounter performance issues. 

6. Remove Excel Cache Files. 

Clearing your cached files could also help address performance issues in Microsoft Excel. This should free up space in your storage and eliminate corrupted data from your system. 

Check out the steps below to clear Excel’s cache files: 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows + R keys to open Run
  2. Next, type ‘%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Wef\’ and click OK
  3. Finally, delete all the contents of the folder. 

Once done, restart your computer and check if the problem is solved. 

7. Reinstall Microsoft Excel. 

If none of the solutions above worked for you, the last thing you can do is reinstall Microsoft Excel. This should ensure that you have the latest working copy of the app and there are no missing files on your system. 

Follow the guide below to uninstall Microsoft Excel: 

  1. On your computer, go to the Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program
  2. Look for Microsoft Excel afterward and right-click on it. 
  3. Finally, choose Uninstall and follow the prompts. 

Reinstall Microsoft Excel afterward and see if the problem is solved. 

That sums up our guide for fixing Microsoft Excel if it’s freezing when copying and pasting data. If you have other concerns, please voice them out in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to help. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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1 comment
  1. I did all of the above and more with no success, this was what got the issue resolved for me:

    Uninstall all physical printers, both local and networked, from the machine. I didn’t remove any of the non-physical printer options…don’t even know if possible or not.
    Restart computer.
    Then reinstall printers.

    Test to verify that is the problem by doing cut/copy/paste while no physical printers are installed.

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