How to Fix Not Enough Memory Error on Excel

Do you encounter a not enough memory error on Microsoft Excel?

Processing large data is easier than ever, thanks to spreadsheet tools like Microsoft Excel. While there are more advanced systems for data analysis, Excel remains to be relevant even for big companies such as Intel, JP Morgan Chase, and others. 

In contrast, students and small businesses also take advantage of Microsoft Excel for simple school work, inventory monitoring, and sales management. 

To be accessible to everyone, Microsoft Excel doesn’t require much to run. In fact, even basic Intel Pentium processors can handle basic Excel workloads. 

However, if you start managing large workbooks with thousands of data, a simple dual-core computer might not be enough. As a result, you might encounter issues like the ‘not enough memory’ error on Excel. 

When this occurs, it basically tells you that there’s no room left for Excel to operate in your system. 

Today, we’ll show you what to do if you encounter the ‘not enough memory’ error on Microsoft Excel. 

Let’s get right into it!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

Before tweaking anything on your computer, you can try restarting your system first if you encounter performance issues and memory errors in Microsoft Excel. This should clear your system cache and resolve minor problems in your system. 

Here’s how you can restart your PC: 

  1. First, press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start Menu
  2. After that, access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, choose Restart and wait for your system to reboot. 
Restart your PC

Go back to Microsoft Excel afterward and see if the error still occurs. 

2. Limit Your Workload. 

If you are using an entry-level system to run Microsoft Excel, you might want to dial down on your workload. Instead of running multiple workbooks at once, you can identify what you need at the moment and close other tabs. 

This way, Microsoft won’t be consuming all your system memory, and you’ll have more room to perform necessary actions like copying formulas, merging cells, etc. 

3. Close Unused Applications. 

Besides limiting your workload, you can also try closing unnecessary applications running on your computer. This should leave more room for Microsoft Excel to operate, which should prevent the ‘not enough memory’ error from occurring. 

Check out the steps below to manage your background apps: 

  1. On your keyboard, press the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys to open the Task Manager
  2. Now, go to the Process tab and click on Memory. This should sort your apps based on their RAM usage. 
  3. Finally, identify the applications you don’t need and close them. 
not enough memory error on Excel

Once done, relaunch Microsoft Excel, access your worksheet, and observe if the error would still occur. 

4. Turn Off Automatic Calculation. 

You can also try disabling automatic calculation in your worksheet while working on it. This is a feature that automatically executes formulas in your file, which can consume more system resources. 

To limit your usage, turn off automatic calculations in the meantime: 

  1. On your worksheet, go to the Formula tab in the menu bar. 
  2. Next, click on Calculation Options
  3. Lastly, choose Manual.
not enough memory error on Excel

Relaunch Excel and see if the ‘not enough memory’ error still occurs. 

5. Update Microsoft Excel.  

Microsoft release frequent updates to Excel to ensure that the software is optimized for the latest hardware and systems. If you haven’t updated Excel in a while, we suggest doing so to ensure that the app is running optimally. 

Check out the guide below to update Excel: 

  1. First, launch Microsoft Excel on your computer. 
  2. After that, click on File > Accounts
  3. Lastly, access the Update Options tab and click on Update Now or Enable Updates
not enough memory error on Excel

Restart your computer to apply the changes and see if the error still occurs. 

6. Update Windows. 

You can also try updating Windows to ensure that there are no compatibility issues between Excel and your system. This should also patch any issues that can be related to RAM management, which can also affect performance. 

Here’s how you can update Windows: 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings
  2. Next, click on Update & Security
  3. Finally, go to the Windows Update tab and follow the prompts if there’s an available update. 
Windows Update

Restart your system afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

7. Turn Off Add-Ins. 

Add-ins are third-party tools that provide extra features on your worksheet. These add-ins can help you perform tasks in Excel faster. However, they can also consume system resources, which is the last thing you want when working on an entry-level system. 

If you don’t need add-ins for your current task, follow the steps below to disable them temporarily: 

  1. On your computer, launch Microsoft Excel and open your workbook. 
  2. Next, go to File > More > Options
  3. Finally, access the Add-Ins tab and ensure that your add-ins are turned off. 
not enough memory error on Excel

Go back to your worksheet and see if the ‘not enough memory’ error still occurs. 

8. Update Your Hardware. 

If you still encounter the error after doing the steps above, it might be time to consider upgrading your hardware. This simply means that your current system is not enough to handle your workflow in Microsoft Excel. 

That is it for our guide on how to fix the ‘not enough memory’ error on Excel. If you have other concerns, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to respond. 

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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