Q: My Excel Shows "Not Enough Memory"
"Hello. Whenever I click on my Excel, I keep getting this message: 'Not enough memory to run Microsoft Excel. Please close other applications and try again'. I have done that but the error persists. Please, what do I do?!"
Microsoft Excel tends to experience memory issues more often than you think, the version of Microsoft notwithstanding. So, do not be shocked when you see the memory error message on your screen while you are trying to work with, or save, files to your Excel.
This article will show you the symptoms of this message and the different causes (to prevent the error from occurring in the future). Also, you will be given various solutions to try in getting rid of the error message, as well as comprehensive steps on how to fix any corrupt Excel file that may result from this error, using the Stellar File Repair software.
Part 1: Excel Not Enough Memory Symptoms and Causes
For computer users, you may encounter any of the following error messages while working with a file on Microsoft Excel:
- Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. Choose less data or close other applications.
- Out of Memory
- Not enough System Resources to Display Completely
- There isn't enough memory to complete this action. Try using less data or closing other applications. To increase memory availability, consider:
-Using a 64-bit version of Microsoft Excel.
-Adding memory to your device.
If you have encountered any of these messages, then it's time to get full information on the causes and solutions. You may think you have it all figured out from the instructions in the error messages but these don't always reveal the real cause of the problem because of their generic nature.
But if you keep seeing the error while performing any of the functions below, then it is time to figure out what is happening within your file:
- Copy and pasting
- Running VBA
- Inserting a row or column
- Opening or closing your workbook
- Performing calculations
- Trying to delete a single row in an excel sheet
The causes of Excel Not Enough Memory error include:
- Trying to Copy Formulas over A Large Area: If your Excel file is large or contains many features, your memory resources may just be running low. Thus, you are most likely to receive these error messages when trying to copy or fill formulas into a large area on your worksheet. The Excel versions (Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and so on) 32-bit is limited because of the setting to 2GB (or 32,760 source cells in cases where you use a smart fill option) so trying to work with large sections of the worksheet will only trigger this error.
- Problems with Calculations: The error might be related to a recalculation of formulas when you insert rows and columns, copy and paste or perform calculations. For instance, say your spreadsheet contains a million formulas on a sheet, then you insert another column. Of course, Excel will have to recalculate all the formulas in your spreadsheet to make adjustments for the newly inserted column. In this case, you may receive the error message "out of resources" depending on how complex your spreadsheet is, the bit capacity of your Excel, what formulas are involved and how your spreadsheet is built.
- Other Elements of Spreadsheet: There are other areas of Spreadsheets that can cause Excel memory errors such as complex PivotTables, excess shapes, macros, complex charts with many data points, and so on. Thus, your computer may have enough space in its local memory but excel will show "Microsoft Excel cannot open or save any more documents because there is not enough available memory or disk space". Issues like this are related to the security settings innate in Excel 2013 or Excel 2016.
- Other Applications: Another cause of the excel memory error may be that the other applications on your PC are taking up the bulk of your computer memory thereby leaving not enough memory for Excel to work with.
Part 2: How You Can Avoid Seeing This Error Message
Here are some actions to take to can avoid seeing the error message "Excel Not Enough Memory":
- Perform the Selection of Cells Gradually: First select just the part that needs filling from the whole range of the spreadsheet before you do the same for the next section of cells and continuously, one at a time. To avoid reaching the limitations of your Excel, select on the last row of the section you previously filled before moving on to the second, the third segments, and so on until you reach the end of your selection.
- Separate your Excel file into different workbooks: Here, you can split up the large Excel file you are working with into different separate workbooks before going ahead to open each one in a different instance of Excel from the other to avoid complications that come from working with large files. By implication, each of these workbooks you open will use 2GB as its memory limitation so you get to avoid reaching the memory limitation of 2GB placed on Excel. To do this with the Move or Copy feature, follow these steps:
1) Choose the sheets from the Sheet tab. Right-click and choose "Move or Copy" from the menu that pops up. You can choose several non-adjacent sheets by holding down the "Ctrl" key and clicking them one after the other. You can also choose several adjacent sheets by holding down the "Shift" key on your keyboard and selecting the first and last options on the Sheet tab.
2) In the pop-up window "Move or Copy" window, opt for "(new book)" below the "To book" list. Tick the option that says "Create a copy". Then choose "OK".
3) Your selected sheets have now been moved to a new workbook. Click on "File". Select "Save" to save your new book.
- Use F10 Instead of F9 to Refresh Worksheets: You can refresh your Excel inside the Controller Excel link using either F9 or F10 but there is a difference between using either function. Using F9 will refresh all the sheets inside the whole spreadsheet file while using F10 will only refresh the sheet you are currently on. However, in cases where the current sheet has formulae referenced in the other sheets in the whole workbook, using F10 will refresh those sheets that contain the formulae. Use F10 to refresh because it is significantly faster than F9 in fetching values from your database. F9 is slower because it works with the entire worksheet at the same time, no matter the large size. Therefore, F10 is the best key to use for specialized or complex spreadsheets.
- Use manual calculation in the Excel-link workbook: This option works for solving the memory error that arises when your Excel has to recalculate and adjust the entire workbook each time you introduce new values in the worksheet. To manually recalculate within the workbook in Excel, follow these steps:
1) Select the "File" tab
2) Click on "Options" from the list provided on the left side of the screen
3) The "Excel Options" window will appear. Select "Formulas" from the list of options, also on the left.
4) Select the "Manual" radio button which is found in the "Calculation options" section. This automatically turns on the ability of Excel to engage in the manual calculation in the worksheets. Choose "Manual" to make for automatic checking of the box "Recalculate workbook before saving". This option is important if you save worksheets frequently and do not want to wait to recalculate each time you do so. Choosing the "Recalculate workbook before saving" will ensure that the option is not disabled.
If you don't mind the option of "Recalculate workbook before saving" getting enabled as soon as manual calculation is turned on, then use this faster method to recalculate your worksheets manually:
1) Select "Formulas"
2) From the "Calculations Options" drop-down list, choose "Manual"
3) Click the "Calculate Sheet" options in the Calculation section or press "Shift" and "F9" keys together on your keyboard and the current worksheet you are working with will manually recalculate.
Video tutorial: There isn’t Enough Memory to Complete this Action in MS Excel
Part 3: How to Repair Excel Corrupted/Damaged by Various Reasons
Different software is available for repairing Microsoft Excel but we recommend the highly effective Stellar File Repair software. Stellar File Repair is a toolkit that resolves all kinds of file corruption challenges that arise in Microsoft Office application files and restores XLS/XLSX file data. This tool repairs corrupt or damaged files on Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Besides, it repairs corrupt or damaged Zip files.
Its features for repairing Excel include: recovering tables, chart sheets, formula, etc; preserving cell formatting and worksheet properties, fixing corruptions as unreadable content, unrecognizable format, and so on. Stellar File Repair works for Microsoft Excel 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.
Use the following simple steps to repair you are corrupted or damaged Excel and also, recover your data:
- First, download and install Stellar File Repair, then launch the software.
- On the home screen, choose the corrupt Excel file you wish to repair by clicking "Browse". If you don't know the path to locate the file on your system, just select "Search" to find it
- Select "Repair" to start the repair process
- After scanning, you will see a display of all the recoverable items on the left-hand panel of the software's interface. Double-click any item here to preview it.
- If you are satisfied with the result, select the "Save File" option from the main menu to save the file that has been repaired.
- You will be prompted to provide the destination you desire to save the file, select "OK"
- Afterward, an appropriate message to save the work will pop up on the screen.
Part 4: Other Common Excel Issues You May Encounter
Below are some of the common errors you may encounter as you use Excel, in addition to the already-discussed Excel memory error:
- "There was a problem connecting to the server Excel" error: This error message shows up when Excel and Windows SharePoint Services prevent spreadsheet from getting correctly imported into Windows SharePoint. You can fix this problem by creating a new list which is based on your Excel workbook, changing the Site Settings, using a ULS Viewer downloaded from Microsoft's official website.
- "There's a problem with this formula": This error is usually experienced in some Windows ten by users on their Excel. When trying to use a formula to make several different calculations, this error may prevent the function from happening. To fix this error, you can: make use of system separators, check the regional settings of your system, and change the correct spelling settings.
- "Excel Online won't calculate/won't open": The large worksheets (big grids of rows and columns) and different parts that compose the Excel application slows down the calculation and analysis of data tasks. Therefore, this error is related to these tasks, as well as the size of the file you are using. Other factors at play include multithreaded calculation and the design and build of your worksheet. You can fix the problems with your Excel Online using these solutions: examine the formulas you use, open your workbook in Excel latest version, calculate across different workbooks, as well as limit the use of volatile functions.
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