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Excel workbook slow to open

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I usually open files by double-clicking on them. I rarely use the File, Open route of the parent program. Imagine my surprise, when out of the blue, a file a double-clicked on did NOT instantly open!! Matter of fact, I double-clicked on it 3-4 times. Was there something wrong with my mouse? No. Other files opened normally. And wow – the file (well, files, since I tried so many times) did eventually open up. Time to troubleshoot:

  1. Open Excel directly – works as normal
  2. Go File, Open, choose Excel file – works as normal
  3. Right-click file, choose Open With – Excel – slooooow
  4. Unload any Add-ins and COM Add-ins – no change
  5. Check other Office applications (like Word) – works as normal
  6. Do an Office repair – no change
  7. Try Safe Mode – no change

At this point – I’m getting frantic. Excel is my job. I do NOT like the thought of rebuilding my PC. One last shot.

Few people realize how much Excel depends on your operating system’s default print driver**. Excel calculating slowly or acting unusual can sometimes be fixed by changing the default print driver. I decided to check, in case it had mysteriously been changed. Nope, same driver. But….. so I pick another configured printer (my TechSmith Snagit printer – any will do, even a virtual one), double-clicked a file, crossed my fingers – and Excel popped open like normal! YAY!

But, of course, I need my normal driver, so I switched my default printer back. I also turned the printer on – I’ve had it off a few days, which is unusual. And Excel still works properly. Is turning the printer back on a crucial step? I’ll know in about a week as I’ve turned it back off and will post an update if this happens again.

*phew* Catastrophe averted.

**this is NOT a setting in Excel. It’s a Windows (or Mac) system setting