Excel Ran Out Of Resources

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Have you ever encountered a message in Excel that says, “Excel ran out of resources while attempting to calculate one or more formulas”? This issue can be frustrating, especially when working on important spreadsheets.

Understanding why this happens and how to address it is crucial for maintaining productivity and avoiding data loss. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of excel ran out of resources, what causes it, and steps you can take to resolve it efficiently.

Understanding the Significance

When Excel runs out of resources, it means the program has hit limitations in processing the calculations or tasks you’ve requested. This can occur due to several reasons, such as:

Memory Limitations:

Excel has a maximum amount of memory it can use, and if your spreadsheet is too large or complex, it may exceed this limit. 

Formula Complexity:

Highly complex formulas, especially those involving large datasets or multiple calculations, can strain Excel’s capabilities.

External Factors:

Running other resource-intensive programs alongside Excel can also contribute to resource depletion.

Causes of “Excel Ran Out of Resources”

  1. Large Data Sets:

Processing extensive data sets with numerous calculations can overwhelm Excel’s memory limits.

  1. Complex Formulas:

Intricate formulas involving nested functions or large arrays can consume a significant amount of resources.

  1. Inefficient Workbook Design:

Poorly optimized workbooks with excessive formatting or unnecessary calculations can strain Excel’s performance.

  1. External Add-ins or Programs:

Compatibility issues with third-party add-ins or background programs running concurrently can impact Excel’s performance.

Step-by-Step Process to Address the Issue

  1. Optimize Workbook Design

Remove Unnecessary Formulas:

Identify and eliminate redundant or unnecessary calculations.

Reduce data Size:

Consider splitting large datasets into smaller, manageable sections.

Minimize formatting:

Limit excessive formatting, especially on large ranges.

  1. Simplify Formulas

Use Helper Columns:

Break down complex formulas into simpler parts using additional columns.

Utilize PivotTables or Power Query:

Instead of complex formulas, leverage Excel’s built-in tools for data analysis.

  1. Increase Available Memory

Close Unnecessary Programs:

Free up system resources by closing other applications running in the background.

Add More RAM:

If feasible, upgrade your computer’s memory to provide more resources for Excel.

  1. Update or Disable Add-ins

Check for Updates:

Ensure that all Excel add-ins are up to date.

Disable Add-ins:

Temporarily disable third-party add-ins to identify if they are causing the resource issue.

  1. Use 64-bit Excel Version

Switch to 64-bit:

If you’re using a 32-bit version of Excel, consider upgrading to the 64-bit version, which can handle larger datasets more efficiently.


Encountering the “Excel ran out of resources” error can disrupt your workflow, but understanding its causes and implementing effective solutions can mitigate this issue.

By optimizing your workbook design, simplifying formulas, and managing system resources, you can enhance Excel’s performance and minimize the risk of encountering resource-related errors in the future.

Remember, regular maintenance and efficient data management are key to maximizing Excel’s capabilities and ensuring smooth operation for your spreadsheets.


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