If you cannot close an Excel worksheet on Windows 11/10, the solutions provided in this article will help you fix the problem. According to the users, when they click on the red cross button on the top right side, Excel won’t close. Some users received error messages while closing the Excel file, whereas, for some users, nothing happens when they click on the close button. There might be several causes of this issue. Let’s talk about the possible solutions.
The error messages that some users received while closing Microsoft Excel are:
Microsoft Excel is searching for a solution.
Microsoft Excel is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action.
Cannot close Excel on Windows 11/10
If you cannot close Excel on your Windows 11/10 PC, use the solutions provided below to fix the issue:
- Force close Excel and restart it
- Install Office updates
- Open Excel in Safe Mode
- Change your default printer
- Add a Close button
- Perform an online repair
- Uninstall and reinstall Office
Let’s see all these fixes in detail.
Excel won’t close when clicking “x” button
1] Force close Excel and restart it
You can use the Task Manager to force close programs. Close Excel by using the Task Manager and restart it. Before proceeding, save your work. Go through the following instructions:
- Open the Task Manager.
- Select the Processes tab.
- Right-click on Microsoft Excel and select End task.
After force-closing Excel, open it again and see if the issue persists.
2] Install Office Updates
Outdated applications may contain bugs due to which users experience issues. Make sure that you are using the latest version of Microsoft Office. Check for Office updates manually. If updates are available install them.
3] Open Excel in Safe Mode
It is also possible that an add-in is interfering with Excel and preventing it from being closed. To confirm this, open Excel in Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, some add-ins remain disabled. If the problem does not occur in Safe Mode, one of the installed add-ins is the culprit. Now, close Excel and open it in normal mode. Now, disable the installed add-ins one by one to identify the problematic add-in. The following steps will help you with that:
- Open Excel in normal mode.
- Open an existing file or create a new one.
- Go to “File > Options > Add-Ins.”
- Select COM Add-ins in the drop-down and click Go.
- Uncheck one of the available add-ins to disable it and click OK.
- After disabling each add-in, close the Excel file.
Repeat the above-mentioned steps until you find the problematic add-in. Once you find the problematic add-in, remove it and find its alternative.
4] Change your default printer
According to the reports, changing the default printer worked for many users. You should also try this and see if it helps. Sometimes, Microsoft Office applications are unable to access the default printer due to which users can experience several issues. In this case, changing the default printer can fix the problem.
Change your default printer and select Microsoft XPS Document Writer as your default printer. It should work. If Microsoft XPS Document Writer is missing on your computer, you have to install it via the Optional Features. The following instructions will help you with that:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select Category in the View by mode.
- Go to “Programs > Programs and Features.”
- Click on the Turn Windows features on or off link on the left side.
- In the Windows Features, select the Microsoft XPS Document Writer checkbox and click OK.
The above steps will install Microsoft XPS Document Writer on your system. After installing it, you will be able to set it as your default printer.
5] Add a Close button
If you cannot close Excel by clicking on the red cross button on the top right side, you can add a Close button on the Excel ribbon to close your Excel files. The following steps will guide you on how to add a Close button on the Excel ribbon.
- Open Microsoft Excel.
- Open an existing file or create a new one.
- Go to “File > Options.”
- Select the Customize Ribbon category from the left side.
- Select Main Tabs in the drop-down under the Customize the Ribbon section.
- Select Home and click on the New Group button available at the bottom.
- Select the newly created custom group and rename it (if you want) by clicking on the Rename button at the bottom. I renamed it Close.
- Now, select All commands in the drop-down under the “Choose commands from” section on the left side.
- Scroll down and select Close.
- Click Add to add the Close button in the custom group you created.
- Click OK to save the changes.
The above steps will add the Close button in the Home tab on the Excel ribbon (see the above screenshot). Now, whenever you click on this Close button, Excel will close the currently opened file. Do note that this button will not close the entire Microsoft Excel app.
6] Perform an online repair
If the problem still persists, we suggest you repair Microsoft Office. Running an online repair is helpful when Office applications start giving issues and errors. The process will take some time because Microsoft Office downloads the required files to repair the program.
7] Uninstall and reinstall Office
If none of the above fixes helped, uninstall Microsoft Office and install it again. Before you proceed, make sure that you have the Office activation key. You will require this key to activate Office after installing it again. This should help.
Read: Can’t type numbers or enter data into Excel cell.
How do I fix Excel not responding in Windows 11?
If Excel freezes, crashes, or stops responding, the problem might be associated with a third-party add-in. You should start Excel in Safe Mode and see if the issue persists. Also, make sure that the Microsoft Office application is up to date. Outdated software may cause some issues due to bugs.
Why is Excel not letting me close?
If you are not able to close Microsoft Excel, first, see if Excel is showing an error message while closing it. If yes, troubleshoot it accordingly. If you click on the red cross button on the top right side but Excel won’t close, you should check if the problem is occurring due to an add-in or not. For this, you have to start Excel in Safe Mode. Other fixes that you can try to fix the issue include updating Microsoft Office manually, repairing Microsoft Office, uninstalling and reinstalling Office, etc.
Read next: Arrows keys not working in Microsoft Excel.