Accessing complex Excel files stored on azure files causes Explorer.Exe to hang

Thomas O'Beid 0 Reputation points

Hello, I have a user connected to an azure file share via the storage key account. When they try to access a large Excel files with many links in it (some of this links are broken and not working) the file will launch but the file Explorer will become unresponsive, and eventually upon hit the exit button enough will crash and restart Explorer.exe. I can open other file Explorer windows which will work fine but that original windows will stay frozen and crash the entire Explorer when it finally crashes. Please help, I've tried everything I can find online.

Azure Files
Azure Files
An Azure service that offers file shares in the cloud.
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A family of Microsoft spreadsheet software with tools for analyzing, charting, and communicating data.
1,620 questions
Windows 11
Windows 11
A Microsoft operating system designed for productivity, creativity, and ease of use.
8,687 questions
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2 answers

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  1. Limitless Technology 44,071 Reputation points


    1. Sometimes, add-ins can cause problems. To determine, if add-in is a problem start your application in safe mode and see if problem has gone away.

    To start in Safe Mode -

    Hold CTRL key and click on application icon and don't release the CTRL key till it asks you for Safe mode confirmation.

    If yes, then start application normally and disable add-ins one by one and start application again every time you disable an add-in to determine the culprit add-in.

    To disable add-in > File > Options > Add-ins > Down below you have Manage: Com Add-in : Press Go > Untick the Add-ins to disable and tick to enable them

    1. Please look into C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel (replace user name with your user name, you can directly reach here by copy and pasting following without quotes in Explorer address bar - "%appdata%\Microsoft\Excel") and see if is contains few files / folders. Move those files to some other location (i.e create a backup of those files / folders and delete all files / folders from here). Hence, make Excel folder blank.

    Now open Excel and see if the problem disappears or not.

    Note - If the above path is not applicable for your installation, you need to find XLSTART path. Excel folder contains XLSTART folder in itself (In case, your XLSTART path is not in Appdata)

    Open Excel > ALT+F11 > If Immediate Window is not visible, type CTRL+G. Same can be also be accessed through View > Immediate Window > Type "? application.StartupPath" without quotes and press enter > You will have your path below.

    1. Try repairing your office installation (Quick repair is good enough). Try repairing your Office installation. First try Quick Repair (takes 5 - 10 mins) , if that doesn't help then try Online Repair (Takes more than 30 mins but less than 1 hour in general)

    1. Sometimes, this is caused due to excel not being able to access the default printer. Close all office applications and change your default printer through Start > Devices and Printers to another printer. It may be some physical one or One Note or XPS or PDF or anything else. If this is the problem, then you will need to update your printer driver for default printer.
    2. Many third party applications also cause the problem like Tuneup Utilities, Abby Finereader, Kaspersky Anti Virus etc. See if you have any of them installed. Close them one by one and see whether it helps.
    3. File > Options > Advanced - In General section (go very much down in Advanced), check "Ignore Other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)". Close and re-start the Excel. See whether you are getting error. If still getting error, uncheck "Ignore Other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)". Close and re-start Excel again.
    4. You may try to disable the Hardware Graphic Acceleration and verify the result:

    File > Options > Advanced > Under the Display section, check the box for 'Disable hardware graphics acceleration' > Click ok and restart Excel.

    1. Login to Windows with a new user profile and see if problem is resolved.

    --If the reply is helpful, please Upvote and Accept as answer--

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  2. Tanay Prasad 2,115 Reputation points


    Sometimes when a large Excel file with many broken links is opened, Excel may try to update those links and this can cause the file to become unresponsive or crash.

    Here are some steps you can try-

    1. When a large Excel file with many broken links is opened, Excel may try to update those links and this can cause the file to become unresponsive or crash.
    2. Disable Preview pane in File Explorer: If the issue is with File Explorer becoming unresponsive, you can try disabling the Preview pane in File Explorer. To do this, open File Explorer, go to View > Preview pane, and uncheck the option.
    3. Use a different file viewer: If the issue persists, you can try using a different file viewer to open the Excel file. There are many third-party file viewers available that may be able to handle large Excel files with broken links better than Excel.

    These may not be something that you prefer, but you can try these to see if this is really the case of the crash.

    Best Regards.

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