Visio Shape Styles spinning and Visio Not Responding

HD GSA 6 Reputation points

Hello everyone,

I have this issue:


1) I start Visio
2) Select default document template "Basic Diagram"
3) In this fresh document I add a basic shape to page
4) "Shape Styles" ribbon shows SPINNING DOTS on all thumbnails and Visio goes into freeze "Not Responding"

5) As a by-product of above issue - all the shapes in left "Shapes" palette display in ugly Black and White coarse jagged line thumbnails instead of the smooth blue shape icons that match the blue look of the Theme selected for this document

Troubleshooting done:

  • deleted all files in AppData\Local\Microsoft\Visio - suggested in another thread here
  • tested various settings in Visio
  • reinstalled ALL MS OFFICE PROGRAMS !!! (Complete Office and Visio uninstall and install)

Thank you for any suggestions


Visio Management
Visio Management
Visio: A family of Microsoft products used to create diagrams and vector graphics.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Joshua Cargile 11 Reputation points

    Had this problem pop up for me today - turns out it was an issue with an inaccessible network path that was set for **File > Options > Advanced > General > File Locations... > My Shapes **. Changed to a local path and all's well.

    2 people found this answer helpful.

  2. Lee Burleson 11 Reputation points

    As @Joshua Cargile mentioned, File > Options > Advanced > General > File Locations... > My Shapes was set to a UNC path. I changed this to %temp%, re-launched Visio, opened a document, and the symptom did not present.

    2 people found this answer helpful.

  3. Emily Hua-MSFT 27,171 Reputation points

    @HD GSA

    Please try the following steps to have a check.

    1. Run Visio in Safe Mode.

    • Type visio /safe in Run dialog, and click OK.
    • Creating a new drawing to check this issue.

    If this issue does not occur with Visio in Safe Mode, I would suggest you go to File > Options > Add-ins > Manage, COM Add-ins > Go, clear the check boxes for any enabled COM add-ins, select OK.

    Besides, please go to `File > Options > Advanced > General > File Locations... > Start-up, check whether you have set a path for it.
    If yes, please locate to this path, temporarily move the files and folders to other location.

    2. Please go to File> Options > Advanced > Display > Tick "Disable hardware graphics acceleration" > OK.

    Any updates, please let me know.

    If an Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
    Note: Please follow the steps in our documentation to enable e-mail notifications if you want to receive the related email notification for this thread.

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  4. Kapil SINHA 6 Reputation points

    I and many other developers and QA are having similar problem (themes menu) in our office. Themes hover menu shows themes are loading or greyed out in our application. But worse, these menus show similar problem even in Vision 2013 that we are using windows 10 machines.
    Troubleshooting done:
    no addins
    disabled hardware acceleration
    and almost everything suggested in this thread.

    Some others devs with 64 bit visio don't seem to have the problem in visio but they see similar problem in our application.

    On tinkering further, it seems the issue shows up only when a new blank drawing is created. Basic diagram doesn't show the same problem. Hope that helps narrow down the root cause.

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