Getting error message when I try to open 2 Excel files

February 21, 2013 at 07:26:20
Specs: Windows 7
When I have an Excel file open and try to open another one, sometimes it opens, but more often than not I get a message that says, "“Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. Choose less data or close other applications.” I have to close my other document to open a new one. For the record, as I was trying to make this happen so I could copy and paste the error message, I just opened like 10 documents with no problem at all. But this has been a recurring problem for over a year.

See More: Getting error message when I try to open 2 Excel files

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 07:51:01
This could be caused by not having enough RAM in your system. How much does your PC have in it?

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 07:58:26
I don't think it's a RAM issue. I have 6 GB of RAM. And it happened on the desktop computer I had before this one also.

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 08:08:58
NOTE, this was compiled before the above responses. Most of this post is still relevant.

"I just opened like 10 documents with no problem at all." What type and size were those ten files?

The files are loaded into RAM (memory). If not enough memory is available that can happen.

Do you know how much installed RAM you have? Go to Control Panel> System. You should see the basic specs of your computer there.

Do you have the 64bit version of Windows 7?

When you boot the computer you may have many programs loading that you don't need to have. Press Cntr+Alt+Delete and then Start Task Manager. Look at running processes. The RAM usage is listed for each process. If there are high usage programs you can close them.

Things you can do. Close unneeded programs when accessing the Excel files. Add more RAM to your computer.

Report •

Related Solutions

February 21, 2013 at 08:26:39
Thanks for all the great information. I will look into all of this. The weird thing is, the 10 files I opened without a problem - all very small spreadsheets - are the same files I tried opening earlier that gave me the error. I didn't have anything else running in the background differently. So it's like this random thing where sometimes they open and sometimes I get the error, and nothing else is different about what's going on in the background. But I will check all these things you mentioned. Maybe I'm just missing something. Thanks very much!

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 08:39:04
I just checked my Excel files. Most are less than 100kb. Largest at 300kb.

Could be Windows is indexing your Excel, or some other files. Indexing slows down the computer so I recommend you shut indexing off. See if that helps.

Go to Control Panel> Indexing options. Either disable completely or modify settings. I have mine disabled. You can always enable again if you feel the need.

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 08:55:43
OK, I just disabled my indexing. I'll see if that makes a difference. My Excel files are all around 50 kb or less. They're not big at all. We'll see if this makes a difference. Thanks again for your help.

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 16:42:05
I trust you only have one AV program running in the background.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

Report •

February 21, 2013 at 19:43:43
Whenever possible, reduce the programs running in the background (Run msconfig, go to Start Tab and uncheck most except Microsoft and your antivirus program. Apply and restart the machine.)
Look into how much Virtual memory your machine is set to. Normally, Windows can manage this pretty well, but you may want to try manually setting it to between 1 time and 1 1/2 times the amount or RAM you have (6000Mb and 9000Mb) and see if that helps. This gives your system a solid place to load things that are in memory to make room for something else you are opening.
Excel files are not generally very large, unless you are dealing with tens of thousands of lines.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

Report •

Ask Question