Excel 2007’s unresponsive autorecovery feature

For the past 15 minutes, the newly-installed Excel 2007 has been unresponsive. Well, not totally unresponsive. It is doing something in the background: saving autorecover information. I know this because, every so often, I can get Excel to show me a little something like the following:

Excel autorecover... still waiting...

Task Manager periodically says Excel is “not responding” and other times says it is “running” (maybe so, but it’s still not responding to me).

In defense of Excel, this was a rather large document: over 15,000 rows and 26 columns — 12.9MB on disk. However, there’s no reason for any background process to make an application unresponsive — especially when the background process in question is something that supposed to protect you from the application becoming unresponsive.

I also can’t figure out why saving an autorecovery file takes about 20 minutes, when saving a new copy of the same file takes about five seconds.

Disclaimer: I happily use OpenOffice for personal use and Google Spreadsheets for shared documents. Office 2007 was installed on my work desktop so I can evaluate it. Let’s say the evaluation isn’t going so well right now.

0 thoughts on “Excel 2007’s unresponsive autorecovery feature

  • I’m having the same problem; very frustrating! I found instructions for turning this feature off on the Microsoft.com website – it will be turned off post-haste, and left off until they get around to a patch.

  • I switched to Office 2007 about three days ago and my productivity dropped dramatically. I have had the autorecovery issue too(actually again as I write). The new menu structure requires more mouse clicks for task that used to be easy. (i.e. linking a table in access).
    If I could I would go back to 2003.

  • Same problem here – happened yesterday too. Using a brand new Dell so hardware power is not the problem. Clearly a patch for Excel is needed.

  • Has anyone found a fix for this? Does anyone know if a patch was ever released for this issue? I just installed Office 2007 for some people and this is happening to only one person. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  • it’s not only excel 2007. the auto recover feature in word 2007 also goes into (not responding) land where i almost always need to do a hard stop with the computer because it uses so much resources that i can’t even do the 3-finger solute (CTRL-ALT-DEL). at one client meeting, i had to resort to using Notepad.exe since it was more reliable.

    just FYI, running VISTA Home Edition, saving files as 1997-2003 documents. i’ve turned the feature off but it is quite annoying especially with the awful silence from MSFT to an issue that seems to be quite major.

    i’ve been thinking about switching to Apple and experiences like these will accelerate that decision.

  • Not fixed even in Dec 2009. i am still having problems with autorecovery not working and then WORD freezing on me and then losing all the work. I agree productivity dropped after switching to Office 2007.

  • Still happening and March 2010 and I lost 2 hours of work! WTF?? My advice is to cut/copy everything in the file immediately if you see the “unresponsive” box come up at the bottom of your screen, paste it in an email or notepad, then get out of Word, shut down, and start over pasting in the old info. Hopefully then you won’t totally lose your work!

  • I have been having this same problem constantly … very unproductive. I tried to uninstall and reinstall; same problem. 100% CPU had disk utilization during autosave (and I have plenty of both). Does anyone know a fix?

  • PeterC-NYC says:

    I’m on a computer I’ve been using for about a year, and I’ve run a lot of very, very heavy spreadsheets on it. Just today, this damn autorecover problem started. The function has always been there, but starting today I have to wait upwards of 5 mins for it to complete.

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