While modern versions of Excel are much less prone to crashing than older versions, it’s still possible for crashes and error messages to appear.
Excel is a very stable application, so when crashes occur they are usually caused by factors outside Excel itself. If Excel is crashing when you try to refresh data (such as data that is held in an external data source) there are a few possible reasons.
If you are connecting to an external data source, it is possible that the connection to the data source is inconsistent. This is particularly likely if you are using wireless networking, as wireless connections can be intermittent if they are at the limits of their range or suffering from interference.
If you think network issues may be causing the problem, moving the data source to your own computer should allow you to confirm it. If the problem disappears when the data source is kept locally you know that the network is to blame.
Connecting to external data sources is covered in depth in our Expert Skills Books and E-books.
Some very security-conscious users use software that encrypts everything they do ‘on the fly’. Unfortunately this can cause problems with Excel, especially when trying to extract data from an external source that may or may not use the same encryption.
If you think your encryption software may be to blame, temporarily disabling it should confirm whether it is causing the problem.
While rare, it is still possible for Excel files to become corrupt, which can cause a wide variety of problems. Excel is sometimes able to repair corruption, but if you think a workbook may have become corrupt it might be best to copy its contents into a new workbook.