How To Force Quit Excel

Have you ever been in a situation where Microsoft Excel freezes and refuses to respond, leaving you stranded and frustrated? I know the feeling all too well. In this article, I’ll share my personal insights and provide a detailed guide on how to force quit Excel when it misbehaves.

Step 1: Attempt to Close Excel Normally

When Excel freezes, the first step is always to try closing it the regular way. If it responds, great! If not, we’ll have to take more drastic measures.

Step 2: Access Task Manager

If Excel is stubbornly clinging to life, it’s time to open Task Manager. Simply press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to bring up the Task Manager window.

Step 3: Locate and End Excel Process

Once Task Manager is open, navigate to the “Processes” tab. Scroll through the list of running processes and look for “Microsoft Excel” or “excel.exe”. When you find it, click on it to select the process, and then click on the “End Task” button. This forcibly terminates the Excel process.

Step 4: Confirm the Termination

Task Manager may show you a warning that ending the task could cause you to lose unsaved data. At this point, if you’ve already attempted to save your work, go ahead and click “End Process”. If you haven’t saved your work, try closing other programs or saving files before proceeding.

Step 5: Relaunch Excel

After successfully ending the Excel process, you can relaunch the program and hopefully resume your work without any further hiccups. If Excel continues to misbehave, you might want to consider saving your work more frequently to avoid potential data loss in the future.


Forcing Excel to quit can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if you’re worried about losing important data. However, when all else fails, accessing Task Manager and ending the Excel process is a handy trick to have up your sleeve. Just remember to save your work regularly to minimize the impact of unexpected freezes. Hopefully, these steps will help you regain control when Excel decides to play hard to get.