How To Open Excel In Safe Mode

Opening Microsoft Excel in safe mode can be a lifesaver when troubleshooting issues with the program. As a tech enthusiast and Excel power user, I’ve had my fair share of encounters with pesky errors and glitches. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of opening Excel in safe mode, sharing some personal tips and insights along the way.

What is Safe Mode in Excel?

Safe mode in Excel is a troubleshooting option that allows the program to start without loading any add-ins or customization files. This can be incredibly helpful when you’re facing issues such as crashes, freezing, or abnormal behavior in Excel. By starting Excel in safe mode, you can isolate the problem to determine if it’s related to add-ins or other customizations.

Opening Excel in Safe Mode

To open Excel in safe mode, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
  2. While holding the Ctrl key, click to open Excel as usual. You can do this by clicking on the Excel shortcut on your desktop or searching for Excel in the Start menu.
  3. You should see a prompt asking if you want to start Excel in safe mode. Release the Ctrl key and click “Yes.”
  4. Excel will then open in safe mode, and you’ll notice the words “Safe Mode” displayed in the application title bar.

Personal Tip: Keyboard Shortcut

As a productivity enthusiast, I always prefer using keyboard shortcuts to streamline tasks. Instead of clicking on the Excel shortcut, I find it quicker to press the Windows key on my keyboard, type “Excel,” and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open it in safe mode directly from the search results.

Identifying Issues in Safe Mode

Once Excel is open in safe mode, you can test whether the issues you were experiencing persist. If the problems disappear in safe mode, it’s likely that an add-in or customization was causing the trouble. This allows you to gradually re-enable add-ins and customizations to pinpoint the culprit.


Opening Excel in safe mode is a valuable troubleshooting technique that can help you identify and resolve issues within the program. Remember to keep an eye on any recent changes or installations that might have triggered the problem. With a bit of patience and systematic testing, you’ll be back to seamless spreadsheet wizardry in no time!