PCSTATS TechTip: SOLVED - Excel Cannot Complete this Task with Available
So, you have a massive 45MB Excel spreadsheet open with multiple pages and
you're about to update a few thousand cells when this error box pops
up: "Excel cannot continue this task with available resources.
Choose less data or close other applications. Continue without
Undo?" What to do?! This can be a frustrating experience,
especially if you're certain the computer is powerful enough and has 4GB or
more RAM installed. The issue is indeed resources related, but adding more
memory will not fix things. If for example you have Chrome or Firefox open
with a couple dozen tabs at the same time, closing that browser while working in
Excel can help alleviate the resource limitation... but not always.
A PCSTATS reader who uses Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 recently
wrote in for help with this problem . Here's the permanent way to solve the
"Excel Cannot Complete Task with Available Resources" error.
How to Fix: Excel Cannot Complete Task with Available Resources
To begin with, confirm you are running the 64-bit version of Microsoft
Windows 7 or 8 operating system. Next launch Excel, then open up 'Task Manager'
(right click on taskbar > Start Task manager) and navigate to the 'Processes'
tab. You should see "Excel.exe *32" listed. If that's the case, the
reason Excel is crapping out when you work with large .xlsx spreadsheets is
because 32-bit Excel is installed and 32-bit Excel can only address 2GB of system RAM. Excel needs more
system resources, but for that you MUST install the 64-bit version of
To do that, uninstall Office 2013 and reinstall the 64-bit version of
Office 2013. This is easily done from the 'Office Home and Business 2013' disk
by 1) CANCELLING the setup.exe program which immediately loads and then 2)
navigating on the Office disk to the folder '/office' and double
clicking on 'setup64.exe'. This will force Office 2013 to install the
64-bit version -- the default installer loads the x32 version of Office which is
compatible with both x32 and x64 operating systems.
That's it! With the 64-bit version of Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013
installed Excel will address as much memory as is installed &
available to applications. This PCSTATS TechTip can be applied to Office
2010 which also comes in x32/x64 flavours. If you want to confirm you've
installed the x64 version of Office 2013, launch Excel, then open up 'Task
Manager' (right click on taskbar > Start Task manager) and navigate to the
'Processes' tab. You will now see "Excel.exe" listed, which means a
native x64 application is running in the x64 version of Windows 7/8 operating
For good measure, you can also take the extra step of installing 64-bit
version of Chrome Beta.