Excel hangs/freeze after applying conditional formating

Copper Contributor

Hello ,

on any/new excel files : 

after setting up a conditional formatting rule and clicking "OK" 

- the conditional formatting box turns blank, the "X" is unclickable .

- the file remains in this frozen state ( until manual task kill)


I think a complete reinstall is needed ?


5 Replies



Some questions for you:

  • Have you tried the complete re-installation of Excel? If so, did it work?
  • Is this with multiple conditional formatting rules, not just one?
  • If it's just one, what is the rule you've written that causes the "freeze"?
  • Are you able to write other rules and implement them successfully?
Thx for reply ,
I have not yet re-installed Excel
With any simple formula (highlight text) , once I click "Ok" that the file freezes.
It begins with the very first formula I try to apply , files with existings formulas work fine.

because of this bug , I apply the formatting on my notebook and open the files on my desktop


You wrote: :because of this bug , I apply the formatting on my notebook and open the files on my desktop"


... which introduces a whole new factor here. Just to be clear, are you applying conditional formatting on the notebook, doing so successfully, and then opening files that display that conditional formatting successfully on a desktop? 


Is this, then, implying--it's certainly what I'm inferring--that it's on the desktop that you're experiencing the difficulty, the freezing, if you attempt to apply conditional formatting directly on that system? 


What's different about the two computers (aside from one being a laptop, the other a desktop)? Are both Macs, or both Windows, or a mix of operating systems? Is the Excel installed on each the same? Memory available? How large is the file? Have you experienced any other anomalies between the two computers or is this the only thing where one of them crashes? 


Yes Sir , you concluded correctly. 

The freezing is only when I try to apply conditional formating on my Desktop

Applying it on my Notebook and opening on my Desktop works smoothly.


Both Systems are Win 10 , with Office 365 ( it auto-updates) and a sync via OneDrive. 


No other anomalies apart from this conditional formating Bug are noticed .

The file can be a new blank one and still this error would persists. 

The bug appeared first when I applied Conditional Formatting within a file of 15MB.  it had over 1mio rows stored via PowerPivot Data Model.






Happens when conditional formatting is applied on huge array of data.

Go to Events Viewer (hit the windows key and look for event viewer). Once opened wait for a few seconds (depends) to load all the events. You'll find a tree on the left: Custom Views, Windows Logs, Application and Service Logs etc.

Click on the Application and Service logs. On the Mid-Pane find something related to Microsoft Office and select it. On the Right-Pane select properties.

Click the Clear Log Button. Keep a copy if asked, incase your computer is audited.

Do the same to Windows Logs on the Applications.

See if it helps. If it doesn't, do a repair or re-installation of Office.