Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and calculation. However, it can be frustrating when Excel refuses to function properly. So, when you encounter any trouble with Excel, such as Excel being stuck at opening or getting saved, running the program in Safe Mode may be helpful. This article will guide you on how to open Excel in Safe Mode.
You may wonder why you would want to open Excel in Safe Mode. Well, launching Excel in Safe Mode helps you troubleshoot any issues with the program, as it only loads the basic features and settings, disabling any third-party add-ons or extensions.
In addition, Safe Mode also helps recover a corrupted workbook or if the Excel file is not responding. On the flip side, starting Excel in Safe Mode has some restrictions. Continue reading to know what those are.
Restrictions of Using Excel in Safe Mode
Although Excel in Safe Mode helps troubleshoot and resolve issues in general, some restrictions come with it. Excel in Safe Mode disables advanced features and settings, including add-ons, custom toolbars, advanced formatting options, and macros.
Furthermore, some features, such as chart animations and certain graphics, may not work properly in Safe Mode. In addition to that, it also disables some Excel settings that prevent certain Excel functions, such as sorting, filtering, and formatting, from working properly.
It’s essential to note that Safe Mode is intended for troubleshooting and resolving issues and cannot function as a permanent fix. That said, let’s understand how to open Excel in Safe Mode.
How to Start Excel in Safe Mode
There are multiple ways to open Excel in Safe Mode which we will discuss in detail in the next few sections. If you frequently use Excel in Safe Mode, we recommend you skip to the third method.
1. Using CTRL Modifier Key
This is the easiest and most simplified method to launch Excel in Safe Mode. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start menu and type Microsoft Excel.
Step 2: Hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and single-click on the Excel icon.
Note: If you pinned or have Excel on your desktop, hold the Ctrl key and double-click the Excel shortcut’s icon.
Step 3: In the dialog box that says, ‘You’re holding down the CTRL key. Do you want to start Excel in Safe mode?’ Click on Yes.
That’s it. Microsoft Excel will launch in Safe Mode. To confirm, you can see Safe Mode written above the toolbar at the top of your screen.
2. Using Windows Command Line
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Run, and click Open.
Note: Alternatively, press ‘Windows key + R’ on your keyboard to quickly open the Run command box.
Step 2: In the text field, type the below command and click OK.
There you go. This command will trigger Excel to open in Safe Mode, and much like the above method, you may confirm by checking if the Safe Mode is written at the top of the screen next to the default file name.
For whatever reason, if you tend to use Microsoft Excel in Safe Mode daily, you may create a shortcut to open Excel in Safe Mode by default. Check out the next method.
3. How to Create a Shortcut to Always Open Excel in Safe Mode
Sometimes the easiest way to launch an application you use daily with minor changes in the settings is to create a shortcut and place it on the desktop as a shortcut. Follow the below-mentioned steps to create the same for Excel safe mode.
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Excel, and click ‘Open file location.’
Step 2: Right-click on the Excel application and select Properties from the context menu.
Note: Alternatively, press the ‘Alt + Enter’ key on your keyboard.
Step 3: In the Excel Properties window, under Shortcut, add ‘add /safe’ to the end path in the Target box.
Note: Ensure you leave a space before adding the forward slash.
Step 4: Finally, click Apply and then OK.
Step 5: Now, copy the Excel app shortcut using the right-click menu and paste it on the desktop.
Note: Simultaneously, you can use ‘Ctrl + C’ and ‘Ctrl + V’ to copy and paste the application onto your desktop.
There you have it. You have successfully placed an Excel shortcut that, when launched, opens Excel in Safe Mode without you having to press or run any command.
If the shortcut is not what you are looking for, instead, you, for some reason, want to launch Excel in Safe Mode while Windows is in Safe Mode, move to the next method.
How to Start Excel in Safe Mode While Windows is in Safe Mode
Safe Mode, be it to launch an application or run on an environment, helps troubleshoot and fix various problems using various diagnostic tools and troubleshooting methods. Follow the instructions below to start Excel in safe mode when Windows is in safe mode.
Step 1: Press the Windows key, type Settings, and click Open.
Note: Alternatively, press ‘Windows + i’ on your keyboard to directly open the Settings app.
Step 2: In the System option, scroll down and click Recovery.
Step 3: Under Advanced startup, click on Restart now.
Step 4: From the pop-up, select Restart now.
Step 5: Windows will automatically restart and display the Choose an option Window, click on Troubleshoot.
Step 6: Select Advanced options followed by Startup Settings.
Step 7: In the Startup Settings, click Restart.
Step 8: Press the 4 key to enter Safe Mode.
Step 9: Once the Windows launches in Safe Mode. Press the ‘Windows + R’ to open the Run command box, type the below command and click OK.
There you go. You have launched Excel in Safe Mode in Windows Safe Mode. To exit from Safe Mode, close Excel and restart Windows. If you have any queries, check out the FAQ section below.
FAQs on Opening Excel in Safe Mode
Yes, you can save Excel files while using Safe Mode. Excel’s ability to save files is a fundamental feature and is not exclusive to regular Mode. Nonetheless, if you are working on a file with macros or add-ins, they may not work correctly in Safe Mode. And saving such files in Safe Mode could cause issues when you try to open them in regular mode.
Yes, you can copy data in Safe Mode in the same way as you would in regular mode. Data copying and pasting are basic Excel functions, and Safe Mode does not restrict them.
Troubleshoot the File
Now that you know how to open Excel in Safe Mode, go ahead and troubleshoot and rectify the issue causing Excel to be dysfunctional. You may also want to read how to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode and when to use it.
Last updated on 17 March, 2023
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