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Article ID: 2655178 - Last Review: May 28, 2014 - Revision: 9.1

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Symptoms

You receive the following error message:

Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. Choose less data or close other applications.

The error occurs when you:
  • Open or save an Excel workbook
  • Open an Excel workbook that references a relative name from another workbook
  • Use a defined name in a formula in an Excel workbook
  • Define or delete a name in an Excel workbook

Do you get this error in another version of Microsoft Excel?

To view information on how to resolve this error in another version of Microsoft Excel, click the link that matches your Excel version:

Excel 2007 error: Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928976/)
Excel 2003 error: Excel cannot complete this task with available resources. (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/292471/)

Resolution

Note: Before continuing on to the Resolution methods, ensure you have the latest Office updates installed: Keep Windows up to date with the latest Updates (http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/vistadefault.aspx) .

After you have installed the available updates, check to see if you still have the issue. Continue to the Resolution Methods if you're still having problems.

We recommend that you follow the provided methods in this article in order. However, if you had previously tried one of the methods to fix this error and it did not help, you can jump to another method quickly from this list:

Method 1: Check whether you exceed limits

Click here to show information on how to check Excel 2010 limits.

Method 2: Make sure only one instance of Excel is active

Click here to show information on how to check if only one instance of Excel is active.

Method 3: Close all applications

Click here to show information on how to close all applications.

Method 4: Test Excel in safe mode

Click here to show information on how to start Excel in safe mode.

Method 5: Turn off the preview pane in Windows Explorer (Windows 7 only)

Click here to show information on how to turn off the preview pane.

Method 6: Save as an Excel workbook file if you use relative names

Click here to show information.

Method 7: Change defined names to reference cells directly

Click here to show information.

References

If the information in this knowledge base article did not help resolve the error in Excel 2010, select one of the following options:


Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
Keywords: 
KB2655178
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