Excel 2003 opens workbooks very slow across the network

Written by James McDonald

July 18, 2011

Just had a situation where a user couldn’t open a 9MB excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet had heaps of formulas and links. When opening Excel sat there with (Not Responding) in the Title Bar.

Attempted a few things in an attempt to fault find the problem:

  • Tried disabling the Antivirus Client – No help.
  • Open in OpenOffice and it opened fine. Re-saved to network and tried excel again, no joy.
  • Reduce the number of sheets to about 25 using OpenOffice. And then try re-open in Excel 2003 – No joy.
  • Copied the Spreadsheet to desktop and it opened fine in Excel 2003.
  • Scratched my head and pondered. No help
  • Drummed fingers on desk.

Googled and discovered the latest Microsoft patches include OFV (Office File Validation) which is a technology to scan the office file before opening a network file to check for nasties. Which in Excel 2003 doesn’t work well.

Fortunately Microsoft has a work-a-round http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2570623#LetMeFixItMyselfAlways

The solution:
Add a registry entry to by-pass the OFV.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



  1. Phil

    Thank you Admin.
    This “Fixit” from Microsoft solved my problem. (Excel would open very quickly from local disk, but very slowly from network location)

  2. James

    Thank you Admin.

    Finding this post allowed me to follow the fix and resolve this issue on a users PC.

  3. pinku saini

    My Excel File 9mb to get hung at working time.
    Plz give solution.


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