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when I open excel I get a message not enough memory

961 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2013 10:49 AM by rccharles RSS
donaldfrommadisonville Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 5, 2011 8:36 AM

when I open excel I get a message not enough memory

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,730 points)

    There are two things to check first is how much RAM your system has and how much is Free. You can do this in Activity Monitor (Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor) click the System Memory tab and check to see how much FREE RAM it has when operating in normal conditions.


    The next thing to check is how much hard disk space is left on your computer. Mac's need about 10-15% available in order to run well. You can find this information out in Finder by highlighting the internal HD and then right clicking or typing Command I (that's I as in Ivan) and it will tell you the size, how much space is being used and how much is available. To free up some space remember to empty your trash. What tends to use the most HD space on computers these days is media such as music, photographs and movies. If you have good size libraries of media then buy and external HD and move those libraries to the EHD.

  • Nilanjana Calculating status...

    A follow up question -- albeit a year later.  I have the same porblem.

    I have 1.56 G memory free and 156 G out of 250 G unused.  And yet I am getting an out of memory message when I work on an Excel file (7.5 MB).  Can anyone please help?



  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,730 points)
  • Nilanjana Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks.  That was most helpful.


  • iteachmusic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same problem:  not enough memory when I try to open Excel.

    I checked the free RAM:  1.33 GB

    Step 2:  looks like I have 75 GB available.


    I'm not having this problem with anything else.....any more suggestions would be so appreciated!


    PS have not had any help from the Microsoft community on this:(

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,155 points)

    The Microsoft error messages concerning system resources are not that great.  Microsoft seems to have only one or a few failure message when the app will not open and give you a generic message that some how it assumes is the problem.


    in a nutshell

    The reason for not opening could be someother issue than memory problems.


    What to try?

    Define a new user in blue apple > System Preferences... > Accounts


    See what Word does in this new account.




    Create new Account


    blue apple > system preferences

    clicks on accounts icon


    click on lock icon if locked. 

    enter logon password 

    Picture 9.png


    click on + icon ( left side of screen just above the lock icon )


    Picture 10.png


    after creating new account, you need to logout of your current account.


    blue apple > log out ... current count name ...


    log on to new account. see if problem goes away.

    Picture 11.png


    if it has gone  away, some preference file got messed up on your account. Rename the appropriate  Preference file. You will have to figure out the name.   They are .plist files.  Look for these files in Preferences folder which is in your Library folder [ more formally ~/Library/Preferences ].  ... reboot.

    Post back for more help.


    More tips on creating a new account


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