How to Reduce Excel File Size

How to Reduce Excel File Size

Follow these 4 steps to reduce the size of your file and speed up Excel response time.

There are some simple things you can do to reduce the size of a large Excel file and speed up operation.  Below are some quick and easy steps to reduce Excel file size. (Note, before you begin, it’s a good idea to have a backup of your file just in case something goes wrong).

The first step applies to the entire file; however, steps 2 – 4 must be performed on each tab.  Save after each step and check file size!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 - File Type

File Type – If you’re using Excel 2007 or later, ensure your file is saved as .xlsx – not in Excel 97-2003. If that doesn’t cut enough into the size of your file, save it as an Excel Binary Worksheet (.xlsb). I just had a file that was 12.6 MB in .xlsx cut to 6.72 MB when saved as .xlsb.

Step 2 - Unused Cells

Check Unused Cells – frequently “blank” cells aren’t really blank and need to be deleted. You can check for the “last used cell” in your workbook by pushing Ctrl + End, this will take you to the last used cell. If that’s not the end of your cells with data, then you can clean up those unused cells. To do this:
  • Select the first blank column, hold down Ctrl + Shift and push the right arrow (this will highlight all columns). Then, right click and select delete. Do the same for rows; go to the first row after your data, select it, hold down Ctrl + Shift and push the down arrow. Right-click and delete.
  • You can also use the Go to Special Function. Press F5 > Special, then select “Blanks”; after all blanks are selected select “Clear All” from the Editing tool bar under the Home Ribbon.

Step 3 - Remove Formatting

Remove Formatting – Unnecessary formatting can cause a file to be unnecessarily large. Select all (Ctrl + a) and the select “Clear Formats” from the Editing tool bar under the Home Ribbon.

Step 4 - Formulas

Clean Up Formulas – Too many formulas will cause Excel to get bogged down, try the following:
  • Set your Excel Options so that workbook calculation is manual. File > Excel Options > Formulas > Manual.
  • Review your formulas to ensure you don’t have a lot of unnecessary formulas, or formulas that are considered volatile (i.e., always recalculated, even when precedents remain unchanged). Volatile functions are Randbetween( ), Today ( ), Offset ( ), Index ( ), Info ( ) etc.

There you go…4 steps on how to reduce excel file size. Let us know if this helped. Any other tips?


The Software Product and any related documentation are provided "As Is." makes no warranties, express or implied, and expressly disclaims all representations.
Read the complete End User License Agreement here

Related pages

aged debtors analysishow do you set print area in excel 2010meeting minutes excel templateexcel calendar inputchristmas spreadsheettimeline bar chart in excelhow to make a breakeven chart in excelamortization in excelsample invoice excel templatecalendar template microsoft excelms invoice templateamortization schedule xlsfree loan amortization schedule excel templateblack scholes excelfinancial statement spreadsheetaccrual spreadsheet templatesimple quotation templatechecklist for event planning excelbudget calculator excel templateoffset example excelcreate speedometer in excelfree quote template wordcreating a timeline in excelexcel gantt chart template xlshow to plot break even graph in excelpercent complete formulawedding day itinerary template excelestate spreadsheet templatedebt calculator excel templatepersonal income statement and balance sheet templatebank reconciliation formulagantt charts in excelexcel project management template microsoftgym diary templateinvoice format in excel sheetexcel gauge chart templategantt chart in excel 2003excel kpi dashboardtemplate gantt chartblank financial statement worksheetprintable wedding planner checklistreception checklist for wedding plannerisometric grid paper printablenet worth worksheethow to do bank reconciliation exampleisometric templatesweekly menu planner template wordformat of bank reconciliation statementtimeline chart excelhow to compact excel fileaccounts receivable samplefree construction invoice template wordgoal setting spreadsheetamortization spreadsheet xlsfree quote template wordbalance sheet reconciliation best practicesretirement planning spreadsheet templatescash flow model excelpersonal budget worksheet excelwedding plan checklist excelexpenditure excel templatehow to set the print area in excel 2013excel template timelinewedding planning timeline template exceloption pricing model excelcalendar spreadsheet templateworkout sheet templateexcel amortization spreadsheetonline break even analysis calculatordownloadable invoicesgantt chart freewarevertical analysis for balance sheetweekly template plannersimple gantt chart creator1 inch grid paper templatepetty cash book template free downloaddecrease excel file sizetemplate for swot analysis microsoft wordcontractor invoice formatcontractor receipt template