Ctrl+Break Won't Work to Stop a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2018)

2

Russell is having a problem with Excel, when he runs macros. It seems that all of a sudden Ctrl+Break no longer stops the execution of a macro. Either the macro continues as if he had done nothing or Excel hangs up and he has to close it and start over. Russell checked and clicking the Stop Macro button (parallel line) in the VB menu doesn't work either, so this is not a problem of linkages to keys. He wonders if anyone else experienced this and if there is an easy fix.

This doesn't seem to be a common problem, as far as we can tell. It is possible that there is something errant going on in this particular system. For instance, it is possible that the EnableCancelKey property has been set to disabled, which would stop the normal functioning of Ctrl+Break. This property can be affected by the following macro line:

Application.EnableCancelKey = xlDisabled

This command could have been run in a macro which then did not enable the property. (Perhaps the macro coding either didn't include the enabling or the macro ended abnormally and never got to the command line to enable the properlty.) It is also possible that the command could have been entered in the immediate window of the VB Editor.

The setting of the property is persistent, and stays with a workbook if the workbook is saved after the setting is changed. You can check the setting by opening the VB Editor and entering the following in the immediate window:

? Application.EnableCancelKey

If you see a 0 displayed, this means that the property has been disabled. You should then enter the following in the immediate window:

Application.EnableCancelKey = xlInterrupt

After doing so, save the workbook. You should also try to track down where the property was initially disabled and make sure that the coding is corrected so you won't have the problem again.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3906) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You ...

Discover More

Formatted Merging

When you use the mail-merge capabilities of Word, the information merged takes on the formatting of your source document, ...

Discover More

Recovering Password-Protected Documents

Got a locked document you just need to get into? It may be quite easy (or next to impossible) using the ideas in this tip.

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Item Not Available in Library

When sharing workbooks with others, you may find that the macros in those workbooks may not work as you expect. This tip ...

Discover More

Selectively Importing Records

Want to easily control which records get imported from a text file into Excel? It's easy to do when you write the macro ...

Discover More

Counting Empty Colored Cells

There are a variety of ways that you might want to count the cells in your worksheet. One way is to figure out how many ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 2?

2018-03-27 14:45:24

Bob E.

I have this issue weekly where if I have to work through 10,000 rows it'll start scrolling through the file but after a couple thousand lines it'll appear to freeze, even though later evidence proves that it was still crunching away and just not refreshing the screen, and hitting <CRTL><BREAK> or <ESC> while it's "frozen" will only gray out the screen. However, since I have most of my macros in a separate spreadsheet, if I click on that sheet in my toolbar, then <ESC> or <CTRL><BREAK> will interrupt the macro and allow me to end, continue or debug.


2018-03-24 19:04:12

Trevor R Bird

How do you issue a CTRL+Break when there is no Break key on the keyboard, as is the case with my Lenovo Thinkpad ?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.