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.

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

Turning Off AutoComplete for Dates

The AutoComplete feature can be helpful. However, there are times when the suggestions Word makes aren't what you want. ...

Discover More

Putting Document Names in Headers or Footers

Want to include the file name of a document on the printed copy without rearranging the layout? You can use a header or ...

Discover More

Searching for Comment Marks

Got a bunch of comments in your document? You can easily jump from one comment to the other by using the Object Browser, ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Writing a Macro from Scratch

Creating macros can help extend what you can do in Excel. If you work with macros, you know that creating macros from ...

Discover More

Displaying the Print Dialog Box in a Macro

Want to print a document by using a macro? One way is to display the Print dialog box and allow the user to interact with ...

Discover More

Swapping Two Strings

Strings are used quite frequently in macros. You may want to swap the contents of two string variables, and you can do so ...

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 9 - 4?

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.