Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size.

Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2015)

11

Joe has a workbook into which he's been adding information for years. The workbook is normally about 5 MB in size, but recently jumped to 10 MB, two times the normal size. Joe was wondering what could cause such an increase.

Actually there are all sorts of reasons that the workbook size could have jumped. One is that you've added some additional objects to the workbook that were not there before, such as graphics objects. It is also possible that changes in any macros attached to the workbook could have greatly increased the file size.

It could also be due to adding a PivotTable or changing how the PivotTable is saved within the workbook. You might also check to see where the last cell in each worksheet is located (press Ctrl+End on each worksheet). If the lower-right corner of the worksheet seems completely out of whack, then you can delete whatever columns or rows are necessary to get the worksheet size back where it should be.

You might also check to see if the workbook is saved with sharing turned on. If it is, then the size of the file can sometimes increase dramatically.

Finally, if you changed the format used to save the workbook, then the file size can increase. Check to make sure that you are using the proper file format for the version of Excel you are using. It is also a good idea to use Save As (press F12) to save the workbook out into a new file, with the proper format. That way Excel will write the workbook file "from scratch" and have the greatest chance of creating the most compact file possible.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8320) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is 0 + 7?

2017-05-10 07:51:18

Joe

Hi!

I have this problem, but your solution does not apply. For me, simply adding two rows, increases size by 20% (!). I have no pivots or any other graphs in the file and cannot seem to find the cause of this.


2017-03-09 09:42:20

mariam hussain

thank you this helped... from 15,004kb down to 45kb!


2017-03-08 04:52:40

Navya

Thank you! Had empty rows enormously bloating the file size. Ctrl + End worked!


2017-02-23 13:29:39

Kathryn

I got up to 85000 KB ...impressive I know.... thanks to the tip I got it back down to ~500KB. I wanted a column to have all the same info and just pasted to the whole column- adding tons of extra rows.

I've learned something new. Appreciate the access to such valuable information!


2017-02-13 11:22:53

Alfredo

From 20M to 145k!
I saved as a binary file, deleted the old version and then re-saved it as a normal worksheet!
The strange this was my file had no formulas at all. It was just a list of transactions


2017-01-07 05:02:18

Dennis Wanjira

This worked well. Thank you so much. Was able to reduce a file from 43MB to 9MB.


2016-12-16 05:36:17

Peter Buckley

I had this problem with a workbook that went from 800k to 5M. It turned out that the Conditional formatting had gone ferral and generated about 1,000 rules for each worksheet. Most of these were duplicate entries. I used the Clear Formatting option and opening and updating is now super fast.


2016-12-14 02:20:42

Binay Tiwari

Thanks you so much!!! for sharing this my issue was resolved with your tip Ctrl+End


2016-09-09 02:56:56

Surjit Singh

Great! It worked. Exactly what I was looking for. Deleting the extra rows made a big difference 13MB file to 105KB.

Thanks.

Surjit


2016-02-19 07:31:46

elizabeth

Hi,

I looked at all the things you suggest before I decided to look online. As far as I can tell, I added no objects, there are not pivot tables and it is not saved for sharing. But it jumped in one save from 65KB to 5475KB. How can I find what is taking up that much memory?

Thanks.


2015-09-22 03:54:42

Tom

I found that I had accidentally formatted blank cells.
At some point I had used 'Format Painter' to copy the format to a new section of the worksheet.
I suspect that all cells to the right had been selected, not just the area I wanted.
Deleted all columns to the right of my data, and deleted them.
Spreadsheet was growing at 2Mb per 100 rows, now only 10Kb for the same number of new rows with data.


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