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: Out of Memory Errors when Accessing the VBA Editor.

Out of Memory Errors when Accessing the VBA Editor

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 19, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007 and 2010


4

Chris wrote about a problem he is having with VBA. It seems that he's getting the error message "out of memory" when attempting to access the VBA editor. He's tried closing all other applications, checked for background programs, and he has ample disk space. The error message even occurs in workbooks with relatively small procedures.

It could, realistically, be any number of conditions causing the problem. Because of this, it can be hard to track down the cause. There are a couple of clues that suggest that the problem may be due to either an add-in or to a problem with your macro modules.

You can figure out if it is an add-in by simply starting Excel with all the add-ins disabled. Add them back in, one at a time, until you notice the error again cropping up. You will then have a pretty good idea that the problem is caused by the last add-in you enabled.

If the problem is not due to your add-ins, then you should suspect your macro modules. If you spend a lot of time editing your modules, they can become corrupted over time. (This has been a known problem for some time in VBA.) You can usually get around this problem by recreating the workbook in which the problem occurs. Copy the worksheets from the old to the new workbook, and then use the VBA export and import capabilities to move the macro modules from the old workbook to the new one.

A good discussion on memory problems with Excel can be found at these pages:

http://www.decisionmodels.com/memlimitsc.htm

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 (11196) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Out of Memory Errors when Accessing the VBA Editor.

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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What is two more than 7?

2018-07-19 15:57:53

Linda

I don't know if Dee had problems just with the VBA Editor and the out of memory issue, or with only opening the file. Even without macros in the workbook I have to constantly remind co-workers not to format the entire worksheet, as it makes the file huge. If there are multiple worksheets in the workbook the file size can get out of control quickly when entire worksheets are formatted.


2018-07-19 13:42:41

Dave

Dee, try starting Excel in safe mode (eg, hold down the Ctrl key), and see if that eliminates the message.


2015-10-31 14:59:28

Dee

I don't have any active add-ins and I have never added a macro. Why would I be getting this message? My computer shows that I have plenty of memory. I closed all my running applications and restarted my computer, starting only the tiny excel file I'm using and I still get the message.


2014-10-15 09:17:27

Shandor

Good ideas except when moving your macros it's easier to paste them into a new module (easily created in the new workbook) if you keep them in a Word doc or text file. If you email this to yourself your macro collection will always be safe for reuse.


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