How to reduce time to open a workbook, improve performance and reduce workbook size

Is your Excel workbook taking a longer time to open up lately?
Would you like to improve the overall performance of the workbook?
Are you interested in reducing the overall size of the workbook?

I recently came across a command in Excel called “Check Performance”. The command will check for cells that have formatting and no data in cells which could be impacting performance. A simple example is where a complete row has color formatting and only a few hundred rows are being used. Given that a spreadsheet can have 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns the impact of this type of formatting across a number of spreadsheets in a workbook can be significant.

Executing the command will show you where there are potential performance impacts and a choice to have it cleaned up or not.

I tested this command out on a older backup copy of my Tiller Money template which also included a few community solutions and some of my own spreadsheets and pivot tables. I accepted all of the recommended items found for my test. The command reduced the size of the workbook from approximately 6.5 MB to .5 MB. I found that the workbook opened up quickly and felt that the overall performance improved. I don’t have any time or measurement data to quantify the speed and performance improvements. I did not find any obvious issues with the workbook or functionality of the template or community solutions I use.

After this test, I went ahead and ran the command against my official 2024 financial template (I have it backed up too). I have been using the cleaned up template for about a month now without any issues. I am not an expert at Excel nor do I know the details of the Tiller Money template or community solutions. There may be implications to using this command that I am not aware of nor considered. Hopefully, the experts will provide feedback to this post should there be significant risk.

If you want to test out the command for yourself, I recommend using a backup copy of your workbook. Do not use it against you current financial template without testing it out first for yourself and having a backup file! As the saying goes; “Your mileage may vary.”

The command is found under the main “Review” menu as “Check Performance”.

The following are two links that I found that show what running the command looks like and explain it in a little more detail:

Make your workbooks more performant with Check Performance in Excel for Windows

Cleanup cells in your workbook