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Excel/Excel File Size Limitations


ArtHudson wrote at 2009-04-03 14:05:03
The sum of the sizes of all the files simultaneously open in one instance of 32-bit Excel is 2MB; if you browse to your file in Windows Explorer, click View | Details, and worry if the size of the file shows as greater than 2,000 Kilobytes; divide that by 1,000 giving Megabytes. I have a macro library which began to malfunction when the size of the file slightly exceeded 2 MB; when the size reached 2.5 MB Excel crashed and I understood the need to stay smaller than 2 MB. Excel 2003 or 2007 in 4 GB RAM.

misslod wrote at 2010-01-07 03:06:21
Hi there,

Im not sure how relevant my answer is but i have been using excel 2007 for creating a text file from a CAD software. the information is in the form of points. i have successfully managed to go beyond the 'maximum file limit' which is 1048576 rows or 50.3MB.

hope it helps!

Chalkie wrote at 2012-05-18 06:42:01
hi, sorry to disagree but I've had probem handling excel sheets in excess of 250 MB , and that was in Excel 03. Maybe a decent size RAM and processor makes a difference. I too would frequently change the file version number so for whatever reason, you don't lose more than an hour or two of work perhaps.

There are physical limits such as the number of rows and columns.

hope this helps  

ActionJackson wrote at 2013-06-24 21:59:15
there is definitely a size limitation where the formats start changing on their own and the speed of interaction is drastically reduced.  Breaking up files sounds all well and good, but can be even more irritating and cumbersome.  From what I've heard, the 2013 version supposedly allows for greater size files without the problems, but I'm sure there will be problems and compatibility issues with that that will not be advised until it's to late for the user.

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Damon Ostrander


I have extensive experience with VBA programming in Excel 5 through Excel 2013. As a former aerospace engineer with a large aerospace corporation and consultant in a small defense technology services company, I have developed a wide range of applications in VBA, including simulations involving mixed-language programming, satellite orbit mechanics, graphics and animation, and real-time applications. I am interested in moderate to hard VBA-related questions only.


I have developed and taught several courses in Excel VBA programming and also VBA programming in Office 97, 2000, and 2007. I have developed a number of large technical applications in Excel VBA for use within the aerospace industry.

B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley.

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