Excel 2010 (Windows 7 Professional 64-bit) is loading a specific Excel file to 100%, then the status message on the splash screen rotates between "Opening (100%)" and "Accessing Printer". It sits and rotates between the two for a full 60-90 seconds before the document finally opens.

What can I do to prevent the "Accessing Printer" message from appearing on this specific document? I've tried repairing it with no luck. This happens only to one user on this one file.

  • There has to be something unique about this file. Honestly the only way I know how to determine the cause, is to to create a copy of the excel document and to elminate the possible causes 1-by-1. This assumes this problem only happens with this specific file.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:27
  • I just updated the OP to clarify that this only happens to one user with this one file. Is it possible that it's a printer driver issue?
    – vaindil
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:33
  • Its your hardware and network. If this was my network/hardware I would image the system to defaults. Have you tried my suggestion?
    – Ramhound
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:35
  • I'm not sure what to eliminate 1-by-1--I'm not sure what troubleshooting steps to take.
    – vaindil
    Jun 17, 2014 at 15:36
  • Are you saying that other users can open the same exact file from other computers without seeing the same results? If this same user logs into a different computer and opens the file, do they have the same problem? If someone else logs into this user's computer, can they open the file OK? What have you tried already? Anything? If so, what was it? IE: have you examined the Excel file for Auto-Open type macros yet? Jun 17, 2014 at 15:44

7 Answers 7


Changed the default printer to the XPS document writer and the problem was resolved. I therefore uninstalled his previous default printer and removed the driver through Print Management, then reinstalled it. The problem was resolved.

  • 2
    Choosing the XPS printer when the file was opened resolved the issue for me. I tried different machines and all had the "printer popup". Nothing to do with printer drivers.
    – Seany84
    May 24, 2017 at 8:12
  • I had similar problems with some network printers which are not always available. Excel tries to optimize the view to the current printer. So as suggested you could change to any printer device driver which is never offline - you could also use e.g. any PDF document printer.
    – edi
    Sep 4, 2020 at 7:56

This seems to be a pretty common problem with Excel 2010. There could be a great variety of things wrong with your computer. I cannot help you very much with such a vague and unresearched question. Here is a list of links that may help you research your question more. If you edit your question to be more specific, I will edit this answer with a specific answer.

I found all of these results one the first page of Google after searching excel hangs on "accessing printer".

Good luck!


Problem for me was that I'm working off network, so when this particular document tries to access the printer it fails and hangs up - did as the original poster answered himself and set the default to XPS and it works perfectly.

  • First of all, welcome to Super User! We always welcome contributions from our community members. However, this doesn't really provide an answer to the question... it is essentially a comment supporting an answer that already exists. We ask that you consider up-voting the existing answer, rather that posting a duplicate answer instead of a comment because you don't have sufficient reputation yet. Thanks for your help!
    – Run5k
    Feb 22, 2017 at 13:19
  • I think this is a more concise answer than the one from the original poster. Mar 31, 2017 at 19:21

For this kind of issue, I believe MS Excel tries to access the default printer when opening the document (I had a file in MS Excel 365 set in Page break preview, under the View menu). My default printer had been set to a shared printer from a retired PC, so I guess MS Excel was trying to contact the printer in vain, and hanging at this point. Solution is to change the default printer to a reachable/local printer, and possibly remove/delete the offending printer from control panel. After this, the workbook opens without issue


I found out that if I disable the following Add-ins in Excel: Analysis ToolPak, Analysis ToolPak - VBA, Solver Add-in then the problem goes away.

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    – Community Bot
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:09

This is a common issue with HP Desktop printers

The issue : Let's say someone saves an excel file and sets a custom paper size 11x17 or A3 etc. That is all fine and dandy for the person who created the file because their default printer supports that custom paper size. The HP desktop printers do not have the ability to print to this paper size therefore it will prompt you to select a printer that supports this custom paper size.

The resolution : In the problem excel file, go to File>Print> and check the paper size. I noticed that there was an error indication and it wouldn't even give a print preview. Ours was displayed as "Custom Paper Size" with a red exclamation mark. I changed the paper size under the print options on the file and saved the file to the desktop. After saving the file with a page size of A4 - a size the HP printer can handle, the excel file no longer gave us the annoying popup.


Just had this happen to me and although the first answer is quite helpful another possible solution (the one I actually used) is to do the following.

  1. Make sure all documents are out of the print que
  2. Restart (or stop ..then start) the "Print Spooler" service by entering "Services.msc" from the run dialogue.

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