Error using xlsread (line 249) Excel Worksheet could not be activated.

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Error using xlsread (line 249) Excel Worksheet could not be activated.
whenever I try xlsread, it just gives me this error I've tried reinstalling, but still did not work.
S Deligeorges
S Deligeorges on 31 Mar 2021
Edited: S Deligeorges on 31 Mar 2021
I have slight variatiuon on the problem. using Matlab R19b, windows 10. I can open an excel file once with xlsread, but every time after that I get the line 249 error. clear all does not fix it, restarting matlab does not fix it, rebooting the machine does not fix it. Matlab touching the file once had made all my data unreadable by Matlab. Any suggestions ?

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Answers (12)

Tobias Elve
Tobias Elve on 6 May 2020
Edited: Tobias Elve on 6 May 2020
A 'clear all' does the trick; without restarting MATLAB

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Ismaeel on 4 Aug 2018
I had the same problem. After closing-reopening MATLAB, it worked just fine. I have no add-in plugin in Excel.
  1 Comment
KAE on 30 May 2019
Edited: KAE on 30 May 2019
I get this problem when I have to stop a Matlab script (CTRL-C) which opens a large Excel file. The next time I run the script, it crashes and says 'Excel Worksheet could not be activated'. If i restart Matlab, it is resolved, but that is inconvenient. I'm using R2019a and I believe it was occuring in R2018b and possibly earlier. I have no Excel plugins that I know of.

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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 6 Oct 2016
I have been wondering if this has to do with Excel plugins:
"Certain Excel add-ins may also prevent proper termination of Excel. Some known add-ins that might cause issues are Broadcom's "Send to Bluetooth" add-in (btsendto_office.dll) and Bloomberg's TaskpaneHost add-in. Disabling the add-ins that cause issues is a possible workaround."
There have been other reports having to do with Excel plugins that I cannot seem to find at the moment. I suggest going into Excel and seeing if you have any plugins active, and if you do then disabling them and then trying again in MATLAB.
Zaiyang ZHOU
Zaiyang ZHOU on 11 Jul 2018
MATLAB R2016b + OFFICE 2016. My problem seems a little bit different. Everytime I use 'xlsread', MATLAB will stop running but without any error information, just keep in the state of 'Busy'. Then I find a background process of Excel is activated, I manually delete the Excel process, and MATLAB runs normally, and data will be imported in. But I have been driven mad for deleting the process manually, especially when I read more than one .xls or .xlsx file.

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Rambod Naimi
Rambod Naimi on 10 Nov 2016
I am having similar issues with the Excel. I think i have narrowed it down to the fact that it takes longer than 5 seconds on my machine to open the file. there is a actTimeout which is internal to matlab. I don't know how to increase this value to check. but the message is coming from openExcelWorkbook.m file line 33. so i think this is the main issue with some PC's, the time to create a file and verify it was successful is longer than 5 seconds! I have popped the question to mathworks, hope they can answer!

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Sean Desten
Sean Desten on 27 Feb 2017
In my case, there were multiple worksheets in the Excel Workbook I was opening. In my code, I was opening first worksheet #1, then worksheet #2. But when opening my workbook, it was open to #2. Switching to #1 in Excel, then saving, fixed the issue.
However, I could not replicate the bug by opening up the Excel book, switching to #2 again and saving (this should have been the initial state that was causing the bug). The code proceeded to open both worksheets without any issue.
Potentially, Excel got stuck in some sort of weird state that 'locked' the worksheets and prevented them from being activated by MATLAB (I'm using locked because I don't know a better word to use - I do not mean actual locking of the worksheet). Switching worksheets and saving may have switched Excel to a more normal state. For reference, I'm using Excel 2016 and MATLAB R2016b.
MiguelMauricio on 4 Aug 2017
I got the same problem. I deleted some worksheets and it was solved. Thanks

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M Zagorowska
M Zagorowska on 7 Sep 2017
I have the same problem - it appears when I save something to Excel using Matlab (this part is OK), then open&close the Excel file outside Matlab, and then try to save something with Matlab to the same file (different rows/worksheet) - this is when I get 'Excel Worksheet could not be activated.' After looking into Windows Task Manager, I can see that the Excel process is not closed - so I end it manually and Matlab works again. Probably not the best way to solve it, but, hey, it works ;) Any official solution would be appreciated, though.
Cade Cockrell
Cade Cockrell on 9 Apr 2019
I belive it is due to a corrupted file. Try resaving the excel file under a different name as a new file. This worked for me

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Ambati Lakshmipathi
Ambati Lakshmipathi on 21 May 2019
I am also getting error as below
Error using xlsread (line 257)
Excel Worksheet could not be activated.
i am using 2019a version

Anthony on 1 Oct 2017
I had this error, but it was resolved after applying a MS office update that I had been dragging my feet on for some time.

Md Azimur Rahman
Md Azimur Rahman on 10 May 2018
I had the same issue. After Removing Foxit add-in it worked.

Flavio Ferrari
Flavio Ferrari on 10 Oct 2019
Restart Matlab (R2019a) worked for me

Kevin Rusch
Kevin Rusch on 13 Aug 2020
Can confirm that restarting worked even when
clear all;

Wenhui Qiao
Wenhui Qiao on 1 Mar 2022
Hi, I met with the same problem and finally figured out these excels were generated and may still in use by another software. When I closed this software, my program run without that error. Thanks!


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