Excel: Prompt Windows are not selected when they pop up

Whenever a prompt pops up in Excel it's not selected, meaning tab, arrow or enter keys don't work within the prompt unless I manually click on the prompt window to select it.

A good example is "Unhide Sheets."  When I use the menu or key commands to unhide sheets, the prompt listing hidden sheets pops up.  But I can't arrow down to the individual sheet I want to unhide because the prompt window is not selected (highlighted).  I have to manually click on the prompt to select it and only then can I navigate or hit enter.

This glitch happens for every popup/prompt in Excel and only began to occur about a week ago.  How do I fix this?

Hi James,

I am John, an Independent Advisor and a Microsoft user like you. I'm here to work with you on this issue.

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this issue. It seems like you are turning on Filter Keys, which will slow down the rate at which the keyboard input will be accepted.

To disable this
1. Visit Control Panel > Ease of Access
2. Click Ease of Access center and select the option to Make the keyboard easier to use
3. Then click Setup Filter Keys
4. Finally uncheck the option to turn on filter keys when shift is pressed for 8 seconds:

This will prevent the keyboard ever going slow on you again.

If it does not fix your issue, please try following one by one and see after every step whether it resolves the issue.
1. Sometimes, add-ins can cause problems. To determine, if add-in is a problem start your application in safe mode and see if problem has gone away.

To start in Safe Mode:
Hold CTRL key and click on application icon and don't release the CTRL key till it asks you for Safe mode confirmation.

If yes, then start application normally and disable add-ins one by one and start application again every time you disable an add-in to determine the culprit add-in.
To disable add-in > File > Options > Add-ins > Down below you have Manage: Com Add-in : Press Go > Untick the Add-ins to disable and tick to enable them

2. Try repairing your office installation (Quick repair is good enough). Try repairing your Office installation. First try Quick Repair (takes 5 - 10 mins) , if that doesn't help then try Online Repair (Takes more than 30 mins but less than 1 hour in general)
Please see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/repa...

3. Login to Windows with a new user profile and see if problem is resolved.

4. Sometimes, this is caused due to application not being able to access the default printer. Close all office applications and change your default printer through Start > Devices and Printers to another printer. It may be some physical one or One Note or XPS or PDF or anything else. If this is the problem, then you will need to update your printer driver for default printer.

5. Start your computer in Safe mode with networking and see whether the problem is solved. If yes, then some program is causing the problem. Many third party applications also cause the problem like Tuneup Utilities, Abby Finereader, Kaspersky / Avast Anti Virus etc. See if you have any of them installed. Close / Disable them one by one and see whether it helps.
Please see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/...

I hope it worked out well for you. If not, please reply back to this forum to let me know. I will be glad to follow up and help you.

Regards,
John

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Also experiencing this issue recently and tried the above. Following thread for resolution. Thank you.

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I tried the steps you outlined and haven't had any success.

Two points: 

1) I've noticed that occasionally these prompts are selected when they open, but it's neither consistent nor most of the time.

2)  A colleague has been encountering the same problem. We don't have the same computer setup and we aren't linked on any shared network. 

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This began near the beginning of August for nearly everyone (~15 people) in my company about the same time.

Excel is inconsistent with regards to menus that you activate using keyboard shortcuts. For example, you "control copy" something and want to paste it as values via "Alt E, S, V". Sometimes it works because the small window that pops up IS active, but other times it does not because the small window menu IS NOT active. This issue is occurring with all small menu windows (e.g. “Alt E, F” to Find, “Alt D, S” to sort data, “Alt I, F” to insert a formula).

My I/T department set up a screen share with our Microsoft rep, but he could not help us.  He said he would escalate it, but I have not heard anything for a week.

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Thanks for confirming what I suspected, that this was an issue intrinsic to MS Excel, presumably following some automatic update.

I hope that they address it because it's certainly annoying

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Microsoft - when will this be addressed?  It is incredibly frustrating.

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This happened to me too like a week ago and have no idea why it happened. Seems like no one knows the solution :(

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I have the exact same problem as described by the previous users, and also started around August after updates. 
This is extremely annoying and hinders the use of Excel heavily. Having agility and knowing commands is one of the things keeping people in finance at my company on Excel rather than Google Sheets (where most of the rest of the company is) - this issue is not helping at all.

Can we expect a quick fix for this Microsoft?

 

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@Ritwik2285 found the solution!

I also used Task Manager to End Task the Google File Stream.

It worked immediately!  I'm back to normal, moving super fast without hesitancy after keyboard shortcuts.

Thank you so much!  You've removed a ton of frustration!

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I'm on a mac and had this problem using Control Minus it brough up a pop up window to delete a col.  But the window was not active.  I solved the problem by going to System Preferences: Keyboard: Shortcuts: 

You can use Control F7 to change the way Tab moves focus.  Once this is done you can use your arrows.  Problem solved!  Hope this help someone.

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Last updated November 23, 2020 Views 181 Applies to: