Google Drive Office Plug-in and Really Slow Excel

I use Office a lot. And I use Goole Drive a lot. Yes, don’t all shout at once! I know it’s just been rebranded to Google Backup and Sync. But not as far as Office is concerned.

The plugin that Google built to simplify using Google Drive with Office applications is still called the Google Drive Plugin for Office. It gives you an additional location to save files directly to Google Drive from the File Save As and some extra options to directly work with files on Google Drive even if they are not synchronised to your local PC. That could be handy I thought. But I never really used it. Because all my stuff is synchronised locally.

When Excel started to misbehave, especially when it was taking 45 seconds to a minute to close, I didn’t think of this plugin I never used.

I suspected something wrong with Excel. Or with Windows, or with the latest Windows Update. None of these seemed to be the cause. So in the end I resorted to running Procmon, one of the venerable Sysinternals tools I used a lot when I was still developing software. This can show you in more detail what each process is doing and the resources it is accessing. It rapidly became apparent that, during it’s really slow shutdown, Excel was talking a lot to the Google Drive plugin. And when it was disabled, Excel closed in under a second. So culprit found. Hurrah!

I was already running the latest version, But I thought a quick uninstall/reinstall was worth a try. That seems to have done the trick.

But as I have never used it, the Google Drive Plugin is about to be uninstalled again.

So 2 hints in 1:

  1. Slow Excel – try uninstalling and reinstalling the Google Drive plugin
  2. Regularly review the software you have installed, and remove any that you don’t use anymore.