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Odd Excel 2003 Hanging Mouse Cursor

By steve - Posted on 18 April 2011

I had a system with an odd little problem. The user was using Excel 2003 and all of a sudden, it looked like Excel hung. Everywhere the user clicked with the left mouse button, nothing happened. The right button would select a cell an inch away from the cell that was clicked on and the pop-up menu would appear down and to the right from the point clicked. While Excel looked like it was hung, it really wasn't as even though it wasn't behaving, it was running...

I checked "task manager" and Excel was running one copy and using virtually no CPU time and not that much memory.

Clicking around, hitting reset, resetting mouse settings, etc. didn't do anything.

The cursor worked as expected in every program except Excel.

The spreadsheet was "full screen" within the Excel MDI parent window, but Excel was not full screen.

Some menu items worked, but File/Exit would NOT work.

Excel felt "stuck", if not actually hung.

I thought about crashing out and starting over, but we weren't sure all the other spreadsheets (there were four open) were saved.

I tried to click over to each open sheet with the Window menu option, but the other (MDI child) windows wouldn't come to the top of the stack. So, in a move of utter brilliance and luck, I clicked on Window/Arrange/Tile so that I could see all four windows at once. I clicked on one of the other windows and the cursor behaved normally!

It ran the rest of the day without any problems, so it looks like doing the Window/Arrange option caused Excel to recalculate the cursor management process and that was enough to get it to work.

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