Microsoft only recently changed the "recommended" install to 64-bit.
Hardware acceleration has given me heartache in the past.
Disable add-ins, then enable one by one to see which one causes a hang (if any are causing that).
Run a memtest, I've (rarely) had this cause the issue but sometimes a bad stick from the factory has caused Excel-heavy users to experience performance issues.
On older PCs, it's sometimes due to a failing drive; but it's unlikely the SSD from the factory is the issue. Just worth noting.
Beyond that, it's often content based... pulling tons of links from the network, updating various content on the network that's using cells in the sheets, etc.
Decent list of options
- user is on 64 bit - I made the switch for my images about the time MS made the recommendation change
- hardware acceleration is disabled, but only after reported issues
- there are zero Office add-ons
- good idea - I'll run a memtest tonight. This is a 6 month old workstation class HP machine, though it does not have ECC RAM.
- could be failing drive - but this user has been having issues for years over 4+ different machines, seems unlikely.
- The files do all live on the network - a Windows 2012 R2 server. Most if not all of the excel files do not reference other worksheets.
Ah, you'll waste your time on memtest. I didn't realize it was happening on 4 different workstations. It's not the workstation.
I've also had this be a permissions issue. I had one weird incident where a file had share and NTFS permissions all over the place. It was basically recalculating the perms while they worked, because I changed shared to FC everyone and gave the person most access to the folder and the issue went away.