Solved – Retrieving Data. Wait a Few Seconds Error in Excel (Online & Offline)



Whenever I try to copy and paste a value or text from one Excel sheet to another or switch from offline Excel to online sheets, I encounter the “Retrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again” error. The message is displayed within Excel, making it impossible for me to work. I can paste the content into another app but not in Excel. If anyone can help me fix the issue, it would be great.

Retrieving Data Wait a Few Seconds error screenshot


As Microsoft developed Office programs for offline use, only the features that can be used with online platforms weren’t available. This is why when you change the Excel web app, and the data goes through validation but fails to validate it, you encounter “Retrieving Data. Wait a Few Seconds and Try to Cut or Copy Again.”

You also encounter the error message when the data is corrupt or unavailable due to an unreliable Internet connection.

Fix Retrieving Data – Wait a Few Seconds Error on Excel

  • Check the internet connection and ensure it is stable and fast.
  • Close the browser tab with the Excel sheet and reopen it to reload the data.
  • If you are a Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer user, the chances of facing the error are higher. Therefore, try using different browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  • De-select the copied data and copy and paste it again.
  • Use the desktop app to access the file and perform operations.
  • Clear browser cache and cookies.

Follow these Step-by-Step Instructions to Fix the Error

Fix 1 – Try Using a Different Browser

When using the Excel web app and struggling with the Retrieving Data error, try using a different browser to fix it. Try Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or other browsers if you work on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.

Fix 2 – Download an Offline Copy to Edit

Another fix you can try is downloading a copy of the sheet and editing it locally. Since the changes will be made offline, Excel can retrieve and validate data without issues. To save the spreadsheet locally, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Open the spreadsheet you are facing issues with online.
Step 2 – Click File > Save As > Download a Copy.

Save as section in online excel

Step 3 – Save it on your PC and then open it in the desktop version of Excel.

Now, try to copy and paste the data. You should no longer be bothered by the error.

Fix 3 – De-select, Wait, and Re-copy the data

To fix the retrieving data error, cut and copy the data again. Before that, deselect the cell you are copying, wait for a few seconds, and then perform the operation. This will give Excel time to process the data and finish its synchronization.

cut,copy and paste

Fix 4 – Clear Your Browser Data

When browser data is corrupted, you may encounter a data retrieval error. To fix this, you can clear browser data, such as cookies, cache, history, etc.

Option 1

Go to the settings of each browser and manually delete cookies and cache.

Clear Cache and Cookies From Firefox Browse
Remove Cookies in Chrome

Option 2

Use Advanced System Optimizer to remove privacy-exposing traces.

You can use a PC optimization app like Advanced System Optimizer to get things done faster. The app helps fix invalid registry entries, fix disk fragmentation, optimize disk, clean junk files, optimize PC performance for gaming, and more.

Here’s how to use it –

Step 1 – Download and install the Advanced System Optimizer on your computer.

Step 2 – Launch the PC optimization tool and go to the Security and Privacy section.

Privacy Protector_Advanced System Optimizer_12.03.2024

Step 3 – Double-click the Privacy Protector module present on the right.
Step 4 – Click the Start Privacy Scan button to run the scan and detect privacy exposing tracing, browser cache, and cookies.

Privacy Protector_Advanced System Optimizer_Home Screen

Note—If the browsers are opened, you will be prompted to close them to perform a full scan.

Partial scan_complete scan prompt_PP_12.03.2024
Step 5 – You will get a scan result window after the scan. To remove all the traces, click the Clean button.

Privacy Protector_scan results_

However, to clean your browser cache and cookies, click the Browsers tab, review the detected traces, and click the Clean button.

Privacy Protector_scan results_browser tab_

Step 6 – Wait for the process to finish.

Privacy Protector_scanning_

Step 7 – When done, you will get a cleanup summary > click Finish to exit the window.

Privacy Protector_summary_

Now that the browser data has been cleared, you have a brand-new browser. Open the Excel file and try moving data again. This time, you might not encounter an error message.

Solved – Retrieving data error.

Whether Microsoft is releasing a fix anytime soon or not, the “Retrieving Data Wait a Few Seconds and Try to Cut or Copy Again” error can be fixed using an offline desktop app, clearing browser cache and cookies, using an alternate browser, and optimizing your PC using a PC cleaner software.

We hope you find all these steps helpful. If you need help, please use the comments section to let us know. Good luck!

Recommended :

How to Recover Unsaved Excel File

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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