Application.EnableCancelKey property (Excel)

Controls how Microsoft Excel handles Ctrl+Break (or Esc or Command+Period) user interruptions to the running procedure. Read/write XlEnableCancelKey.



expression A variable that represents an Application object.


XlEnableCancelKey can be one of these constants:

  • xlDisabled. Cancel key trapping is completely disabled.
  • xlErrorHandler. The interrupt is sent to the running procedure as an error, trappable by an error handler set up with an On Error GoTo statement. The trappable error code is 18.
  • xlInterrupt. The current procedure is interrupted, and the user can debug or end the procedure.

Use this property very carefully. If you use xlDisabled, there's no way to interrupt a runaway loop or other non-self-terminating code. Likewise, if you use xlErrorHandler but your error handler always returns by using the Resume statement, there's no way to stop runaway code.

The EnableCancelKey property is always reset to xlInterrupt whenever Microsoft Excel returns to the idle state and there's no code running. To trap or disable cancellation in your procedure, you must explicitly change the EnableCancelKey property every time the procedure is called.


This example shows how you can use the EnableCancelKey property to set up a custom cancellation handler.

On Error GoTo handleCancel 
Application.EnableCancelKey = xlErrorHandler 
MsgBox "This may take a long time: press ESC to cancel" 
For x = 1 To 1000000 ' Do something 1,000,000 times (long!) 
 ' do something here 
Next x 
If Err = 18 Then 
 MsgBox "You cancelled" 
End If

Support and feedback

Have questions or feedback about Office VBA or this documentation? Please see Office VBA support and feedback for guidance about the ways you can receive support and provide feedback.