Improvements have been made to Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 applications that may help alleviate issues seen with Out of Memory type of errors. Among the ones most notable are that we've added Large Address Aware capability which will provide the opportunity to utilize more memory with 32-bit Excel 2013 and 32-bit Excel 2016, if needed. Additionally, for those that need even more memory and require using separate instances in order to achieve this, we've added a registry key so that you can choose to set the application to do this for you by default.
There are caveats and details that I won't go in to here. However, these articles below help explain the specific changes I've mentioned in more detail.
These changes were implemented for Excel 2016 O365 Current Channel Subscribers in May 2016, version 16.0.6868.2060.
Large Address Aware Capability Change for Excel
On June 7th, the updates for Excel 2013 MSI and Excel 2016 MSI were released.
June 7, 2016, update for Excel 2013 (KB3115162)
June 7, 2016, update for Excel 2016 (KB3115139)
How to force Excel to open in new instance by Default
On June 14th, large address aware was released for Excel 2013 Click-to-Run in the June 2016 Update - Version 15.0.4833.1001
Reference this article for a list of Office 2013 Click-to-Run builds: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/gp/office-2013-365-update
While the intention is to help alleviate issues with memory requirements, we still recommend careful designing of your data, formatting and formula usage as well as maintenance to periodically remove components that are no longer necessary or were added unintentionally in order to ensure memory is used in the most efficient manner. Additionally, while the ability to use large address aware does help in most cases, there is still a limit (as explained in the articles) and you may still experience an error if you are still using a large amount of memory and exceed this higher limit still. I've included additional references we've published to help with these suggestions below as well.
How to Troubleshoot Memory Errors in Excel; "Available Resources", "Out of Memory", "System Resources"
2779852 How to Troubleshooting Available Resources errors in Excel
Top 10 List of Performance Issues in Excel Workbooks
Excel 2013 32-bit Performance Articles Released