Every time I open the attribute table of a feature class that is joined to an Excel file (xlsx) it crashes. Previously worked in ArcGis Pro and I don't have any problems there when doing the same thing. Is this an ArcMap 10.6.1 problem or is this caused by something else?
We have also noted this issue and have found a few workarounds that seem to help, sometimes.
1) Use the Add Data Tool and add the XLSX file to your MXD. Once added it will appear in your Table of Contents under the List by Source tab. Try opening/joining it from there. You will also see better performance using this method.
2) From Excel, save the XLSX file as the older version XLS version or CSV (MS DOS) and try using the method noted above with these file versions.
3) Add the excel sheet data to a GDB as a table from catalog by right clicking a GDB and selecting Import>Table(single). Add this datatable to your MXD.
Once added to the MXD using one of the methods above, then perform the join pointing to the reference in your MXD not the actual excel file path. It should show in the join table list drop down as the excel sheet that was added.
Working via the GDB method is the only method working to prevent the crash. The only thing is that the Excel file is still being used and edited. When Using the GDB method it isn't possible to see the latest edits. Is there a way around this as well?
Like you we have not been able to isolate the issue causing the crash. One other workaround we have found sometime alleviates the crash is to create a new MXD for the project or at least test using the Excel sheet in a blank/minimal MXD. One other comment, we have found if another user is editing or has a lock on the excel file it always causes an issue. We have been making a copy of the file for GIS use and storing it in another location.
As for updating the GDB table from the Excel worksheet, this can easily be scripted in Python or Model Builder and scheduled to run on demand, hourly, daily, etc. The easiest way is to manually insert the table manually the first time then write the script/model to Truncate the table and reimport the excel sheet. As long as you do not change the file/table names your joins will remain in place. We do this regularly for data we receive from third parties.
I was having this issue and, in my case, the .csv file began with the date, in this format #.##.##_ . I removed said date and it worked fine. May have been the numbers starting the field, or the periods... either way, it stopped crashing after renaming.