Upgrading Personal.xls to Excel 2007

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 19, 2018)


Billy's boss is getting a new PC, and he is responsible to get the system set up for her. Her old PC has Excel 2000, but the new system will have Excel 2007. He needs to get her old Personal.xls to the new PC, as it has all her macros in it. Billy wonders if he can just copy and paste Personal.xls from the old system to the new one.

The short answer is "probably not." Excel 2007 uses a new file format based on XML—in fact, Excel 2007 doesn't even use a file called Personal.xls, but Personal.xlsb. It is best to have your Personal.xls file in this new format. That doesn't mean that you can't get the old information to the new system, however. The way you do that is to follow these general steps:

  1. Copy the old Personal.xls file to the new system.
  2. Rename it something else, such as OldPersonal.xls.
  3. On the new system, start Excel and open the Excel 2007 Personal.xlsb file.
  4. Open the OldPersonal.xls file.
  5. Copy the macros from the old file to the new one.
  6. Save the new Personal.xlsb file.

That should be it—your macros will be on the new system.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6190) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 3 + 4?

2017-10-20 16:37:24

Ron S

Could you please merge the contents of this article with

and retire one of them. They most overlap, but there are some unique points in each.

2017-06-14 09:06:17


Why do this whole routine just to move macros? They should be backed up in Word, Notepad, or a draft Outlook email anyway, and can simply be copied from that backup collection directly into the VBA window's Module 1, in one fell swoop. Just make sure to click Save when closing the new Excel for the first time, to save changes to Module 1, which by definition will be in the new Personal file. Eventually Microsoft will make these mundane tasks automatic, but until then we can keep them simple.

2013-12-04 06:24:25


One last comment.

I now realize that the "macro" I was trying to put in my Personal workbook was actually a user-defined function, and they don't go in the Personal workbook. Instead, I had to create an Add-ins workbook and put my function in there.
Details, details.

I hope my comments will help anyone else who comes across this tip.

2013-12-03 16:23:16


OK, so I figured out how to create a blank Personal.xlsb file. I put it into my XLSTART directory, and I set it to hidden. All is good so far. Then I created a macro in the Personal workbook, saved it, exited Excel, but when I restart Excel the macro isn't in my Personal workbook. What did I miss?

2013-12-03 15:53:26


I'm ashamed to admit this, but I've been on Excel 2010 for years, and I've never moved my Personal.xls file to the new format. So now I want to, but I can't follow the tip.

1. I copied the old Personal.xls file
2. I renamed it
3. I started Excel, but there is no Personal.xlsb anywhere on the system.

What can I do?

2012-11-26 17:36:35

Bob Davey

Greetings All,

VBA works just fine with 2007 (and presumably 2010). Some pre 2007 language differs but it is not too difficult to refine the code for the current version in the odd instance that problems occur. I am succesfully running macros that I have carried forward from XL5 in XL 2007 (family heirlooms).

2012-11-26 07:38:43



I have seen discussions where they say a VBA code (macro) does not work in a newer version of Excel and vise versa. so you might caution your readers of this possibility when bringing in the macros.

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