Opening Personal.xlsb

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Every time Roger starts Excel, it is supposed to open a blank worksheet. However, Roger notes that Excel always opens Personal.xlsb instead of a fresh worksheet.

The Personal.xlsb worksheet is used, most often, to contain macros that you want available whenever you are using Excel. Normally the worksheet is hidden, unless it has been specifically unhidden and Excel saved.

To solve the problem, just start Excel and when the Personal.xlsb file is visible, display the View tab of the ribbon and click Hide in the Window group. The worksheet goes away, and you should immediately exit Excel. (If you are asked if you want to save your changes, respond in the affirmative.)

The next time you start Excel, you should no longer see Personal.xlsb because it is hidden. Instead you should see a regular blank worksheet, exactly as you expect.


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 (6205) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

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?

2022-03-06 17:56:38


Thanks! Worked like a charm in Excel for Mac 16!

2019-07-25 01:16:48

Aniruddha Raje

Thank you so much for this article..

2018-03-07 08:24:42


This worked like wonder! thanks.

2018-02-08 11:23:29


Fantastic! Solved a long term outstanding issue for you. Thanks!

2018-01-08 09:26:55


thanks! very simple and helpful

2017-05-01 10:17:55


This is a clear and detailed answer.
Thank you for this.

2017-04-30 12:04:28



2016-11-25 03:53:31


what is personal.xlsb work file

2016-11-22 05:14:32


Works fine.

2016-10-28 10:05:55


That doesn't work for office 365.
I still get the blank page even though it states that the personal file is hidden.

2016-04-06 10:47:46


Thanks, your tip worked for me.

2016-03-31 14:41:42

Stephen Golden

I, also, discovered that I needed to re-hide the PERSONAL.XLSB file after placing a macro in it.

My issue is resolved.

2016-03-09 04:58:10


Thanks. That helped me!!

2015-10-23 08:06:28


Please disregard my comment left on 9/17/15. I found the problem and fixed it. The xlsb file itself was hidden. When I unhid that file and then changed the view of the opened Personal.xlsb workbook everything worked as it should.

2015-10-23 07:01:34


Thanks, this was a very helpful tip.

2015-09-17 21:20:44


I am running Excel 2013 in Win 8.1 Pro. I have personal.xlsb in the correct startup folder, but when I set the File | Options | Advanced startup location to open all files (where personal is located) it will not retain the setting. I have started Excel and set this setting and clicked OK and closed Excel, then re-start Excel and there is no entry retained. Personal is there but will not open. It is not listed when I open VBE and look. I have an addin that loads from elsewhere, and it is listed, but not personal. Please help!

2015-08-19 20:29:47


Thanks for the tip. This has been bugging me for a long time....

2015-08-15 14:05:50


If you try to launch multiple Excel instances while using a Personal macro workbook, Excel will display a read-only warning. To avoid that pesky message, unhide your Personal.xlsb workbook and share it. Until now, the only drawback was that shared personal macros were unviewable and could not be be edited.

Unlock macros in your shared workbook as described in link below and enjoy a shared personal workbook, in which you can add or change VBA code easily.

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