Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Loading Unwanted Files at Startup.

Loading Unwanted Files at Startup

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 27, 2017)

Stephen ran into a problem using Excel—every time he starts the program, Excel tries to load all the files in the root directory as spreadsheets. This, of course, messes up his use of Excel.

This problem typically occurs when someone has instructed Excel to load those files. To undo this, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Save at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Default File Location option (Excel 2007 and Excel 2010) or Default Local File Location option (Excel 2013 and Excel 2016) is not set to C:\.
  5. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  7. In the General section, make sure the "At Startup, Open All Files In" option is not set to C:\.
  8. Click on OK.

The options in steps 3 and 5 represent directories whose files Excel should load whenever you start the program. If you don't want Excel to load any files when it starts, just clear the settings in these options, or make sure they are set to directories that really contain things you want loaded.

It is possible that if one of these options is set to C: (the root directory on a Windows system), and you have a lot of files in the root directory, then Excel will try to load so many files that you won't be able to use it at all in order to perform these steps. If that happens to you, use Windows to move the files from the root directory to a temporary directory, and then start Excel. (You won't have to move any of the folders in the root directory, just files.) Once you change the settings in Excel, as described above, you can use Windows to move the files from the temporary directory back to the root directory.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6226) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Loading Unwanted Files at Startup.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Preventing the Left Margin of a Footer from Moving

When you print a document, does the position of the page footer seem to move left and right? This could have to do with how ...

Discover More

Moving Breaks Quickly

Breaks in a document can be easily moved from one place to another using familiar editing techniques. The trick is to make ...

Discover More

Using Very Long Worksheet Tab Names

Excel places a limit on how many characters you can use in a worksheet name. This tip discusses that limit and provides some ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Saving in Two Locations

When you save a workbook to disk, you may want to automatically save a duplicate workbook in a separate location. This can be ...

Discover More

Handling Leading Zeros in CSV Files

When dealing with files containing comma-separated values, you want to make sure that what gets imported into Excel reflects ...

Discover More

Getting Input from a Text File

You can use a macro to read information from a text file. The steps are easy, and then you can use that information in any ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.