Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Opening a Workbook with Two Windows.

Opening a Workbook with Two Windows

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 15, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

If you open a workbook that has been worked on by someone else, you may be surprised when you see not one, but two windows open. If these windows are named (in the title bar) something like MyFile.xls:1 and MyFile.xls:2, then the two windows represent different views of the same worksheet.

To solve this problem, make a change or two somewhere in the worksheet. (Make the change in either window; it doesn't matter.) This change can be as simple as editing a cell or entering something into a blank cell and then deleting it.

Next, close one of the windows by clicking the Close button in the upper-right corner of the window. The window should close, but the other window remains open. Notice, as well, that the :1 or :2 notation should disappear from the remaining window's title bar.

Now save the file and close it. When you later reopen it, the extra window is gone. It was there before because Excel remembers how many windows you have open for any given file. It saves that information with the workbook file itself, and then opens that many windows when the workbook is later opened.

If this doesn't solve the problem, it could be that the workbook being opened has an AutoOpen macro that is running and that the macro is opening the additional window. Changing macro-based behavior like this entails changing the macro or disabling it in some way.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8242) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Opening a Workbook with Two Windows.

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 one more than 7?

2019-06-01 10:28:30

Michelle Hintz

I use the multiple windows feature all the time. What you need to be aware of is if you have any special formatting in your file (i.e., print ranges, print formatting such as margin size or shrink to one page, freeze panes, view size), the settings are only saved in the ":1" version. If you remove the ":1" window and save the window that was labeled ":2", you will lose all of the special formatting.


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