Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Seeing Excel's Program Window.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2018)
Have you ever opened Excel, only to be greeted by a program window that was obviously too big for your screen? For example, you may see only the top left portion of the program window, with Excel's title bar missing off the top of the visible screen. Typically such a condition crops up when, for whatever reason, you decrease the resolution at which the Windows screen is displayed. For instance, if you had been viewing your screen at 1024 x 768 and you decrease your screen resolution to 800 x 600. When you later try to open Excel, it may appear off the top of the screen because it is "larger" than the available space on the desktop.
The first solution that springs to mind is that you can simply switch back to the higher resolution, open Excel and make the window smaller, and then switch back to the lower resolution. If this is not possible for some reason, then you must select a different way to accomplish the task.
The easiest (and quickest) method to try is to use the window controls. Since you cannot see them (they are accessible through the Control menu at the upper-left corner of the program window) because they are off the screen, you must use the keyboard. Follow these steps:
You might think that the last two steps would revert Excel back to its oversized condition. Instead, it forces Excel to calculate the correct size of the desktop and to set the maximum window size accordingly.
Another thing you can try is to hold down the Windows key on your keyboard as you press the Up Arrow. This maximizes the active window so that it fills the available screen space. (The Windows key is the one on many newer keyboards that has the Windows logo on it.)
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8270) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Seeing Excel's Program Window.
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