Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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: Running a Procedure when a Workbook is Opened.

Running a Procedure when a Workbook is Opened

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2021)

You can cause Excel to run a procedure automatically whenever a particular workbook is opened. For instance, when the workbook is opened, you might want to run a procedure that asks the users if they want to perform some task, such as saving the previous day's data to another file.

In reality, Excel provides two different ways you can run a procedure when a workbook is opened. In both cases, all you need to do is provide a special name for the macro; that is the clue that tells Excel you want to run the procedure when opening. You can, if desired, name the procedure Auto_Open and place it in a regular macro module. You can also define a procedure called Workbook_Open within the ThisWorkbook object.

As an example, consider the following code:

Sub Auto_Open()
    Dim sMsg As String
    Dim iBoxType As Integer
    Dim iUpdate As Integer
    Dim sDefault As String
    Dim sOldFile As String
    Dim iStatusState As Integer

    sMsg = "Do you want to save yesterday's transactions?"
    iBoxType = vbYesNo + vbQuestion
    iUpdate = MsgBox(sMsg, iBoxType, "Automatic Backup")
    If iUpdate = vbYes Then
        sMsg = "Which filename would you like use?"
        sDefault = "OLD.DAT"
        sOldFile = InputBox(sMsg, "Automatic Backup", sDefault)
        iStatusState = Application.DisplayStatusBar
        Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
        Application.StatusBar = "Updating past months..."
        UpdateYesterday(sOldFile)
        Application.StatusBar = False
        Application.DisplayStatusBar = iStatusState
    End If
End Sub

(Remember that this procedure is an example; it won't run properly on your system because it calls a function called UpdateYesterday, which does the actual updating.)

This macro runs automatically whenever the workbook to which it is attached is opened. You could also modify the code and place it within the ThisWorkbook object simply by changing the first line to this:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()

Note:

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 (8451) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Running a Procedure when a Workbook is Opened.

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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