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: Default Worksheet when Opening.

Default Worksheet when Opening

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 13, 2020)


When you open a workbook, Excel normally displays the worksheet last displayed when the workbook was last saved. You may want a specific worksheet to always be displayed when the workbook is opened, regardless of the worksheet displayed when the workbook was last saved.

You can control which worksheet is displayed by using this macro:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
End Sub

This macro will always display a worksheet named StartSheet. You will obviously need to change the worksheet name to something different; it should exactly match the name of the desired worksheet.

For this macro to work properly, it has to be associated with the workbook object. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have only a single Excel workbook open. While this isn't exactly mandatory, it will make creating the macro a bit easier.
  2. Press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor.
  3. In the Project Explorer window you will see a list of the open workbooks and templates. If the Project Explorer is not visible on your screen, choose Project Explorer from the View menu.
  4. Locate your current workbook in the Project Explorer. It will be named something like VBAProject (MyWorkbook), where "MyWorkbook" is the name of the actual workbook.
  5. If there is a plus sign to the left of the current workbook in the Project Explorer, click on it. You should see a list of worksheets appear underneath the workbook.
  6. If you don't see a list of worksheets, but instead see a list of folders with plus signs to their left, click on the plus sign to the left of Microsoft Excel Objects. Now you should see the worksheets.
  7. At the bottom of the list of worksheets is the ThisWorkbook object. Double-click on it. A code window is opened.
  8. In the code window, paste or create the macro shown above. Make sure you name it exactly as shown.
  9. Close the VBA Editor.
  10. Save your workbook.

Now, whenever you open the workbook, the specified worksheet will be displayed.


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 (11146) 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: Default Worksheet when Opening.

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 six minus 6?

2018-11-09 09:51:34


Hi there,
Some of my colleagues work on Excel using iPads, which means it doesn't support the use of Macros.

Is there a work around to achieve this by not using a macro?


2016-08-23 03:23:01


Hi Allen,

I used the following codes and could not open my default worksheet. Can you please help.

Sub Workbook_Open()
End Sub

Many thanks


2016-08-09 05:56:22

Morton Wakeland

Where may I ask you a question regarding EMAIL MERGE - using Word for a document, Excel as the "database" and Outlook to send out emails? I know how to do email merge for one record = one row of info. But when it comes to inserting multiple rows of information for the same record, well, after 3 days of searching, I'm thoroughly lost!! Thank you, Mort

2016-08-09 02:29:54


Great, worked perfectly!! Thanks a lot for your help..

2016-07-15 05:32:36



The code you cite needs to be located on the “ThisWorkbook” codepage.

2016-07-14 11:37:04


Hi Allen

I have a workbook and I want to default to the "Control Panel" tab when a user opens the spreadsheet / workbook. I've used the code above but it does not work

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
Worksheets("Control Panel").Activate
End Sub

The code is in a module or does have to be in the worksheet?

2015-07-06 10:39:14

David Smith

This is a great tip -- I like to create an index/summary page for all of my workbooks that provides documentation of the contents, such as a table of contents, FAQ, or warnings. Now my users will have to look at this page every time they open the workbook.

2015-07-06 09:40:00

Wes Kehler

When I receive an attachment in excell format, I can't seem to open that worksheet.

I get everything from the past and I fumble around sometimes for half an hour trying to open what was just sent to me.

Is there a way to get the current attachment to open immediately?

2015-07-06 08:57:49


Cheers, worked a treat. Needed to save it as a macro-enabled file.

2015-07-06 06:13:39

Derek Bates

Short & sweet. But none the less useful.

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