Personal Workbook Fails to Load

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 23, 2017)

3

All of a sudden Alan's Personal.xlsb workbook stopped loading whenever he started Excel. He has confirmed that it is not loading, although it has in the recent past. The workbook is in its correct location and he can open it directly—it just will not load automatically as it is supposed to.

There could be a couple of different causes for this problem. The first thing you want to do is check to see if the Personal workbook has somehow become disabled. 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 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Add-Ins at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Using the Manage drop-down list (bottom of the dialog box), choose Disabled Items.
  4. Click the Go button. Excel displays a dialog box that shows any add-ins that Excel has disabled.
  5. If the Personal workbook is listed as disabled, select it and then click Enable.
  6. Close all open dialog boxes.

Excel disables any add-ins that it thinks are corrupted in some way or that it believes won't work properly with Excel. While the above steps can temporarily make your Personal workbook active, it won't fix the problem in the long run—you need to replace the file with a backup that Excel doesn't think is corrupted. (If you don't have a backup, the you'll need to recreate your Personal workbook from scratch.)

It is also possible that the directory in which the Personal workbook is stored has somehow become "untrusted" to Excel. The workbook is created, by default, in a directory similar to the following:

C:\Users\Allen\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART

You should understand that the actual directory may differ, depending on your version of Windows and which version of Excel you are using. This directory is supposed to be trusted by Excel as a repository of "OK to load" workbooks. If the directory is not trusted, then Excel won't load anything it contains.

You can check to see if the directory is trusted by following these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Trust Center at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Trust Center Settings button. Excel displays the Trust Center dialog box.
  4. At the left of the dialog box, click Trusted Locations. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Trust Center dialog box.

At this point you should be able to look through the directories in the dialog box and find the one where the Personal workbook is stored. If you don't find it there, then you need to use the controls in the dialog box to add it.

For a more in-depth discussion of what issues could be causing problems with loading the Personal workbook, check out this website:

http://forums.techguy.org/business-applications/1049303-solved-personal-xlsb-excel-2010-a.html

The discussion there is several years old, but the concepts it covers are still applicable.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12233) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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 four less than 4?

2017-10-19 10:49:29

Michael J. Virostko

Thanks Allen, This helped. What I can't understand is how my personal.xlsm file became corrupt. (Thank god I had a back that was only a week old). I do create and use macros and in the last week some have stopped working for oddball reasons or fail for no reason (i.e. I don't know what happened). Any idea on what or where to look for? I have "repaired" Office 2016 three times in the last week.


2017-10-09 16:16:48

Kaitlyn

Thank you! This article saved me, both in finding my "lost" personal macro workbook and re-enabling it.


2017-09-23 10:55:20

Elliot Penna

Does this sentence mean anything in the context it is used?
"At this point you should be able to look through the directories in the dialog box and find the one where the Personal workbook is stored. "
What directories are in the Trust Center dialog box?


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