Stopping a Workbook from Persistently Auto-Loading

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 2, 2019)

Kaye has deleted every XLStart file she can find, but an Excel workbook that she no longer wants to load automatically just won't go away. (She wants to keep the document in her forms directory, but she doesn't want it to autoload.) She is wondering what else she can do to stop the autoload.

Excel has the capability to actually load files, automatically, from a couple of locations. One of those locations was already checked by Kaye—the XLStart folder. Anything in this folder is automatically opened (or attempted to be opened) by Excel.

There is another, alternative location maintained by Excel, however. Follow these steps to find out what the location is:

  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. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
    • Scroll down until you see the General section. (See Figure 1.)
    • Figure 1. The general section of the advanced Excel Options.

    • Check the area to the right of "At Startup, Open All Files In." Clear this area, if desired.
    • Click OK.

    It is important to realize that if a folder path is specified in the "At Startup, Open All Files In" box, then that folder is treated just as Excel treats the XLStart folder—it attempts to open everything in the folder. If you don't delete the path, then you should at least note its location so you can check to see what is in the folder and remove any files from it that you don't want opened.

    Don't forget that the unwanted workbook—the one that is opening automatically—could be opened by a workbook you do wanted opened. For instance, let's say that you want Excel to open a workbook called MyDailyWork.xlsm, so it is located in either the XLStart folder or the alternative auto-open folder. If MyDailyWork.xlsm includes an auto-open macro, that macro might be opening other workbooks. The way to check for this is to examine any such workbooks and see if they have any auto-open macros, modifying them as necessary.

    Finally, it is also possible that you have an add-in that is loading when Excel starts, and that add-in is, in turn, opening the workbook you don't want opened. Check your add-ins to see if they make sense to you and that they are doing what you expect.

    You can find additional helpful information at this page in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    https://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=826922
    

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12690) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Data Validation

Want to control what users put into a cell? It's easy to do using a feature called data validation, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Quickly Updating Values

You can easily adjust the values in a range of cells by a certain amount. The key is to modify how you use the pasting ...

Discover More

Invalid Names when Opening Workbook

Don't you hate opening a workbook and seeing error messages? If you see a message that some "invalid names" were detected ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Sudden Increases in Workbook File Size

Workbooks can get rather large rather quickly. If you think your workbook has gotten too big too fast, here are some ...

Discover More

Seeing All Open Workbook Names

Ever want to see a list of all the workbooks that are open? If you open more than nine, Excel only displays the first ...

Discover More

Merging Many Workbooks

If you need to combine the contents of a bunch of workbooks into a single workbook, the process can get tedious. Here's a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.