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. ...

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