Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Jumping Around Folders.

Jumping Around Folders

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 14, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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If you work with multiple workbooks at the same time, you know that traversing folder (directory) paths in the Open dialog box can be tedious. For instance, let's assume you have a workbook you are working on. You open a second workbook, this one in a different directory. (You find it and open it after clicking your way to it in the Open dialog box.)

Now it comes time to open a third workbook. When you display the Open dialog box, Excel assumes you want to start from where you opened the previous workbook. What if you want to actually open it from the same directory in which the first workbook was located? Of course, you can again use the Open dialog box to traverse back to the original directory. An easier method may be to do the following:

  1. Display the first workbook.
  2. Press F12. Excel displays the Save As dialog box, starting from the directory in which the workbook was originally loaded. (This is the directory you want.)
  3. Close the Save As dialog box by immediately pressing Esc or clicking on Cancel.

Now when you use the Open dialog box, Excel starts in the folder you were last in, which was the one displayed in step 2—the one you want.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12714) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Jumping Around Folders.

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 8 + 8?

2022-12-14 04:32:17

Kiwerry

Thanks, Paul. I use the "Recently opened" feature often - it's in my QAT - but I hadn't noticed that option.


2019-04-15 13:57:30

Paul

Or in versions of Excel from 2013 on (with all the updates applied):

When opening the third workbook, click File and choose Open from the left-hand menu
Excel displays a list of recently-opened workbooks
Click Folders at the top of the list of workbooks
Excel displays a list of folders you have visited recently


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