Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 13, 2016)


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, and 2013. 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. ...


Changing the Position of the Dollar Sign

When you receive documents created by others, it is not unusual that you'll want to edit what they've written. For ...

Discover More

Get Rid of Web Stuff

When you copy information from a Web page and paste it into a worksheet, you can end up with more than you bargained for. ...

Discover More

Fonts Missing in Word

What are you to do if you find that you have no fonts available in Word, but they are available in other programs? There ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Grabbing the MRU List

Excel keeps track of the most recent workbooks you've used. If you want to access that information in a macro, you'll ...

Discover More

Importing Many Files Into Excel

Importing a single file is easy. Importing a whole slew of files can be much more of a challenge.

Discover More

Who Has the File Open?

Open a workbook that someone else is working on, and you won't be able to save your changes back into the same file. ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 1 + 5?

2015-06-19 04:49:37

Dave Kerr

Does anyone have macro code to do this? Should I simply use the macro recorder to get my own?

Alternatively, is there a property or method associated with dialog boxes where I can set my own "default" folder when using the dialog box in a macro?

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

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.