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


2

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Renaming a File

Need to rename a file in a macro? It's easy to do using the Name command, as discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Converting PDF to Excel

Reports and other formal documents are often distributed in PDF format so that they can be read and printed on a variety ...

Discover More

Using the IRR Function

When working with finances, you often need to know the rate of return on a given investment. The most common type of ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Importing Huge Data Files

Sometimes, when importing data created by other programs, you may find that there is too much for Excel to handle. Here's ...

Discover More

Correctly Saving Delimited Files

Delimited files are often created through Excel so that your data can be exported to other programs. If the delimited ...

Discover More

Aligning Cells when Importing from CSV

When you import information from a CSV text file, Excel formats the data according to its default settings. Wouldn't it ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 nine minus 3?

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


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.