Loading Unwanted Files at Startup

Stephen ran into a problem using Excel-every time he starts the program, Excel tries to load all the files in the root directory as spreadsheets. This, of course, messes up his use of Excel.

This problem typically occurs when someone has instructed Excel to load those files. To undo this, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Save at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Default File Location option is not set to C:.
  4. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

  6. In the General section, make sure the At Startup, Open All Files In option is not set to C:.
  7. Click on OK.

The options in steps 3 and 5 represent directories whose files Excel should load whenever you start the program. If you don’t want Excel to load any files when it starts, just clear the settings in these options, or make sure they are set to directories that really contain things you want loaded.

It is possible that if one of these options is set to C: (the root directory on a Windows system), and you have a lot of files in the root directory, then Excel will try to load so many files that you won’t be able to use it at all in order to perform these steps. If that happens to you, use Windows to move the files from the root directory to a temporary directory, and then start Excel. (You won’t have to move any of the folders in the root directory, just files.) Once you change the settings in Excel, as described above, you can use Windows to move the files from the temporary directory back to the root directory.