Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Default Worksheet when Opening.

Default Worksheet when Opening

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 29, 2017)


When you open a workbook, Excel normally displays the worksheet last displayed when the workbook was last saved. You may want a specific worksheet to always be displayed when the workbook is opened, regardless of the worksheet displayed when the workbook was last saved.

You can control which worksheet is displayed by using this macro:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
End Sub

This macro will always display a worksheet named StartSheet. You will obviously need to change the worksheet name to something different; it should exactly match the name of the desired worksheet.

For this macro to work properly, it has to be associated with the workbook object. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have only a single Excel workbook open. While this isn't exactly mandatory, it will make creating the macro a bit easier.
  2. Press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor.
  3. In the Project Explorer window you will see a list of the open workbooks and templates. If the Project Explorer is not visible on your screen, choose Project Explorer from the View menu.
  4. Locate your current workbook in the Project Explorer. It will be named something like VBAProject (MyWorkbook), where "MyWorkbook" is the name of the actual workbook.
  5. If there is a plus sign to the left of the current workbook in the Project Explorer, click on it. You should see a list of worksheets appear underneath the workbook.
  6. If you don't see a list of worksheets, but instead see a list of folders with plus signs to their left, click on the plus sign to the left of Microsoft Excel Objects. Now you should see the worksheets.
  7. At the bottom of the list of worksheets is the ThisWorkbook object. Double-click on it. A code window is opened.
  8. In the code window, paste or create the macro shown above. Make sure you name it exactly as shown.
  9. Close the VBA Editor.
  10. Save your workbook.

Now, whenever you open the workbook, the specified worksheet will be displayed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2014) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Default Worksheet when Opening.

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 1 + 5?

2018-02-01 11:08:26

Willy Vanhaelen

Perhaps you use
Private Sub Workbook_Activate()
istead of
Private Sub Workbook_Open()

2018-01-31 08:46:20

Mark Arnold


Thank You for all you do. This is something I use all the time but just came across an anomoly. I have the macro so that my file opens on the page that I want , but if I go temporarily to use a different excel spreadsheet and then return to the one with the code it goes back to the initial opening window rather than stay on the page I was on, even though the worksheet was already open. is there any way I can stop this from happening.


2017-12-20 14:37:37

Megan Smith

Doesn't seem to work for 2013?

2017-09-09 08:24:36

Frank Natalia

Most helpful. I would add that after adding Macro you have to save your Workbook in a Macro-Enabled format. (Save as)

2017-08-19 12:21:46

Robert Matthews

Worked great - thanks! Might be worth saying at point 8

"In the code window, paste or create the macro shown above. Make sure you use exactly the format shown - including the quote marks - around the sheet name you want to open with".

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