by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 12, 2013)
Jamie is having problems starting Excel properly. When he starts the program he gets two error messages: One says that Excel cannot find the file Microsoft.xls, and the other that it cannot find the file Office.xls. After clicking OK to both of the errors, Excel works normally.
When you start Excel, it should do just that—start right up. Error messages like the ones mentioned mean that Excel thinks it should be able to find a couple of files, but it cannot. The two files in this instance are both XLS files, so they are workbooks that Excel thinks it should be able to open.
In doing searches of systems with newly installed versions of Excel, there are no workbooks with the names Microsoft.xls or Office.xls, so I can only conclude that the files were added to the machine by a user, by a third-party program, or by some add-in for Excel.
The first thing to try is to force Excel to re-register itself in the Windows Registry. You do this at the command prompt (or after choosing Start | Run), using a command line like the following:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe" /Regserver
The quote marks around the full path are mandatory, and there is a good chance that the path name to Excel.exe will be different on your system than what is shown here. After executing this command line, try starting Excel again and see if you get the same errors; you may very well not get them.
If you continue to get the errors, then search your system for the XLSTART folder. Make sure there is nothing in there, such as a workbook. Anything in the folder is automatically loaded by Excel when it starts, and—if there is a workbook present—it could reference the two missing files.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2375) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!
Using the keyboard to switch between Excel spreadsheets.Discover More
Working on a computer system that has multiple monitors can help increase your productivity. If you want to work with ...Discover More
Ever had your Excel status bar disappear unexpectedly? Here's some ideas on why this may be happening.Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.