Can't Open Multiple Workbooks from the Desktop

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2018)

Agatha is running into a problem with some new systems in her office. Using the previous systems, Agatha could use the Windows Explorer to displays a folder, select a group of workbooks in the folder, and then double-click one of them. When she did so, all the selected workbooks would open in Excel. When Agatha tries this on the new systems, the only workbook that opens is the one on which she double-clicks—her entire selection set of workbooks is ignored.

This behavior does, indeed, seem to be a change in Windows itself. What is happening is that when you double-click, Windows is canceling your selection set before it starts Excel. The first click of your double-click is effectively interpreted by Windows as a command to select only that one workbook.

The solution is to change how you are starting Excel. Instead of double-clicking on one of the workbooks in the selection set, right-click on one of the files and choose Open. The selection set remains intact and all the files are opened in Excel, as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2427) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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