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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying the Default Printer

Windows allows you to define many printers that can be used with your system. Chances are good that one of those printers ...

Discover More

Working with Master and Subdocuments

Word has long had the capability of establishing relationships between documents by designating some as master documents ...

Discover More

Locking a Worksheet Automatically

The protection features built into Excel can help you to make sure that only things are changeable that you want changed. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

Discover More

Personal.xls File Not Opening

The Personal.xls workbook is used primarily to store macros that you want available through all of your workbooks. ...

Discover More

Appending to a Non-Excel Text File

Does your macro need to add information to the end of a text file? This is called appending, and is done using the ...

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}] 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 six more than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

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.