Odd Behavior when Opening a Shared File with a Shortcut

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 11, 2014)


Chris wrote about a problem he was having with one of the computers in his network. Each computer on the network has a shortcut icon on the desktop. Double-clicking on the icon opens a shared workbook, stored on the file server. Everything works fine, except with one computer. Whenever that user clicks on the shortcut, the workbook does not open up as a shared file. Instead, it automatically does a "save as" and renames the file with the same name and a 1 behind the original name.

If you've double-checked the problem shortcut, to make sure it uses the same settings as the successful shortcuts, then there are only a couple of things that could be causing the problem.

First, you may want to check the errant system to make sure that the copy of Excel on that system is not starting up any add-ins or macros that may be causing the problem. A quick check of the Personal.xls file and the Startup folder should accomplish this task. If you disable the add-ins, and the problem goes away, then you can figure out what to do next.

The other possible cause is that the errant system is somehow treating the workbook as if it is a workbook template. This could indicate a problem with the way that Excel is registered on the system. From the command line, use the following command:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe" /unregserver

The quotes are necessary, but you may need to change the path so it reflects the location of the Excel.exe file on your system. The /unregserver switch "unhooks" all the references to Excel in Windows. You should then, immediately, use the following command:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe" /regserver

This command causes Excel to rewrite all its Registry keys and to reassociate itself with workbook, chart, and template files.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2470) 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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What is 5 + 9?

2014-10-14 13:02:34

David McNab

I am having (what I think is) a related issue: the majority of times that I open an Excel (Excel 2010) file, it will give me a pop-up that the file is being used by 'another user'....I know that not to be true, and it happens whether I am opening a file on a network or one that is stored locally. I generally have to cancel opening the file, and do a right-click and select OPEN (instead of the usual double-click)......and on occasion, if I try to open it using right-click + OPEN, it still gives the pop-up and I have to open it using double-click....anyone have any ideas as to the cause of it? Never happened with Excel 2003..only Excel 2010

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