Personal.xls File Not Opening

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 7, 2017)

2

Fred has noticed a change in how his Excel works, and it is not clear what is going on. All of a sudden his Personal.xls workbook no longer loads automatically when Excel starts. Fred didn't change anything; the file just started not loading. He can open the workbook manually, and everything works fine.

There are a couple of things that can be tried to get operations back to normal. First, examine your Personal.xls file when you open it manually. Look specifically at the title bar; if it indicates that the file is read-only, then you may want to get out of Excel and use Windows to remove the read-only attribute from the Personal.xls file. This may solve the problem, but it may not. (You'll know the next time you start Excel.)

The other possibility is that, somehow, the location of where Excel expects Personal.xls to be located has changed, or possibly the file has become corrupted in some manner. Try these general steps:

  1. Using Windows, locate and rename your Personal.xls file.
  2. Start Excel and run the macro recorder (Tools | Macro | Record New Macro).
  3. Specify that the macro you are recording should be stored in your Personal.xls workbook. (Select "Personal Macro Notebook" in the "Store Macro In" drop-down list.)
  4. Click OK, which starts the macro recorder.
  5. Select a different cell in your worksheet.
  6. Stop the macro recorder (Tools | Macro | Stop Recording).

These steps create a brand new Personal.xls file, in whatever location Excel expects it to be located. You can, in the workbook, delete the macro that you just created. You can then open the old Personal.xls workbook (the one you renamed in step 1) and copy all the macro code from it to the new Personal.xls workbook.

Once this is done, you can save Personal.xls, hide it, and delete the old one. The next time you start Excel, the new Personal.xls workbook should load just fine.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2888) 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

Using Multiple Tables of Contents

Adding multiple tables of contents is a must for some types of document design. Here's a great overview of how you can ...

Discover More

Viewing Files of a Certain Type

When you choose to open a file, Word normally displays only those files that end with the .DOC extension. If you want to ...

Discover More

Adjusting Values with Formulas

Paste Special is a great tool that allows you to modify the values in a range of cells in your worksheets. You may want, ...

Discover More

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!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Displaying Path Names in the Menu Bar

Want a quick way to see the full path name associated with a workbook? You can add a tool to the menu bar that displays ...

Discover More

Determining the Length of a Text File

When processing plain text files in a macro, it is often helpful to know how much data the file contains. The normal way ...

Discover More

Determining If a File Exists

Before you have your macro open and read a file from disk, you'll want to check to make sure it is really there. Here's ...

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 four minus 2?

2019-02-10 13:57:55

Jim

The procedure described above does not work! When I try to record a macro into the Personal Macro Workbook, I get a message "Personal Macro Workbook in the startup folder must stay open for recording." It can't stay open if was never opened to begin with. There is no Personal Macro Workbook in and of the startup folders (there are several, shown by File/Options/Trusted Locations/...), a User \XLSTART], an Office \XLSTART\, an Excel \XLSTART\ and several others...none of these locations contain 'personal.xls' or a 'personal.xlsb' file. There is some contradiction/confusion, perhaps on my part, but it sounds like it has to be open in order to be created.


2017-10-09 04:09:58

Fred Goodman

The personal.xls file was not read only.

When I tried to record a macro in the personal.xls file as described above, it could not record because "personal file must be open in the startup folder."

My personal.xls file is currently stored in C/program files (x86)/ microsoft office/office 14

Fred


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.