Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Saving Changes in the Personal Workbook.

Saving Changes in the Personal Workbook

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 15, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Every time Jason closes Excel, he is asked "Do you want to save the changes you made to the Personal Macro Workbook? If you click Yes, the macro will be available the next time you start Microsoft Office Excel." This is supposed to happen if he made a change to Personal.xls, but it happens even when he make no changes at all.

More than likely, this comes about because there really are some changes being made to the Personal.xls workbook. For instance, the workbook may have a dynamic function in some cell, such as =Now() or =Today(). These are updated immediately after opening a workbook, so Excel thinks there has been a change to the workbook. If such is the case, you will need to make Personal.xls visible and remove the dynamic functions. (This assumes, of course, that they are not needed by anything else in the workbook.)

Another place to look for changes is in any macros in the Personal.xls workbook. Pay particular attention to macros that automatically run when you first start Excel. These macros may be saving temporary information somewhere within Personal.xls, which Excel sees as a change worthy of possibly saving. Check your macros to determine if this is the case.

If this doesn't do it, then get out of Excel and rename the Personal.xls file to something else. Start up Excel and use the macro recorder to create a simple macro that you store in Personal.xls. This creates a new file, and when you exit Excel you should see the prompt asking if the save should be made. Make the save, exit Excel, restart, and exit again.

If the same problem exists, you know it is not because of the Personal.xls file, but due to another cause such as an add-in. You could then try some of the things listed in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/280504

If the new Personal.xls does not have the problem, copy all the VBA code from the old to the new and test again. If the problem is solved, you can delete the renamed version. If the problem returns it is something with the code, and you can repeat the renaming and retesting, checking each macro until you find the one causing the problem. Its code will have to be changed or deleted.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3092) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Saving Changes in the Personal Workbook.

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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