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: Checking if a Workbook is Already Open.

Checking if a Workbook is Already Open

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 16, 2018)


Macros are often used to slice, dice, and otherwise process information contained in workbooks. This presumes, of course, that the workbook that contains the information is actually open. If it is not, then your macro will obviously need to include code to actually open the needed workbook.

Opening a workbook can really slow down a macro; it takes time to access the disk and load the file. Thus, if your macro can check to see if a workbook is open before going through the hassle of actually trying to open it, you could speed up your macros greatly if the workbook is found to already be open.

One very flexible way to approach the task of checking whether a workbook is open is to use a function that does the checking, and then simply returns a TRUE or FALSE value based on whether the workbook is open. The following short macro performs this succinct task:

Function AlreadyOpen(sFname As String) As Boolean
    Dim wkb As Workbook
    On Error Resume Next
    Set wkb = Workbooks(sFname)
    AlreadyOpen = Not wkb Is Nothing
    Set wkb = Nothing
End Function

To use the function, just pass it the name of the workbook you want to check, in the following manner:

    sFilename = "MyFileName.xls"
    sPath = "C:\MyFolder\MySubFolder\"
    If AlreadyOpen(sFilename) Then
        'Do not have to open
        Workbooks.Open sPath & sFilename
    End If


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ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3104) 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: Checking if a Workbook is Already Open.

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 six minus 6?

2019-09-27 11:50:08


This one doesn't require you to make a function

For i = 1 To Workbooks.Count
If Workbooks(i).Name = "File_name" Then
i = Workbooks.Count + 2
End If
Next i
If i = Workbooks.Count + 3 Then
Msgbox("File_name is already open")
End If

2015-01-14 04:33:50

Andrew McQuillen

Hi Richard,

I resolved this issue a little while ago. with the code below which seems to work well. It checks one of 4 files and opens a pop up box to say it is open by me which further on in the script stops the macro.

I always like looking at how other people handle problems mine are normally rather cumbersome, the do the job but there is normally a slicker way!!

' GetMachineName
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "=LEFT(R[-1]C,5)"

'file_name = Range("a1")
machine_name = Range("a31")

If machine_name = "MC01" Then
Dim Ret1
Ret1 = IsWorkBookOpen("R:MC01.xls")
If Ret1 = True Then
MsgBox "MC01 log file is open. The Macro will stop running please contact Andrew"
Exit Sub
End If
ElseIf machine_name = "MC02" Then
Dim Ret2
Ret2 = IsWorkBookOpen("R:MC02.xls")
If Ret2 = True Then
MsgBox "MC02 log file is open. The Macro will stop running please contact Andrew"
Exit Sub

If machine_name = "MC03" Then
Dim Ret3
Ret1 = IsWorkBookOpen("R:MC03.xls")
If Ret3 = True Then
MsgBox "MRC03 log file is open. The Macro will stop running please contact Andrew"
Exit Sub
End If
ElseIf machine_name = "MRC04" Then
Dim Ret4
Ret4 = IsWorkBookOpen("R:MC04.xls")
If Ret2 = True Then
MsgBox "MC04 log file is open. The Macro will stop running please contact Andrew"
Exit Sub
End If
End If
End If
End If

2015-01-12 10:42:58


Checking if a file is open is very useful - but the above method relies on redirecting the error handler; which could be considered intrusive.
I offer the following:
Public Function AlreadyOpen2(sFname As String) As Boolean
' Scan the open workbooks to see if sFname is already open
' True = The file filename is already open
Dim wkb As Workbook
AlreadyOpen2 = False 'To force the default result
For Each wkb In Workbooks
If wkb.Name = sFname Then AlreadyOpen2 = True
Next wkb

End Function

What do you think?

2013-10-21 03:44:35

Andrew McQuillen

Hi Allen, When I saw this tip I thought, Excellent this is just what I need. As the Engineer I often get caught out looking at the data produced in a spreadsheet when one of my Operators is trying to add more data in via a macro. the macro actually opens the file and if it is already open (by me) then it errors. I would love a way of checking the file is shut right at the start of the macro so that the operator can abort the macro and ring me up and ask me to shut the spreadsheet down.
Is there any way of adapting this code to do this.


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