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Article ID: 291218 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.5

This article was previously published under Q291218

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article explains how to use the Microsoft Excel startup folders. Excel uses startup folders in two ways:
  • To load Excel files at startup

    -and-

  • As a reference location for templates
The actual startup folder locations can vary depending on which version of Excel you use. For more details about Excel startup locations, please see the "References" section later in this article.

Folders That Excel Uses at Startup

If you install Microsoft Excel to the default location, Excel opens files from the following paths.

Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Office10\Xlstart
  • C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\Xlstart

    NOTE: If you have Profiles activated, the path to the XLStart folder is instead:

    C:\Windows\Profiles\User name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\Xlstart
  • The folder that is specified in the Alternate startup file location box on the General tab of the Options dialog box (on the Tools menu, click Options).

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Office10\Xlstart
  • C:\Winnt\Profiles\User name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\Xlstart

    where User name is your login user name.
  • The folder specified in the At startup, open all files in box on the General tab of the Options dialog box (on the Tools menu, click Options).

Microsoft Windows 2000

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Xlstart
  • C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART

    where User name is your login user name.
  • The folder specified in the At startup, open all files in box on the General tab of the Options dialog box (on the Tools menu, click Options).

Microsoft Windows XP

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Xlstart
  • C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART

    where User name is your login user name.
  • The folder specified in the At startup, open all files in box on the General tab of the Options dialog box (on the Tools menu, click Options).

Accepted File Types During Excel Startup

You typically use startup folders to load Excel templates and add-ins, but you can also use them to load workbooks. When you load these three types of files from a startup folder, they have the following important characteristics.

Templates

  • If you save a workbook called Book.xlt and place it in a startup folder location, that workbook becomes the default workbook when you start Excel, and when you open any additional new workbooks.
  • To use any additional custom templates that you create, you must place them in the following folder:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033
    You can then use the templates by clicking New on the File menu.

Add-Ins

  • Add-ins (*.xla) that you place in a startup folder do not typically appear when you start Excel, but are loaded in memory and run any auto macros.
  • You can then use these add-ins by whatever method the add-in provides (that is, a menu item or toolbar button).

Workbooks

  • Workbooks (*.xls) that you place in a startup folder are loaded and appear when you start Excel, unless the workbook is saved in a hidden state. For example, the personal macro workbook Personal.xls is a global macro workbook that Excel typically loads from the XLStart folder in a hidden state.

Incorrect Use of the Alternate Startup File Location

  • When using the alternate startup file location, it is important to specify a file path in which there are recognizable file types (such as templates, add-ins, and workbooks).
  • If Excel finds unrecognizable file types in a startup folder, you may receive an error message. The most common error message is:
    This file is not a recognizable format.

Using the Default File Location

  • In addition to the alternate startup file location, the Default file location setting is also on the General tab in the Options dialog box. This setting is different from a startup folder; it sets the folder location that you want Excel to point to when you open or save a file by using the File menu.

REFERENCES

For more information about XLStart locations, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type xlstart in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.


APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbtemplate kbhowto KB291218
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