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Article ID: 291288 - Last Review: March 15, 2013 - Revision: 9.0

This article was previously published under Q291288

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Summary

Microsoft Excel accepts a number of optional switches that you can use to control how the program starts. This article lists the switches and provides a description of each switch.

More information

 The optional switches for Excel 2013 differ slightly. To learn more about them, please read: Command-line switches for Excel (http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/excel-help/command-line-switches-for-excel-HA102919739.aspx?CTT=1)

Switches

The following table lists the switches that you can use to control how Excel starts. Switches are not case sensitive: /O is the same as /o. In some scenarios, you can use more than one switch at a time. If you use more than one switch at a time, you must separate the switches with spaces -- for example: /o /s
   Switch           Function
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------

   /e, /embedded    Forces Excel to start without displaying the 
                    startup screen and creating a new workbook 
                    (Book1.xls).

                    Example: /e or /embedded

   /m               Forces Excel to create a new workbook that
                    contains a single macro sheet.

                    Example: /m

   /o               Forces Excel to re-register itself. Specifically, 
                    the following key is rewritten in the registry:

                    Excel 97: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel
 
                    Excel 2000: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel

                    Excel 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel

                    Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel

                    NOTE: If this key contains values that are not valid,
                    they are not corrected by using this switch. This 
                    switch only replaces missing values.

                    Example: /o

   /p <folder>      Forces Excel to use the path that you specify as the active
                    path instead of the default path. 

                    Example: /p "C:\Windows"

   /r <file name>    Forces Excel to open the specified file in
                    read-only mode.

                    Example: /r "C:\My Documents\Test.xls"

   /s, /safemode    Forces Excel to bypass all files in the Application Data\Microsoft\Xlstart folder,
                    the default XLStart folder located in the directory where Excel or Office is installed, 
                    and the alternate startup file location specified on the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box. 
                    It also forces Excel 
                    to bypass the toolbar file (Excel.xlb or 
                    <username>.xlb). You see "Safe Mode" in the 
                    Excel title bar. Use this switch when you want to 
                    start Excel in safe mode.

                    Example: /s or /safemode
				
   Switch           Function
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------

   /e, /embedded    Forces Excel to start without displaying the 
                    startup screen and creating a new workbook 
                    (Book1.xls).

                    Example: /e or /embedded

   /m               Forces Excel to create a new workbook that
                    contains a single macro sheet.

                    Example: /m

   /o               Forces Excel to re-register itself. Specifically, 
                    the following key is rewritten in the registry:

                    Excel 97: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel
 
                    Excel 2000: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel

                    Excel 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel

                    Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel

                    NOTE: If this key contains values that are not valid,
                    they are not corrected by using this switch. This 
                    switch only replaces missing values.

                    Example: /o

   /p <folder>      Forces Excel to use the path that you specify as the active
                    path instead of the default path. 

                    Example: /p "C:\Windows"

   /r <file name>    Forces Excel to open the specified file in
                    read-only mode.

                    Example: /r "C:\My Documents\Test.xls"

   /s, /safemode    Forces Excel to bypass all files in the Application Data\Microsoft\Xlstart folder,
                    the default XLStart folder located in the directory where Excel or Office is installed, 
                    and the alternate startup file location specified on the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box. 
                    It also forces Excel 
                    to bypass the toolbar file (Excel.xlb or 
                    <username>.xlb). You see "Safe Mode" in the 
                    Excel title bar. Use this switch when you want to 
                    start Excel in safe mode.

                    Example: /s or /safemode
				   Switch           Function
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------

   /e, /embedded    Forces Excel to start without displaying the 
                    startup screen and creating a new workbook 
                    (Book1.xls).

                    Example: /e or /embedded

   /m               Forces Excel to create a new workbook that
                    contains a single macro sheet.

                    Example: /m

   /o               Forces Excel to re-register itself. Specifically, 
                    the following key is rewritten in the registry:

                    Excel 97: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel
 
                    Excel 2000: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel

                    Excel 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel

                    Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel

                    NOTE: If this key contains values that are not valid,
                    they are not corrected by using this switch. This 
                    switch only replaces missing values.

                    Example: /o

   /p <folder>      Forces Excel to use the path that you specify as the active
                    path instead of the default path. 

                    Example: /p "C:\Windows"

   /r <file name>    Forces Excel to open the specified file in
                    read-only mode.

                    Example: /r "C:\My Documents\Test.xls"

   /s, /safemode    Forces Excel to bypass all files in the Application Data\Microsoft\Xlstart folder,
                    the default XLStart folder located in the directory where Excel or Office is installed, 
                    and the alternate startup file location specified on the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box. 
                    It also forces Excel 
                    to bypass the toolbar file (Excel.xlb or 
                    <username>.xlb). You see "Safe Mode" in the 
                    Excel title bar. Use this switch when you want to 
                    start Excel in safe mode.

                    Example: /s or /safemode
				   Switch           Function
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------

   /e, /embedded    Forces Excel to start without displaying the 
                    startup screen and creating a new workbook 
                    (Book1.xls).

                    Example: /e or /embedded

   /m               Forces Excel to create a new workbook that
                    contains a single macro sheet.

                    Example: /m

   /o               Forces Excel to re-register itself. Specifically, 
                    the following key is rewritten in the registry:

                    Excel 97: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel
 
                    Excel 2000: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel

                    Excel 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel

                    Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel

                    NOTE: If this key contains values that are not valid,
                    they are not corrected by using this switch. This 
                    switch only replaces missing values.

                    Example: /o

   /p <folder>      Forces Excel to use the path that you specify as the active
                    path instead of the default path. 

                    Example: /p "C:\Windows"

   /r <file name>    Forces Excel to open the specified file in
                    read-only mode.

                    Example: /r "C:\My Documents\Test.xls"

   /s, /safemode    Forces Excel to bypass all files in the Application Data\Microsoft\Xlstart folder,
                    the default XLStart folder located in the directory where Excel or Office is installed, 
                    and the alternate startup file location specified on the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box. 
                    It also forces Excel 
                    to bypass the toolbar file (Excel.xlb or 
                    <username>.xlb). You see "Safe Mode" in the 
                    Excel title bar. Use this switch when you want to 
                    start Excel in safe mode.

                    Example: /s or /safemode
				   Switch           Function
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------

   /e, /embedded    Forces Excel to start without displaying the 
                    startup screen and creating a new workbook 
                    (Book1.xls).

                    Example: /e or /embedded

   /m               Forces Excel to create a new workbook that
                    contains a single macro sheet.

                    Example: /m

   /o               Forces Excel to re-register itself. Specifically, 
                    the following key is rewritten in the registry:

                    Excel 97: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Excel
 
                    Excel 2000: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Excel

                    Excel 2002: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Excel

                    Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Excel

                    NOTE: If this key contains values that are not vali Excel 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Exceld,
                    they are not corrected by using this switch. This 
                    switch only replaces missing values.

                    Example: /o

   /p <folder>      Forces Excel to use the path that you specify as the active
                    path instead of the default path. 

                    Example: /p "C:\Windows"

   /r <file name>    Forces Excel to open the specified file in
                    read-only mode.

                    Example: /r "C:\My Documents\Test.xls"

   /s, /safemode    Forces Excel to bypass all files in the Application Data\Microsoft\Xlstart folder,
                    the default XLStart folder located in the directory where Excel or Office is installed, 
                    and the alternate startup file location specified on the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box. 
                    It also forces Excel 
                    to bypass the toolbar file (Excel.xlb or 
                    <username>.xlb). You see "Safe Mode" in the 
                    Excel title bar. Use this switch when you want to 
                    start Excel in safe mode.

                    Example: /s or /safemode
				
     /t                Forces Excel to use the specified file as a
                    template for the default workbook. 

  /regserver        Forces Excel to register itself and then quit. Use this 
                    switch when you want Excel to rewrite all its 
                    registry keys and reassociate itself with Excel files, 
                    such as workbooks, charts, and others.(Applies only to versions before Excel 2010)

                    Example: /regserver


   /unregserver     Forces Excel to unregister itself and then quit.(Applies only to versions before Excel 2010)

                    Example: /unregserver
				

How to Use Switches When You Start Excel

How to Add a Switch to the Microsoft Excel Shortcut

To add a switch to the Microsoft Excel shortcut:
  1. Right-click Start, click Open, and then double-click the Programs folder.
  2. Right-click the shortcut for Microsoft Excel, click Properties, and then click the Shortcut tab.
  3. In the Target box, type the switches that you want after the command that runs Excel.exe. For example, if you want Excel to start without creating a new workbook, and the Excel.exe file is installed in the default location, type the following in the Target box:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe" /e
  4. Click OK.

    Note If the options on the Shortcut tab in the Properties dialog box are not available, your shortcuts are Windows Installer shortcuts. For more information about how to modify these shortcuts, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    290379  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290379/ ) Office Shortcut tab is unavailable

How to Run Excel One Time with a Switch by Using the Command Line

If you want to run Excel with a switch occasionally, you can add the switch to the command line. To do this:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type the path to Excel.exe, and then add the switch that you want to use at the end of the command line. For example, if you want to bypass all the files in the startup folders and the Excel.exe file is installed in the default location, you type the following command:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Excel.exe" /s
  3. Click OK.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB291288
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