Unable to open multiple workbooks in separate instances of Excel

Article ID: 2569200 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you try to double-click on an Excel file from the desktop, you expect the file to open in it's own instance. 

1. Open a Windows Explorer window and navigate to a folder that contains Excel documents.
2. Double-click an Excel document to open it. Double click on a second Excel document to open it as well. 


This is by design. By default, Excel will always open files in the same instance of Excel. 
Additionally, by default, if two instances are open it will always open in the original instance. 


Using the Windows Start button, open two instances of Excel. Choose the instance in which you want the file to open and use File > Open to browse to and open the file.

More information

If you are trying to display both files across monitors, you can use one instance of Excel and utilize the feature for “Arrange All” from the View ribbon. Then stretch the entire application over multiple monitors.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 2569200 - Last Review: September 27, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010

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