Note It is important to keep track of any new software installations or updates that you performed just before you experienced the problem, because these may be directly involved. This information is helpful if this article does not resolve your issue and you need to call Microsoft Technical Support.
- Corrupted shortcut to the Excel program
- Problematic file in Excel startup folder or alternate startup file location
- Corrupted Excel toolbar file (*.xlb) or Excel .pip file
- Corrupted add-ins
- Incorrect version of a core Microsoft Office file
- Corruption in the registry keys
- Other problems when opening Excel files
Note: It’s a good idea to make sure your computer has the latest updates installed for Windows and Office. Updates often fix problems that occur with software. Before using the repair steps below, try installing updates, restarting your computer, and then launching Excel. You can use the Update your computer article for more information about manuals updates and automatic updates.
If you receive an error message when you start Microsoft Excel, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for the exact error message at the following Microsoft Web site:
First, consider the scope of the problem. Does the problem occur when you start Excel by clicking a workbook file, or does it occur when you run Excel from the Start menu?
If the problem only occurs when you open an Excel file, refer to the "Other problems when opening Excel files" section. Otherwise, proceed to the next section.
Did this fix the problem?If Microsoft Excel starts as expected when you use the /s switch, "Safe Mode" appears in the Excel title bar. If Excel starts in Safe Mode, use a process of elimination to step through the following areas that Excel bypasses in Safe mode, until the problem is corrected.
If Excel does not start in Safe Mode, proceed to Method 3.
Excel startup folderOne of the more common reasons you may experience problems when you start Excel is that Excel is loading a problem file from one of its several different startup folders. Temporarily remove any files from the startup folders, and try to start Excel.
- Search the hard drive for xlstart folders. Move any files from these folders to a temporary location and note where they came from.
- Under File > Options > Advanced > General, look for a path under At startup, open all files in. Temporarily remove any files from that location
- Try to start Excel.
Excel registry keysSometimes problems with the registry keys Excel reads for your user profile are corrupt, and cause startup problems. These are not read when you start Excel in Safe Mode. To test to see if something in your profile is the issue, Exit Excel and rename the user profile keys, for instance rename excel to excel.old. When you start Excel again it will trigger a repair to set your settings to the default settings.
Excel 2010HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel
If this procedure does not resolve the issue, you can restore the original settings. To do this, follow these steps:
- Exit Excel.
- Delete the newly created Excel registry keys.
- Rename the "Excel.old" keys "Excel."
Method 3: Investigate interference from other programs or servicesIf Excel still does not start as expected, a conflict with another program may exist. Use System Configuration to start Windows using Selective Startup.
For information on starting system configuration, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/using-system-configuration, and choose your operating system in the dropdown.
If Excel starts in Selective Startup, you can enable drivers and startup programs one at a time to find and eliminate the issue.
Other problems when opening Excel filesIf Excel experiences problems only when you open specific Excel files, you must use a different approach to troubleshoot the issue. You may need to do anything from disabling macros to rebuilding the workbook.
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Thanks to MVP Jan Karel Pieterse for contributing to the Fix it solutions contained in this article.
For additional information about startup folders, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Article ID: 280504 - Last Review: Aug 5, 2016 - Revision: 1