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Task pane disappears when you start Excel

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you start Excel 2003, the task pane may flash one time and then disappear.
This behavior occurs when the following conditions are true:
  • The Show at startup check box is selected in the task pane.
  • Excel opens one or more files automatically when it starts, including the Personal.xls file and any custom add-ins.
By default, Excel loads files from the following folders on your hard disk at startup (where user name is your user name):
  • Excel 2002- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Xlstart
  • Excel 2003- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Xlstart
  • C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\Xlstart .
  • The folder that is specified in the At startup, open all files in box (on the General tab of the Options dialog box).
To prevent this behavior from occurring, do not load files at startup.

For more information about how to prevent files from loading at startup, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
826922 How to prevent files from opening automatically in Excel 2003 and in Excel 2002
To view the task pane after it disappears, click Task Pane on the View menu.

To work around this problem and allow the task pane to remain visible at startup, follow these steps.

Note If you already created a Personal.xls workbook, go to step 8.

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.
  1. Start Excel.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Record New Macro.
  3. In the Record Macro dialog box, click Personal Macro Workbook in the Store macro in list.
  4. Click OK.
  5. On the Stop Recording toolbar, click the Stop button.
  6. On the File menu, click Exit.
  7. When you are prompted to save changes that were made to your Personal Macro Workbook, click Yes.
  8. Start Excel.
  9. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Visual Basic Editor.
  10. In the Project Explorer window, expand VBAProject (PERSONAL.XLS).

    Note If the Project Explorer is not visible, click Project Explorer on the View menu.
  11. Expand Microsoft Excel Objects.
  12. Double-click This Workbook.
  13. In the code window that opens, type the following code:
    Private Sub Workbook_Open() On Error Resume Next   Application.CommandBars("Task Pane").Visible = TrueEnd Sub
  14. On the File menu, click Save Personal.xls.
  15. On the File menu, click Close and Return to Microsoft Excel.
  16. Quit Excel.
This behavior is by design.
office excel error task pane disappears

Article ID: 826837 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 04:15:24 - Revision: 4.5

Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition

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