How to oppen multiple instances of Excel 2010?


I have Win 7 and Office 2010 Professional.

When I oppen multiple Excel 2010 files there is only one instance of Excel, what means that if I minimize the Excel windows I can see no other Excel files on the screen. This is the opposite to what happens with Word 2010.

There is a thread here in the forun ( ) about the matter, I tryied to follow the instructions but I got no results.

Could anyone help me?


March 27th, 2011 12:12pm

Go to...

Excel Options | Advanced
and under "Display" checkmark "Show all windows in the Taskbar"
Jim Cone
Portland, Oregon USA
(Special Print add-in:  print columns side by side / rows to repeat at bottom)

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March 27th, 2011 4:37pm

Hi Jim Cone,

Thanks for the replay.

I have this option marked, but it's not what I need.

I'll try to say in other words:

When I open 2 .xlsx files I can see only one at a time.  Even if I resize the Excel windows to 50% of my screen I can see only one Excel window at a time  and not 2 at the same time.

It's not a solution from within Excel to choose to show the windows side by side ( this way Excel splits its only window to show two files) what I need is not one window for two files, and it's two(or three) Excel windows for two (or three) excel files at the same time indeed.

Just in case it helps, try to open 2 or 3 Word 2010 .docx files and minimize one of then, you will see the other window, in a way you can't with Excel.

Excel do this only if I choose to close instead to minimize the second file.

When you oppen multiple Excel files you will see only one process in task manager, whith Word you see many process, one for each .docx file.

All solutions are welcome.

BTW: I realized that if I go to All programs>>Microsoft Office>>Microsoft Excel 2010 twice and from each window I oppen a diferrent file I get what I want, but it would be great if it could happen when I clicked the Excel .xlsx files and not the Microsoft Excel 2010 program.

All solutions still welcome.


  • Edited by renatoabc Sunday, March 27, 2011 7:36 PM more info
March 27th, 2011 5:39pm

I think the right question is how to start a new instance of Excel when a new file is opened.

It can be done manually, but I'd like to be able to set a default to open a new instance when I open a file.

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July 6th, 2011 8:57pm

You could create a batch file xl.bat with the following contents:

start "Excel" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE" /e %1

Use it directly to open Excel in an own instance or assign xlsx files to open them always with this batch file.

July 7th, 2011 11:41am

Hi Alessander,

Thanks a lot, it works, I can open multiple instances of Excel this way.

Best solution so far.

But I'm wondering if you would be so kind in giving me an exemple of how to open the Excel file named Squares.xlsx located in the root of P:\, this way I'll copy and modify the bat file for each of the files I need to have opened ate the same time.

Thanks again,



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July 7th, 2011 1:59pm

Hi Jim,

Thanks for the help, but this option is already marked and it does not solve the problem.

Thanks anyway.

July 7th, 2011 2:06pm

There are several options:

* Create the bat file on your desktop and drag&drop the required xlsx file onto this icon (the %1 takes the file name from the dragged file and opens it)

* Change the BAT to the following:

start "Excel" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE" /e "P:\Squares.xlsx"
start "Excel" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE" /e "P:\Another file.xlsx"
start "Excel" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\EXCEL.EXE" /e "P:\Yet another file.xlsx"

* Right click the xlsx file and select "open with". Select "Default Application ..." (I don't have the right translation at hand, but you'll find it), then search for your bat file. After that, all xlsx files are opened with this batch file and in a separate instance.

And for the sake of completeness:
You can achieve the same behaviour by disabling DDE: File|Options|Advanced - set the checkbox at "Ignore other applications that use DDE"
Then you don't need any batch files.

  • Marked as answer by renatoabc Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:56 AM
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July 7th, 2011 2:19pm

Hi Alexander,


Thank you very much, I did as you said and it worked just fine, all the options.




July 7th, 2011 3:16pm

But I am using a work computer that doesn't give any administrator abilities.  Is there any way for someone to do it without having to open a new excel window and then opening the program I want?  Windows 7 Office 10

I have about 6 files that I open regularly throughout the day but I have to close them regularly due to computer performance issues.  It is really combersome to open a new excel workbook and then open the desired workbook.

In one thread, it was talked about making personalized keyboard shortcuts, but I don't have that ability due to the restrictions on my computer.

Anyone with other ideas or is Microsoft going to do a fix so that us poor employees with next to no modification rights can have it easier?

(FYI: programers won't look into a better workaround since they are need on other more pressing software issues)

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November 4th, 2011 2:10pm

Hi Guys!

Just a note:

When you open multiple instances of Excel ( one instance for one file) you can't copy and paste Formulas from one file to the other.

When you try to do so Excel Paste the Formulas as Values and warns it's because the files are in separeted instances.

If you just want to have the files in separeted windows (or monitors) for comparisons, no problem, if you need to copy Formulas from one file to the other you need to open all the files in the same instance (the habitual way).

Anyway, thanks very much to Alexander Freudenberg who solved the problem about the instances, but keep this as a free advice,

BTW: There is another way for the same result, if you paste a shortcut of Excel.exe on the desktop and drag and drop the Excel files to the shortcut, Excel will open in separeted instances also (same restrictions apply).



  • Edited by renatoabc Tuesday, December 27, 2011 8:35 PM
December 27th, 2011 8:33pm

I've been trying to figure this out for a while now, and by accident I have managed to get many instances of Excel 2010 open at the same time!

All you need to do is open Microsoft Excel 2010 from the Start Menu!

To open more spreadsheets select Microsoft Excel 2010 and from the Start Menu, but DO NOT select from the Recent list !!

A tad easier than messing around with Bat files :)

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May 16th, 2012 1:45pm

If you hold down SHIFT while clicking whatever file you are trying to open it will open a different instance of excel. Easiest way I know..
  • Proposed as answer by Zach Hebein Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:56 AM
May 23rd, 2012 12:56am

If you run into this problem, microsoft has the program to fix this.. and it is awesome!  go here and click fix it...  it worked, it did not impact my xp pro...
  • Marked as answer by renatoabc Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:29 PM
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July 24th, 2012 9:19pm

Hi JackvCT,

This is the only one, and the true solution for this problem (

I tryed on my PC and it worked just fine.

I'm glad that this thread was open for so long and now we reached the solution.

Thank you very much.


July 28th, 2012 12:28pm

The support page ( no longer exists, but here is the solution that I have found the most useful:

If you need the in separate instances of Excel, you need to set Excel not to accept OPEN messages from Windows.

1.      In Excel, click on the Office Button

2.      choose Excel Options at the bottom of that window.

3.      Choose the Advanced button

4.      scroll down to the General section.

5.      In that section check the setting for "Ignore other applications that use DDE". It should be unchecked. This will cause Windows to open a new session of Excel, with your second workbook.

I found this at the following web address:

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February 15th, 2013 2:26pm

This works great! Thank you.
September 12th, 2013 2:40pm

it works for me, thank you very much.
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May 27th, 2015 10:57am

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