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  1. #1
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    Can't open Excel files with Windows Explorer

    For the last few months, I've had this weird problem with Excel 2010. I'm using Win 7

    I can open a single Excel file using Windows Explorer, But sometimes, if I try to open a second file with Explorer, it won't open. Just ignores me. Sometimes I can open the file. But then I can't open more files with Explorer.

    But I can always open more files by going into Excel and going to File>Open or File>Recent and navigating to the file from there.

    It's an inconvenience, since navigation is easier with Explorer. Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Try going to Options > Advanced > General and see if "ignore other applications that use DDE" is checked.
    If so, uncheck and see if that resolves the issue.
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    Gold Lounger Maudibe's Avatar
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    xelaw,

    If you are in the midst of editing a cell where the cursor is still blinking in the cell then attempt to open a new workbook, Excel will not open it until you have finished editing that cell. It will also have the same effect if you have a dialogue box, message box, or a form open in the current workbook. Could this be your issue?

    Maud

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    Kweaver and Maudibe, thanks for the advice, but I'm afraid there's no cigar.
    Kweaver - "ignore other applications that use DDE" is unchecked.
    Maudibe - I don't try to open a new file while in the middle of editing.
    The problem persists (as I said previously, sometimes, maybe 70% of the time, but not always).
    Anyone have any other ideas?

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    It's possible that this tip could help http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/mic...the-same-time/

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    Sudo15, thanks, but what the writer recommends in the link is exactly how I found I can open up additional Excel files. I would rather open up the additional files using Windows Explorer (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't) because it's more convenient.
    Why it doesn't always work, and when it does work is a mystery. Also, until a few months ago, opening files with Explorer always worked.
    Are there any other suggestions?

  7. #7
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    Were they opening in a new instance of Excel when they opened before or without another window opening ?

    If you want them to open in separate windows, say for comparison - MS has a Fixit for that http://blogs.msdn.com/b/robmar/archi...windows-7.aspx

    Which options are you given to "Open with" when you right click on any of the Excel files ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-10-06 at 07:18.

  8. #8
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    I have to admit that I don't understand what you mean.
    Whenever I open another Excel file. it always opens in a new window, and that's the way Excel has always worked for me. I don't understand how it could open in the same window - replace the previously opened Excel file?
    I want to work with a number of Excel files open simultaneously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maudibe View Post
    xelaw,

    If you are in the midst of editing a cell where the cursor is still blinking in the cell then attempt to open a new workbook, Excel will not open it until you have finished editing that cell. It will also have the same effect if you have a dialogue box, message box, or a form open in the current workbook. Could this be your issue?

    Maud
    Further to Maud's suggestion, you might not be editing but there might well be a dialogue box etc open behind the main window (I've seen this happen but not recently). Have you tried minimising the Excel window just to be sure there is nothing behind it. I know this is grasping at straws but best to eliminate as much as possible.

  10. #10
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    access-mdb - thanks for your suggestion, but I grasped at your straw and it eluded me. Nothing behind the Excel window except the desktop.
    But keep those suggestions coming!

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Do you have the file preview showing in Explorer? That can cause issues.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  12. #12
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    rory - no I don't

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelaw View Post
    I have to admit that I don't understand what you mean.
    Whenever I open another Excel file. it always opens in a new window, and that's the way Excel has always worked for me. I don't understand how it could open in the same window - replace the previously opened Excel file?
    I want to work with a number of Excel files open simultaneously.
    Just to expand on this idea.

    When you open two Excel files, they usually open as two windows inside one instance of Excel. If you minimize the worksheets, you will see one background of Excel but two windows inside Excel, one for each worksheet.

    However sometimes if Excel is occupied with some task keeping it too busy, a second instance of Excel will open with the new worksheet. Most of the time you may not notice any effect of this except when you try to run any functions that reference the worksheet running in the other instance of Excel. At that point Excel will tell you that it doesn't recognize a target outside the instance of Excel you are working in.

    I am not quite sure how this relates to your problem but if you were always opening multiple instances of Excel in the past but now Excel is refusing to run as multiple instances...

  14. #14
    Star Lounger Wiley's Avatar
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    Have you tried open several files in excel at the same time (vs one at a time)? in explorer tag (ctrl, left click) three or four excel files and then right click on one of the tagged files, then click open. All those tagged files should open the excel program and display all of those tagged files.

    Or, click on Microsoft Office in your start, all programs, click on Microsoft Tools, and Microsoft Office Diagnostics.

  15. #15
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    edmcguirk - thanks for the explanation, but it hasn't solved my problem.

    Wiley - I tried your suggestion. Results are not unambiguous. Sometimes one file opens, sometimes all 4 fires open, sometimes just 2 files open. I'm left no wiser.
    Also, I can;t find "Microsoft Office Diagnostics" anywhere on my computer.

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