This is a guest post from John MacDougall.  John is an Excel enthusiast and runs the website How To Excel in his spare time. You can connect with him on his Website, Facebook, Twitter or on LinkedIn.

If you work with Excel on a daily basis then chances are you are working with the same spreadsheets each day.

If you use the same file each time you open up Excel, then it might be easier for you to set up the file to automatically open every time you start Excel rather than opening it from a windows file explorer each time.

When Excel installs, it creates a folder called XLSTART and any files that you save in there will open up automatically when you start Excel.


Step 1: Find The Path Of Your XLSTART Folder


We can find the location of the XLSTART folder from Excel’s Option menu!

1. Go to the File tab in the ribbon.

2. Select Options from the menu.

3. Select Trust Center from the Excel Options menu.

4. Press the Trust Center Settings button.


Copy the file path of your XLSTART folder!

1. Select Trusted Locations from the Trust Center menu.

2. Find and select the XLSTART folder in your list of trusted locations.

3. The description should say Excel StartUp.  My file path is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\XLSTART but yours may be different.

4. Press the Modify button.

5. Highlight and copy the path in the pop up window using Ctrl + C.

6. Press the Cancel button in the pop up window to exit without changing any settings.

7. Press the Cancel button to exit the Trust Center and press Cancel again to exit the Excel Options window.


Step 2: Open the XLSTART Folder With Your File Explorer


Open your file explorer and navigate to the XLSTART folder!

1. Click the folder icon on your taskbar to open the file explorer.

2. Paste the file path of your XLSTART folder into the address bar of the file explorer using Ctrl + V then press Enter to navigate to this location.


Step 3: Add Your Files To The XLSTART Folder


Now that you know the path of the XLSTART folder you can save or drag and drop in any files you want and these files will automatically open when you start Excel.

I like to make shortcuts of the files and place these in this folder so that the file is actually saved elsewhere.

1. Open a second file explorer and navigate to the file you want to add to the XLSTART folder and right click on the file you want add.

2. Select Create shortcut from the menu.

3. Cut and paste or drag and drop this shortcut into the XLSTART folder opened in Step 2.


Now the next time you open up a blank Excel workbook, it will automatically open the workbook within the XLSTART folder.

This is such a great tip and one that I have implemented today!  Thanks John MacDougal from for this time saver!

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