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Recover From Microsoft Excel Startup Error

Observations


You're unable to startup Microsoft Excel.


Possible Causes


This behaviour may be attributed to the following reasons:


  • Corrupted Shortcut to the Excel Program
  • Corrupted Excel toolbar file (*.xlb)
  • Corrupted Excel file (*.pip)
  • Corrupted add-ins under the Tools menu
  • Corruption in Excel Startup Folder or Registry Keys

Resolution


Corrupted Shortcut to the Excel Program


  • Close any Microsoft Office programs
  • Click Start, point to Search, and then select For Files or Folders
  • Type in: Excel.exe
  • When Excel.exe is located, double-click on the file

    If Microsoft Excel starts up, we can conclude that an error in your shortcut has occurred. To resolve this, create a new shortcut to the Excel program.

    To do this, follow these steps:

    Right click on the Excel.exe file
    Select Create Shortcut

 


If Excel does not start as mentioned in step 3, follow the remaining steps to run Excel in Safe Mode.


  • Click Start and select Run
  • Type in: excel.exe /s
  • If Microsoft Excel starts when you use the /s switch, "Safe Mode" appears in the Excel title bar. This indicates Microsoft Excel is running as if it were the first time after the initial installation.



  • Now that you have started Excel, use a process of elimination to step through the following areas that Excel bypasses in Safe mode, until the problem is corrected.

Corrupted Excel Toolbar File


Excel stores information about custom toolbars in the toolbar file. A damaged toolbar file can cause problems during startup.


To solve this, follow these steps


  • Click Start, point to Search and select For Files or Folders
  • Type in: *.xlb
  • When the file is located, rename it

    By default where <folder> differs from various operating system, the toolbar file is stored in C:\<folder>\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\. Restart Microsoft Excel and a new toolbar file will be created.


Corrupted Excel.pip File


Excel remembers the recent menus and commands that you have used and displays them first. Excel hides the unused commands in its expandable menus. These information along with menu animation settings in stored in a file named Excel.pip. A corrupted Excel.pip file can cause startup problems.


To resolve this, follow these steps:


  • Click Start, point to Search and select For Files or Folders
  • Type in: Excel.pip
  • Rename the file to Excel.pip.old
  • Restart Microsoft Excel and the new (.pip) file will be created

Corrupted Add-ins


To check if the corrupted add-ins are responsible for the errors, follow these steps:


  • Click Start, point to Run
  • Type in: excel.exe /automation

    If Microsoft Excel startup, we can conclude that your add-ins are corrupted.


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:


  • Open Microsoft Excel
  • Select Add-Ins under the the Tools menu
  • Clear the check boxes that contains the add-ins
  • Click OK
  • Next remove the following registry keys:
    • Click Start and select Run
    • Type in: regedit or regedt32 (exclusively for Windows 2000)
    • Navigate to the following paths:

      The location of the registry path will depend on the version of Microsoft Office installed

      Excel 2003
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0

      Excel 2002
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0

      Excel 2000
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0

Corruption in Excel Startup Folder or Registry Keys


Use the Detect and Repair utility to repair any corruption. To do this, follow these steps:


  • Insert your Office Installation CD into your computer
  • At the Setup menu, select the option to repair Excel

More Information


This article only applies to:


Microsoft Excel 2000


Microsoft Excel 2002


Microsoft Excel 2003