I've seen a few questions of this, but most were really old. However it seems I have an interesting twist.

The basic question is how to open two workbooks in two different monitors in Excel 2010. The instance won't allow you to drag a workbook to a different monitor. I've seen the DDE answer (Turn the ignore option on), but it doesn't work for one of our users who has problems with the grayed out workbooks. Opening from any source always puts the workbooks in the same Excel instance.

However, here's the twist: Mine and another user's doesn't do this. At all. I've never checked the Ignore DDE option, and when I open workbooks from any source (Excel, Word, Windows Explorer, Sharepoint), it always opens another instance. I can force multiple workbooks in the same instance by opening it from within Excel, but that's the only way.

All users use the same Office 2010 install. My computer is Windows 10, and the other user who doesn't have this issue is Windows 7. The biggest difference between our install and everyone else's is that they use a prebuilt image, and we use a custom set up off of the HP base image (W7 pro, mine is upgraded to 10). To throw another twist, I have another laptop that uses a totally different base installation for Windows 10 Enterprise, that has the same issue. Here's a list of computers that have the issue:

Has the Instance Issue (All HP 850 laptops): Windows 7 Enterprise imaged through SCCM that is fully configured. (Most everyone). Windows 10 Enterprise imaged through a .iso and custom configured (My laptop)

Does NOT have the instance issue (Both HP 840z desktops): Windows 7 Pro with HP OEM image that is configured for the domain. Windows 10 Pro (Upgraded from the W7E HP OEM image), custom configured for the domain.

I would supply specs but I don't think that should make a difference here (Let me know if I'm wrong).

So why do the two images act so completely differently?


Do this:

  1. Open a copy of Excel (via the Start menu, task bar, keyboard, etc.)
  2. Open a workbook
  3. Open another copy of Excel
  4. Un-maximize the second copy and move it anywhere you like

Unfortunately, to answer your image-based question, one has to be on site to be able to trace the issue.

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  • It's just odd that my desktop doesn't have the issue at all. It doesn't seem there was a random hotfix that was released to fix the issue. I don't know if there is a way to set it do that when it opens a new file it always opens in a new instance. – J Russell Jul 15 '16 at 14:56

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