I tried the other suggestions but could not find any .xlsb files on my C: drive and did not have a XLSTART folder in any of the user folders. The only XLSTART folder on my system is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 and it's empty. My folder settings are set to show hidden files.

I found that turning off the preview pane in Explorer will prevent the second excel workbook from opening.

Does anyone have an idea how to stop the Explorer preview pane from doing this?


Make INACTIVE suspicious COM Add-Ins it will solve your PROBLEM!


  • This solved it for me too. Was also caused by the MySQL For Excel COM Add-ins. – Mo Beigi Oct 9 '18 at 0:26

I didn't try the preview pane option, but I had a similar problem and the XLSTART answers didn't work for me.

In my case it was the FUNCRES add-on file that seemed to be corrupted and kept an empty workbook open. In the blank window, click the "File" tab on the top left. This opens the "Info" page. On the top of it, right under the big title "Info" you will see the name of the file that is open (for me it was FUNCRES).

On the right side of that page there is section called "Related Documents." Directly under Related Documents is a hyperlink that says "Open File Location."

What I did was open this location, delete the addin file that was being open, open an Excel file from Explorer (it gave an error that it couldn't find the addin file, close Excel and then restore the deleted file from the recycle bin. It stopped the problem for me, it's weird and I don't know what actual problem was. I'll update if I find out I broke anything.


I went to the "Related Documents" link and found four Excel files listed. When I deleted all four I was able to open a password-protected Excel file without the blank Excel window popping up. I didn't get an error message and I didn't have to restore the deleted files. Life is good!

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