I have tried:

  • Clearing out all the recent files opened with Excel by going to Office button -> Advanced -> Display Category -> Changing the "Show this number of Recent Documents" to 0, and then back to 17, effectively clearing the list
  • Going into the registry and clearing out the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\File MRU" keys
  • Restarting the machine
  • Running the Windows Disk Cleanup utility

The Excel recent files list remains empty now and will not populate. The recent list I am referring to is the one when you click the Office Button and on the right pane it lists the recent files.

The version of office is 2007 running on Windows 7 Professional x86.

EDIT It seems as if some files when opened by opening excel first and then opening them through excel work. The way people here usually open an excel file is that they open it through a link provided by one of our applications. I am going to check the parameters used to open these excel files.

The program launches excel with a /e switch: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE" /e

Although this isn't causing the issue on my machine. The machine in question isn't mine.

EDIT 2 The issue is only occuring on Windows 7 machines as I just tested it out on Windows XP.

Windows 7 launches excel with different parameters than Windows XP

Windows 7: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE" /automation -Embedding

Windows XP: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE" /e

I am fairly certain this is the factor causing this to happen. I am going to contact the software vendor about this issue, although I will keep this question open to any suggestions.

  • you mention you cleared the "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\File MRU" keys did you mean excel ? – James Hopkins Nov 18 '11 at 15:33
  • Yes, I meant to type Excel, sorry about the confusion. – qroberts Nov 18 '11 at 15:34
  • is that registry key being re-populated when you open a new document ? – James Hopkins Nov 18 '11 at 15:35
  • It is repopulated whenever there are items being added to the list. I have edited the question above. The issue only happens when excel is being launched with those parameters mentioned above. – qroberts Nov 18 '11 at 15:38
  • support.microsoft.com/kb/826922 This post explains what /automation does. Disables Autorun Macros so could be the issue. Can you test without the /automation -embedding switches? – Yeodave Nov 18 '11 at 15:44

The application used to launch excel was passing parameters to run excel in safe mode. This in return disabled the saving of recent documents in excel.

The parameter in question is: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE" /automation -Embedding

The software vendor is aware of this issue and is planning to release a patch to resolve this.

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