When opening any excel document it will only bring up the excel window. To open the document I will have to goto file -> open.

I am using Office 2013 on windows 7 64bit

Only started happening the other day. What could be causing this?

The default application to open up .xls & .xlsx files is "EXCEL (DESKTOP)"

  • Could you check if you have Excel set up as Run as Administrator? This happend to me once and I think that was the reason.
    – kenkh
    Mar 21 '14 at 10:27
  • Even after checking the box "Run as administrator" the issue still persists
    – Ash King
    Mar 21 '14 at 10:30
  • 1
    Next time this happens, try pressing CTRL + F10 to see if this then shows the document?
    – Dave
    Mar 21 '14 at 10:38
  • 1
    @Dave CTRL+F10 working for me, thanks a lot, you are saving my a lot of time everyday... by the way, because of some weird rules of stackoverflow(not able to vote comment again) I'm unable to vote-up your coment May 12 '17 at 10:52
  • 1
    @ShirishHerwade, I've moved it to my answer. Thank you
    – Dave
    May 12 '17 at 12:52

Not sure exactly what is causing this. Could be a corrupted file or an update changed something. I found the following procedure on the Microsoft TechNet forum. Give it a try.

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Choose Uninstall Program in Program and Features
  3. Highlight your version of Microsoft Office
  4. Click change button on the top
  5. A pop up window will show up, select Quick Repair

If that doesn't work, check out this support article. You didn't mention any error messages, but maybe the Hot Fix will resolve it.

  • Suggest Microsoft KB2994633: Excel: How to Troubleshoot Excel opening blank when you double-click a file icon or file name - is directly relevant Nov 11 '15 at 15:49

If the page is a blank grey screen, but the document size is still appropriate for the file you were working on:

Click the View Tab Click Unhide Select the document Click OK


As per my comments, try pressing CTRL + F10 to see if this then shows the document

Click the Excel file, load up the empty Excel document and go to View -> Full Screen to see if then shows (Escape to exit). If it works, close and restart the same way and it should be OK again.

With Excel closed, click the 'start' button and in the search box, type

excel /unregserver

Close Excel.

Then, again, click start and type

excel /regserver

This should restore defaults.


Sometimes if you open the excel embedded in another app eg outlook and then try to open excel nothing loads, you see a blank excel.

For this scenario open the task manager and you may see one ore more Excel32.exe. Terminate all of them and reopen the document. It worked for me.

  • Did you ever discover what was going on to cause this issue?
    – TylerH
    Apr 9 '15 at 18:23

Try going to Excel Options > Advanced. Under General, is the box checked that says "Ignore Other Applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)? If so, uncheck it. That should fix the problem.

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