I've noticed some odd behavior with Excel 2007 and I'm curious if others have seen this. When clicking the application close (big red X), Excel actually closed down the open workbook, yet leaves the application open. If I alt + F4 the window, the application closes along with the open workbook (what I'd expect to happen).

Why does the big red X not shutdown the app?

  • 1
    If you click the 'big red X' after the workbook has been closed, what happens? – Connor W Dec 23 '09 at 18:26
  • Clicking the big red x a second time will close the window. No workbook is open after clicking it the first time. – RSolberg Dec 23 '09 at 18:54

Go to Office Menu - Excel Options - Advanced and clear the check box next to "Show all windows in the taskbar"

With this option checked, you get the behavior described. With it unchecked, you get the behavior you want. Note that if you like seeing all your workbooks separately in the taskbar, you'll have to choose which "feature" you like better.

  • Thanks! I went ahead and made the bounty just to show more appreciation! – RSolberg Dec 28 '09 at 22:22

If you want to be able to close the app window with one click, but still like to see all your workbooks separately in the taskbar, do the following:

  1. Leave the checkbox next to "Show all windows in the taskbar" selected.

  2. Do a search for a file named Personal.xls (make sure you enable searching for hidden files).

  3. Delete the Personal.xls file (rename it if you want to be safe).

This should fix the problem.


If you remove the personal.xls (or personal.xlsb), you will also lose any start-up macros, etc that you may have.

It is a compromise as to which features and behaviors you value the most.

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