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How to Open Multiple Instances of Excel

If you’ve ever worked with multiple workbooks in Excel, you know that it can sometimes cause problems if all workbooks are open in the same instance of Excel. For example, if you recalculate all formulas, this will be done for all open books in one copy.

If you don’t want this, or just want to see both of your tables side by side in two different windows, then creating multiple instances of Excel makes sense. You can still split the screen into multiple tables in a single instance of Excel, but I find it cumbersome and not intuitive.

Excel versions

Before we dive into the details, you must determine which version of Excel you are using. If you have Office 2016 or Office 2013 installed, you have nothing to worry about because whenever you open a new workbook, it automatically creates a new instance of Excel.

Only Office 2010 and earlier versions have a problem with one instance of Excel. In this article, I will introduce different ways to make Excel open different workbooks in different instances.

Multiple instances of Excel

Typically Excel spreadsheets are opened by double-clicking on them in Explorer or by navigating to them from Excel. Using either of these two methods will open the spreadsheets in one instance of Excel.

Method 1. Start Menu

First method – Start menu

The first way to work around this is to simply open the Start menu and then click the Excel shortcut. This will automatically open a new instance of Excel. Please note that this will work on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

If the Excel icon does not appear in the list of most used applications, you can simply go to All Programs in all applications and open it from there.

Method 2 – Taskbar

The second method – the taskbar

If you already have one instance of Excel open and the Excel icon is on the Windows taskbar, you can simply press and hold the SHIFT key and then click the icon in the taskbar and another instance will open.

Note that the Excel icon is not actually pinned to the taskbar. All you have to do is open one instance of Excel so that it appears in the taskbar. Once there, you can hold SHIFT and click the icon.

Method 3 – Middle Button

The third method – the middle button

If you are using a mouse with a middle button or a clickable scroll button, you can also simply click that button to get a new instance without holding down any key. If you didn’t already know, the scroll button can also be clicked like a button on almost any mouse.

It’s also worth noting that you can also just right-click the Excel icon in the taskbar and then click Excel 20xx and a new instance will open.

Method 4 – Run Command

Fourth method – run command

If Excel is not on the desktop, on the Start menu, or on the taskbar, you can still open a new instance of Excel by using the Run command. Just click “Start”, type “Run” and press “Enter”.

Now just enter the word excel in the run box and click OK.

These are almost all the ways I could find to open multiple instances of Excel. Now that your workbooks are open in different instances of Excel, you can link them to different parts of the screen.

Luckily, I’ve already written about how you can split the screen in Windows XP, 7 and 8, and the new split screen and snapping features in Windows 10.

Again, you don’t need to worry about this if you’re using Office 2013 or Office 2016, because they no longer open multiple workbooks in the same instance of Excel. It can also be a good reason to upgrade to a newer version of Office if you’ve been holding back for a long time. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!

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