Fix the slow startup of Excel 2007

Recently I have been receiving a few emails about people telling me that their Excel 2007 would startup very slowly with ASAP Utilities installed. The delay also occurred without ASAP Utilities if they click on an Excel file from within the Explorer:
If I click on an xls file Excel opens with a blank window which delays...
If I then click to minimize the Excel window, it then immediately re-opens with xls file

You can test if the speed-delay is caused by ASAP Utilities by temporary turning it off (and on):
In general, the delay can be caused by a virus scanner. I know that Norton Antivirus checks every file you open in Excel first, this also includes add-ins. The speed is slower if ASAP Utilities is loaded from a network connection.

I have Excel XP on my laptop with Norton Antivirus. ASAP Utilities is installed on my hard disk and with ASAP Utilities installed it takes Excel about 2 to 3 seconds extra to start. On my computer with Excel 2003 this delay is about the same. On my computer with Windows Vista and Excel 2007, Excel starts up in a few seconds whether I start from scratch or start Excel by double-click on a file in windows explorer.
I do find however that the Adobe PDF add-in causes an extra delay of nearly 10 seconds.

Excel 2007 Splash Screen

Fixing Excel 2007 slow startup problems

On some computer Excel 2007 starts up very slowly. So far it has only been reported to me in combination with Windows XP.
There are a few reasons that I've seen so far that cause this:
- The Adobe PDF maker add-in is slow.
- The add-in autodesk Vault is logging into the network, which causes a delay.
- Problems in the Windows Explorer settings (see below)

Martin von Gagern has written a possible solution for the problem.

Martin von Gagern: At least on Windows XP the problem can be solved as described below:
1. Application Explorer
2. Menu Tools
3. Menu item Folder Options
4. Tab File Types
5. List item XLS
6. Button Advanced
7. List item Open
8. Button Edit...
In the dialog box that appears you need to make two adjustments:
Application to perform action:
- At the end of the line after /e append a space character followed by "%1" (including the quotes)
DDE Application Not Running:
- Insert new text: [rem see command line] (including the brackets)

These are the settings on my 2007 test-system that work correct:

There are a lot of posts about a slow Excel 2007 in the newsgroups:

Improving the performance in Excel 2007

Charles Williams has written a great article about improving the performance in Excel 2007

61 Responses to “Fix the slow startup of Excel 2007”

  1. It appears that the new patches for 2007 have broken the "%1" fix on some systems here, has anyone else had the same issue? re-enabling DDE and adding [open("%1")] will open files, but closing them now gives that famous error. They appear to be working, we just have that annoying error about not being able to find the file at the end.

  2. Yo Yo Yo, that fix was dope!!! Thanxz — DJ Hurkelson

  3. I had over 20 computers here at my place of work that needed to be fixed. i searched and searched all over the internet for a solution to this. I looked up and down the Microsoft, TechNet, Dookies, PCFixIt, MS Excel for dummies, and Excel spreadsheets for 2009. Nothing, and I mean nothing lead me even close to this fix. Just adding a add-in, everything started working!!!! Thanks so much. My boss is so happy that I get to take tomorrow off!!!!


  5. Thank You!! Hope this documented solution remains available for a very long time.

  6. I added the Lookup Wizard and this fixed it for me too!! Thanks Robert Wilson!

  7. Thank you. I have tried and it works fantastic.

  8. Tried the "%1" Ms Excel application opens very slowly, even the spreadsheet thereafter is slow, the "%1" solution did not assist. please help

  9. @Sabs – you should probably try the "Robert Wilson" fix rather than the Martin von Gagern "%1? fix, since most people seem to find it works for them (and some have reported problems with the "%1" fix)

    Enable an add-in…

    Click the Microsoft button
    Excel Options
    make sure the pull-down window says excel add-ins and click go

    Robert chose to enable the look-up wizard (but it seems that you could try another).

  10. Tried the Euro-Currency tools add-in instead. This also speeds up the file-open but there is a slight delay while the add-in itself loads up – doesn't happen with the Lookup Wizard.

    But there's another solution – if you just click the "minimize window" button immediately after Excel opens, this seems to kick the file in, too.

    Just seems that Excel 2007 needs a double-slap to wake it up.

    Go figure…………

  11. For Pete and others who hav had other issues related to the multile solutions here, I add one more which can be found at If you were using Macros before, the presence of your PERSONAL.XLS file will also cause this. Unhide the file (on the View ribbon), resave it as a xlsb file, and then rehide it. Then delete the xls version of the file in your Documents and Settings Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART folder.