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



A user also reported a delay that was fixed after upgrading his software program Zone Alarm Internet Security:

Thank you for responding! I think I found the problem – I upgraded my Zone Alarm Internet Security to their latest beta – I had been experiencing a very slow shutdown. Not only did the beta solve that problem, but it cured a host of other minor irritations. ASAP now works GREAT!


Upgrading to the latest version of ASAP Utilities (pre-release 4.2.1) might solve the delay too if it only occurs with ASAP Utilities installed and starting Excel by double-clicking a file in Windows Explorer:


Paul Sisul

I modified the line to add "%1" and now I get several error messages before the file opens – it eventually opens. I tried to remove the "%1" and I can't remove it. I delete it from the end of /e but it stays there when I go back to 'edit'. My initial problem was that I took 60 seconds to open an Excel file if I click on the file icon (before Excel has been opened). If Excel is already open the .xls file would open quickly as normal. This is for Excel 2007. How do I get back to what I had before with no error messages. When I close Excel, I get a 'file not found' error message for the open file.


Hello Paul,

It is strange that you cannot change it back.

In this case the I think doing a repair of your Office installation will also correct the problem:

Start > Settings > Control panel > Add or Remove Programs
then select Microsoft Office, choose "Change" and then choose "Repair Office"

Kind regards,


Hello Paul:

Not sure if you were able to fix your "%1" problem. You can edit your registry settings to delete the %1.


Edit the key and delete the %1



Thank you. Martin von Gagern's solution worked for me.



Thanks for the regedit as the %1 fix had similar results as Paul. Slick and Fast…Thanks again



"%1" fix works great. Excel opens with no problem. However I am getting error on closing.
The error is that windows can not find the file I just had opened. Any suggestion?


Harry Heckleton

For some reason, the %1 fix didn't work for me or on any of the 10 other computers I tried it on.

To fix it I went into the Excel add-ins and found that it was one of the add-ins that was causing the problem. Once I took it out, it worked perfectly.

To see the Excel add-ins:
Go into Excel
Click Ball > Excel Options > Add-Ins > Go >

This will give you a list of add-ins to tick or untick.

* Hope thats useful * !

Harry Heckleton

Joe Sanford

The %1 fix works great for me and without any errors. Count me lucky for ONCE. :)



The "%1" fix is the solution for the slow startup of Excel 2007 but now each time you double click a file Excel lauches a new instance. Those instances are not linkable. In View/switch you will see only one workbook. If you want to open two or more Excelsheet in one instance you have to open it in the first instance.

Is there already a real solution??

cory ahwk

Harry Heckleton, on February 6th, 2008 at 11:41 am Said:
For some reason, the %1 fix didn't work for me or on any of the 10 other computers I tried it on.

To fix it I went into the Excel add-ins and found that it was one of the add-ins that was causing the problem. Once I took it out, it worked perfectly.

To see the Excel add-ins:
Go into Excel
Click Ball > Excel Options > Add-Ins > Go >

This will give you a list of add-ins to tick or untick.

* Hope thats useful * !

Harry Heckleton

What add-in did you find that was causing your issue??


For those who have problems with the solution, it may be caused by not inserting a space between /e and "%1". Make sure the space exists, and Martin's solution should work for you.

Also, you may want to do this for xlsx and csv extensions as well.

Joydip Das

Nothing is working to resolve slow start up of office program when we try to open by double clicking on any office document, not only that even notepad document also open slowly after rollout of office 2007 in some desktops, office diagonestic does not show any error

Jay Brown

The "%1" fix identified in this blog causes more problems than it fixes. See the following link:

The real problem is related to add-ins. Even if they are not active.

Robert Wilson

OK I've found the answer. I have had this problem on multiple computers and I kept thinking that there was a better way to fix this than to disable the DDE or applying the %1 fix.

Try this

Enable an add-in… It has fixed the issue on over 15 computers that I have tried it with.

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

I chose to enable the look-up wizard.

This is the solution and it explains why everyone is not suffering from the same thing. Just give it a shot


I just confirmed that Robert Wilson's latest update worked for me. Previously when I would try to open an Excel file without Excel already being open, it would open the application but take about 60 seconds for the actual file to open.

So I added the Lookup Wizard add-in and now the delay is gone. Seems like a much better solution than the "%1".

Duane Hayes

Robert Wilson's quick fix worked perfectly. It used to take almost a minute for my workbooks to open when I clicked on the file instead of opening Excel first. Now it takes less than 5-7 seconds to open them.

Thank you Robert!


Thanks Robert for the suggestion – I tried your tip after trying many other things and it worked beautifully, just like you said it would.



I tried your suggestion after nothing else worked and it has solved the problem for me using Excel 2007 with Windows XP.

I am delighted after half a day of trying other fixes.


Thanks Robert! I hope someone from
Microsoft read this!


amen robert!!!
I thought I would have to resort to downgrading to 2003.


Robert you are a genius! Worked liked a charm!

Michael Aikins


Thanks so much.
Before reading you're suggestion, was ready to give Office 2007 the boot and go back to 2003.
The open now works as it should with both CSV and XLS files. I can only wonder why MS would allow
potential customer frustration to run wild when it "could of" and "should of" been set correctly on the front end.

Thanks again…


the "lookup Wizard" fix.. worked on all the computers that were having this problem in our offices.
Thanks !

Sounds like a office 2007 bug to me !


Thanks Robert, we have same problem before. Case close. =-)


Robert Wilson, You are AWESOME !!!


Robert's solution worked for this issue (thanks Robert!), however it has created a new issue for me, where Excel only closes the active file that's open which I click on the program close X. I then have to clikc the program close X again to close Excel. Any suggestions? And I can definitely confirm I'm clicking the program close X, not the spreadsheet close X. :)

Buddy Gray

Thanks Robert, I have the same problem and could not find a fix.
I have been looking for this fix for a couple of days :-}

saurav goel

Just adding "%1" solved the slow start up issue.
Thanks a lot for this article



Robert ,

Thank You so much , Even i had a similar problem and i tried the steps which were listed and it actually didnot work initially and i did R & D to resolve it , i would love to share the steps which i have performed ,
Under File types we need to Select XLSX and uncheck the DDE and add "%" to the command line and it worked.


%1 fix works great (I'm running Win XP).
Thanks a lot


Robert, how the heck did you figure this out! especially using the wizard option. God Bless You. thanks for sharing friend.


Dang, Robert's fix helped a tiny tiny bit, but I'm still taking 33 seconds to open a fairly simple spreadsheet. I guess my computer must have its own issues that I have to figure out…. =(


WOW! Thank you Mr. Wilson! The solution worked like butter! I didn't think it would but it did! This is the second time in two days that I come to this website and it solves our user's problems! I had no idea and still have no idea what ASAP Utilities is, BUT THANK YOU!!!!


Thank you Robert Wilson! It worked!

Johny Brasco

It worked like a charm.. now my question is this, what does "Look-up Wizard" really do? i mean, if it needed to be installed to open up excel files, why not have it on by default?? either way, it worked for me…


I do not think the only Look-up add-in will make excel open faster but any add-in of excel 2007 can make it.
but this is not my idea. I refer from this


I was wondering why files were slow to open. I mean, they wouldn't open unless you minimize excel or clicked on the desktop. GREAT fix Robert. I didn't want to have to delete any files or edit anything; this made it so simple. Loves it.


Lookup Wizard add-in worked for me!

It took care of an issue with Excel slow to open and Lotus Notes email not responding when you opened an attachment using Microsoft Office 2007 on an WnXP computer.

The "%1" solved the delay in Excel but Lotus Notes still stopped responding.
Both issues were fixed when I enabling the Lookup Wizard add-in for Excel


Lookup Wizard worked for me too. I had other Add-ins loaded (not by MS), but still had the problem until Lookup was installed.


Buff Biffster

amma gonna try it!

David Nicholson

The post "Martin von Gagern has written a possible solution for the problem" worked perfectly for me. Many thanks Martin

David Nicholson

Spoke too soon !! Yes it fixed the slow loading of .xls from explorer but unfortunately .xlsx files are taking about 20 seconds to load.

David Nicholson

OK I'm stupid. Performing the same changes on the .xlsx file association in explorer fixed this as well.

Chris Butterworth

Worked like champ! Great job bro!

Harvey Cromseth Tookelson

That was a spectaculer fix!!!! It totally solved my problem!!!! Tootels!!! and Toot-A-Loos!!!!

Barbeque Joe

Shuck-a-doodles, this dun solve my problem. Tank ya friend!!!!!


Thanks Wilson! Enabling the lookup-addon worked as you said. But this must be some MS bug, right?

Leeroy Jenson Bartholemu IIIV

By GOLLY, It fixed it mate!!!!! Is this a bug? Not all my computers need this!!!!!!