Excel – What is a Personal Workbook?

Worksbook in a basket

A Personal Workbook in Excel holds information that is specific to your computer copy of Excel. The workbook is created by Excel if it is needed, so you have no control over one being created or not. There are a number of things that might get saved, by Excel, in your Personal Workbook, but the most common items are macros that Excel selected to be saved, when the macros were initially created. Once a Personal Workbook is created, do not alter, delete it, or move it from the location where Excel stored it, as this can cause startup issues for Excel that can be extremely hard to fix. However, the one type of item that is okay to remove from a Personal Workbook is macros.

How do I know if I have a Personal Workbook, or find it to remove macros from it?

To figure out if you have a Personal Workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Open any Excel file.
  2. Once the files opens, click the View tab.
  3. In the Window group, just to the right of the View tab, check the Unhide command.
    • If the command is inactive, then you do not have a Personal Workbook.
    • If the command is active (like our example), then you have a Personal Workbook.

To open and save changes to the Personal Workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Unhide command, make sure Personal is selected, then click OK.
  2. Make the necessary changes (note: the only changes that should be made in a Personal Workbook are removing/deleting personal macros.) and click the Save button in your Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Return to the View tab, then to the Window group, to click the Hide command and re-hide your Personal Workbook.

Remember, always keep your Personal Workbook hidden. Also, save and re-hide your Personal Workbook any time you make changes. This workbook automatically opens and gives you accessibility to allowable functionality, every time you open any Excel workbook. If you do not have a Personal Workbook, do not worry. Excel controls whether one is created or not, as it is based on decisions you make when creating other workbooks.

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