How to Restore Microsoft Excel to Its Default Spreadsheet

When using Excel often, you might sometimes throw off the settings and default template. Which means that no matter how often you close and reopen a new spreadsheet, Excel may hold onto some of the previous settings. This can get really annoying, especially when you're trying to start a fresh spreadsheet and are used to the default settings. Fortunately, restoring those settings to their defaults is a relatively quick and easy process.

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Excel 2003 or Earlier

Step

Go to \"C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.\" Open \"My Computer\" and open the \"Documents and Settings\" folder. Open your username, then \"Application Data,\" \"Microsoft\" and finally find the \"Templates\" folder.

Step

Rename the Book.xlt and Sheet.xlt files to something that you will remember. This step is optional, but allows you to save the settings for later use. Either move these files, or delete them if you don't want to use the template again. If there are no XLT files in this folder, continue below.

Step

Go to \"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\XLStart.\" Navigate to \"Program Files,\" and open the \"Microsoft Office\" directory. Select \"Office11\" and then \"XLStart.\"

Step

Look for any template files inside this folder--these are any files with a \".xlt\" extension. If there are any, delete them. If there are none, continue below.

Step

Open Microsoft Excel, and locate the \"Options\" settings under the \"Tools\" menu.

Step

Click the \"General\" tab and note which folder is listed \"At Startup, open all files in.\" Minimize or close Excel and navigate to the folder listed in that box.

Step

Delete any existing XLT files in that folder. If you want to save them for later use, rename the template using a name you will remember.

Step

Open, or close and reopen Microsoft Excel to verify the settings returned to default.

Excel 2007 or Later

Step

Open Microsoft Excel.

Step

Navigate to the Help menu and open the \"Detect and Repair\" function. The Detect and Repair dialog will appear. If you want to restore your shortcuts at this time, check the appropriate icon.

Step

Click \"Start.\" Wait for a short period while Office deletes all of the settings on all of the programs in the suite and restores it to its original installed state. This will apply the settings to Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and any other Office programs you have installed.