2 excel files with the same names but different folders - can not open them both at same time

lezawang

Well-known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,805
Office Version
  1. 2016
Platform
  1. Windows
Hi
I have Folder A and folder B. Folder A has an excel file called 1.xlsx and folder B has an excel file called 1.xlsx as well. Why excel is not allowing me to open them at same time? they are not the same folder? other programs will allow me to open 2 files with the same name but saved in different folders. Thank you.
 

Excel Facts

VLOOKUP to Left?
Use =VLOOKUP(A2,CHOOSE({1,2},$Z$1:$Z$99,$Y$1:$Y$99),2,False) to lookup Y values to left of Z values.

johnnyL

Well-known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
1,849
Office Version
  1. 2013
  2. 2007
Platform
  1. Windows
I have seen opening 2 Excel files with the same name, however, the second file opened is read only mode from my experience. The way you accomplish this is by opening two, or more, instances of Excel.

How you open multiple instances of Excel:
1) open Excel the normal way you open it
2) For each additional instance of Excel that you want to open, hold down the 'Alt' key prior to clicking on the Excel app AND CONTINUE holding down the 'Alt' key until the prompt appears. Select the 'Yes' option to open the additional instance of Excel.

You could also checkout ---> 7 ways to open multiple instances of Excel
 

Alex Blakenburg

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
2,282
Office Version
  1. 365
Platform
  1. Windows
lezawang, Just to confirm that Excel unlike many of the other programs can't open the same file twice in the same Excel Instance.
As previously mentioned one of the work arounds is to open up another instance of Excel and opening the file in that.
If you are just wanting to view the 2 files this works fine BUT if you are wanting to copy formulas or whole sheets between the 2 that is just not going to work.
Also Excel's switch windows or Ctrl+Tab only works within the same instance. In fact looking in the switch drop down will tell you if the other file is in the same instance or a different instance.
If it is in a different instance you will not see it in the Switch window drop down.

Some other work around are:-
  1. Still with opening a new instance and with the same drawbacks
    With the first file already open, open the new file by going:-
    File > Open
    Browse to the file and right click on the 2nd file and select New
    This will start a new instance of Excel and open up an in memory copy of the 2nd file with a "1" added to the end of the file name
    Because its a new instance you need to manually close the open file dialogue box in the 1st instance.
    If you hit save on this 2nd file it behaves like a Newly created file and will take you take to the Save As dialogue box

  2. In the unlikely event that you know you are going to open the same file twice, go to the older file first (the one you are not going to want to change) and either in File Explorer or File > Open right click on the file and select New.
    This will create and in Memory copy of the file with a "1" added to the file name and since it now does not have the same name you can open the other file without any issues in the same instance.
    (this will not create a new instance)

  3. Assuming you already have the file open and you decide you want to look at a previous version, go to File > Open, then instead of hitting Open use the Open drop down box and select "Open as Copy". It will open a copy of the file and Prefix it with Copy(1), it will also create a copy in the folder with that name.
    The advantage of this is that you have the same file open in the same instance and the 2 files you have open are clearly differentiated.
    The disadvantages are that it creates a physical copy that you will need to delete and if this is the file you wanted to update it is now has a copy prefix.

  4. Since I generally want to lock down a file at a point in time and often need to refer back to a previous copy, my preference is to have unique names.
    Typically by adding a date in the file name, and often by having a version number in the file name.
    Having different names is still the most efficient way to avoid the issue.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
1,148,157
Messages
5,745,107
Members
423,924
Latest member
Gazzat

We've detected that you are using an adblocker.

We have a great community of people providing Excel help here, but the hosting costs are enormous. You can help keep this site running by allowing ads on MrExcel.com.
Allow Ads at MrExcel

Which adblocker are you using?

Disable AdBlock

Follow these easy steps to disable AdBlock

1)Click on the icon in the browser’s toolbar.
2)Click on the icon in the browser’s toolbar.
2)Click on the "Pause on this site" option.
Go back

Disable AdBlock Plus

Follow these easy steps to disable AdBlock Plus

1)Click on the icon in the browser’s toolbar.
2)Click on the toggle to disable it for "mrexcel.com".
Go back

Disable uBlock Origin

Follow these easy steps to disable uBlock Origin

1)Click on the icon in the browser’s toolbar.
2)Click on the "Power" button.
3)Click on the "Refresh" button.
Go back

Disable uBlock

Follow these easy steps to disable uBlock

1)Click on the icon in the browser’s toolbar.
2)Click on the "Power" button.
3)Click on the "Refresh" button.
Go back
Top