Excel Guides

How to stop duplicate workbooks from opening in Excel

If you are opening the same workbook in Excel multiple times, you may be inadvertently creating duplicate copies of the file. This can lead to confusion and wasted time if you are not careful. To avoid this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook that you want to use.
  2. Click File > Save As. This will open the Save As dialog box.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, click the Tools button.
  4. In the Tools drop-down menu, select General Options. This will open the General Options dialog box.
  5. In the General Options dialog box, select the Check for duplicates when saving checkbox. This will cause Excel to prompt you if you are trying to save a file with a name that already exists.


If you have multiple workbooks open and try to save one with a name that is already in use, Excel will automatically append a number to the end of the filename (e.g. "MyWorkbook (2).xlsx"). You can change this behavior by deselecting the "Auto name new files" checkbox in the "General Options"

  1. Click


  • The "Check for duplicates when saving" setting is saved with the workbook. So, if you want this behavior to be enabled by default, make sure to select it every time you create or open a new workbook.
  1. Click OK. This will close the General Options dialog box.
  1. Click OK. This will close the Save As dialog box.

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