How Do I Stop Excel from Opening in Full Screen (4 Easy Ways)

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By default, Microsoft Excel tends to open the files in full-screen view. By your definition of the full-screen view, it may be necessary in some cases to view more data on the screen. It can also be temporary or permanent depending on what view you want to work with, But in the end, it all comes down to personal preferences. This article might come in handy if you want to stop Microsoft Excel from opening in full screen.

How to Stop Excel from Opening in Full Screen (4 Easy Ways)

Depending on what you define as a “full screen” there could be different solutions for your problem. For example, you may define the windowed version as the full screen if all of the ribbons are still showing like this one.

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

Or you may call this view full screen too, where all of the tabs and ribbon contents are hidden.

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

Depending on what your view is while opening, you have to follow different paths to stop it from opening on full screen. Try these solutions out to stop Excel from opening in full screen.

1. Check Your Last Saved Window Size

This section is dedicated to solving the problem if you define the first problem from the previous section as “full screen”. To stop Excel from opening in this type of full screen, first, check the size of the window you are closing your Excel file.

Excel’s default function is to open a file to the size you were previously working on before closing. If you save the file in full-screen mode and close it, opening another file later will open it to full screen. And if you last save a file in a custom window, close it, and open another file (or the same file), you will see that your files are opening in that size.

So first, open a file and click on the Restore Down icon on the top right of the Excel window.

The file will now be in a smaller window view. You can see that at the top right of the window.

Finally, save the file and close it.

Now open any Excel file next. You will find that this will stop Excel from opening on full screen.

Read More: [Fixed!] Excel Spreadsheet Opening Larger Than Screen

2. Manually Resize Excel Window

Another way to work around the same problem is to resize it after it has opened. If you find that your Excel files are opening in full screen (full window) mode, try manually resizing the window. This way, you can resize the Excel file to your desired size instead of working with the full screen.

To do that, you can drag your cursor to the edge of the files and it will change into a two-directional arrow.

Now hold and drag again to resize. And release after you reach your desired height in that direction.

Usually, the previous solution should work if you are facing this particular problem. But if it doesn’t, you should just manually resize your Excel window to avoid full screen.

3. Use Keyboard Shortcut

Now, moving on to the second problem, where your “full screen” does not contain ribbons or tabs. Instead, it opens from the name box/ formula box height. This is also called the full-screen view in Excel. The view looks something like this.

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

If your Excel files are opening in this state, it is because you saved and closed the file in this state before. Now opening new files will start working from here. To enter into or exit from this mode, you simply need to press Ctrl+Shift+Enter on your keyboard.

If your Excel files are always opening in this mode, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter on an Excel file. Then save the file. After that, try opening another Excel file and you will see your problem resolved.

4. Embedding VBA Code

Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is Microsoft’s Event Driven Programming Language. There are VBA codes that force Excel files to open in full-screen view or not in full-screen view. No matter your experience with VBA codes, you can simply follow this procedure to use this feature to force or stop Excel from opening in full screen.

Keep in mind that you need an additional Developer tab on your ribbon before following the steps. Click here to see how you can show the Developer tab on your ribbon.


  • First of all, go to the Developer tab on your ribbon.
  • Then select Visual Basic from the Code group.

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

  • As a result, the VBA window will open up separately. Now click on the Insert tab in this window.
  • After that, select Module from the drop-down list.

  • Next, put the following code in the newly created module.
Sub Turn_On_FullScreen()
 Application.DisplayFullScreen = True
End Sub
Sub Turn_Off_FullScreen()
 Application.DisplayFullScreen = False
End Sub
  • After that, close the window.
  • Now go back to the Developer tab and select Macro from the Code group.

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

  • At this instant, the Macro box will open up. Now select the Macro name you desire for your operation. We are selecting the Turn_Off_Fullscreen to stop Excel from opening in full screen. (you can select Turn_On-FullScreen to open Excel in full screen)

how do i stop excel from opening in full screen

  • Then click on Run.
  • Finally, save the file and close it.

Excel will now stop or start opening in the full screen depending on the macro you have selected from the Macro box.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the workbook containing the VBA code from the link below.


These were all the methods to either stop Excel from opening in full screen or work around it. Hopefully, this has solved the problem for you. I hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know below.

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Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy
Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy

Hi! my name is Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy. I have completed B.Sc. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. I have found my calling, if you like, in Data Science and Machine Learning and in pursuing so, I have realized the importance of Data Analysis. And Excel is one excel-lent tool do so. I am always trying to learn everyday, and trying to share here what I am learning.

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