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[Fixed!] Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files (8 Reasons with Solutions)

While working with multiple Excel files, sometimes we cannot open multiple files for so many reasons. So, now should we just accept the truth and stop using Excel to open certain types of files? However, there is always a solution to a problem. There are a few simple solutions that can solve the problem and allow us to open those files again. So, in this article, we will demonstrate some reasons and their solutions for being unable to open multiple excel files.


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8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

Users may come across identical Excel files or wish to compare two files. When using Microsoft Excel, we frequently need to access and examine many worksheets at the same time. But sometimes we can’t open them together. Let’s see the reasons and their solutions.


Reason 1: Multiple Excel Files with Same File Name

Excel didn’t access multiple spreadsheets with the same name. When you open Microsoft Excel with a blank page, you may see this error. This issue commonly happens when two versions of the Excel add-in are incompatible. Suppose, we have some excel files in different file paths on our computer. Now, we need to open them all for our work, but we can’t open them at the same time. The below screenshot shows the error message that will occur while trying to open them together.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files


Solution: Change Excel File Name

Suppose, we have multiple files with the same name. And the name of those files is Student Details. To solve the problem, we have to change the excel file name. For this, we need to follow the procedures down.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, go to the File tab of the ribbon.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • Secondly, click on the Save As option, then, change the file name from Student Details to Students File.
  • Finally, click on the Save button.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • Now, you will be able to open multiple excel files at the same time.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files


Reason 2: Multiple Files Having Same File Name with Same Extension

We cannot open two files with the same name and the same extension in Excel. Excel would have no idea which workbook we were referring to if we developed a formula with that file name. To avoid uncertainty, Excel will not let us open the second workbook having the same file extension with the same name. The following error will show up.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files


Solution: Change Excel Extension

Let’s pretend we have several files having the same file name with the same extension. Student Details is the name of the files and all those files are in the .xlsx extension. To resolve the issue, we must rename the excel file or change the extension. We must adhere to the processes to do this.

STEPS:

  • Likewise, the previous solution of reason 1, go to the File tab on the ribbon.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • Next, choose Save As.
  • Then, click on the drop-down menu of the extension shown in the screenshot down. And select the .xlsb extension or any other which you prefer or your workbooks prefer.
  • Finally, save your work by clicking the Save option.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • You will now be able to open numerous excel files at once.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files


Reason 3: Excel ‘View Side by Side’ Option Grayed Out

Users may come across identical Excel files or wish to compare two files. In this scenario, Excel View Side by Side comes in handy.

Let’s say we wish to use the Excel View Side by Side tool to find similar identical files. So, in the Window area, you go to View > View Side by Side. However, you’ll see that the View Side by Side function is grayed off. Because you only get one Excel window or worksheet active, this Gray Out View Side by Side function is enabled.


Solution: New Window Feature to Open Multiple Excel Files

To rectify the conflict, we have to stick to the activities below.

STEPS:

  • In the first place, go to the View tab of the ribbon.
  • Then, under the Window category, click on  New Window.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • Finally, When you go to the View tab and look at the current status of the View Side by Side feature, you will see that the grayed-out shade has been removed, as shown in the image below. You should be able to use the View Side by Side capability for two or more windows now.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • As the grayed-out View Side by Side option is now active, with this, you can now compare two files.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

Read More: How to Open Two Excel Files Side by Side (3 Easy Ways)


Reason 4: Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) Option Is Enabled

Windows operating systems may transfer data and communicate with others via Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). We may use the Manually curated mechanism to start a Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) dialogue with some other program, receive data from that too, and show it in a control on a field or reports.

One of the reasons Excel is because it’s set to disregard other DDE-based programs. The DDE‘s job is to convey a signal to Excel every time you double-click a file. As a result, Excel tells you to access data. Excel will not get those apps’ signals if they are ignored, and Excel will be unable to open the files.


Solution: Change Excel Setting from Advanced Option

To fix the dispute, we must comply with the methods in order to follow the steps down.

STEPS:

  • Similarly, navigate to the File tab on the ribbon in the prior solution for reason 1 and reason 2.

8 Reasons with Solutions for Being Unable to Open Multiple Excel Files

  • Then, go to the Options from the backstage excel menus.

  • This will display the Excel Options dialog.
  • Go to  Advanced.
  • Now, from the General tab, uncheck ‘Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).’
  • Finally, click OK to complete the process. And you will be able to open multiple files now.

Read More: Unable to Open Two Excel Files at the Same Time (13 Probable Solutions)


Reason 5: Excel Protected View Setting Is Checked

Excel sometimes enables Protected View features by default. This is to protect the file against launching a possibly contaminated file that we may have obtained from the Internet or received in an email. Documents from these possibly dangerous locations are accessed as read-only or in Protected View to help safeguard your system. We may read a file, examine its information, and change it while lowering the dangers by utilizing Protected View. But this enabled Protected View may be the reason for being unable to open the multiple excel files.


Solution: Disable Protected View from Trust Center Settings

For disabling the Protected View from Trust Center Settings to open multiple excel files at the same time, we need to follow the steps below.

STEPS:

  • Similarly, to the earlier solutions, navigate to the File tab on the ribbon.
  • Afterward, from the backstage excel menus, select Options.
  • This will open the Excel Options window.
  • Then, go to the Trust Center.
  • From the Microsoft Excel Trust Center, go to Trust Center Settings.

  • This will appear in the Trust Center window.
  • Now, go to Protected View and uncheck Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet.
  • Finally, click OK.

  • This will take you back to the Excel Options dialog.
  • Finally, click on the OK button to complete the procedure.


Reason 6: Excel Files Are Blocked

We may be unable to open multiple excel files because the files are blocked.


Solution: Unblock Excel Files

To unblock the excel file, we need to adhere to the processes down.

STEPS:

  • Go to the file path, where the blocked files are located.
  • Then, right-click on the file and pick Properties.

  • This will open the excel file properties window.
  • Now, go to General and checkmark the Unblock option.
  • Then, click on Apply.

  • Finally, clicking on the OK button will unblock the files and you will be able to open multiple files.


Reason 7: Hardware Graphics Acceleration Is Enabled

The program will operate in software rendering mode if the Hardware Acceleration is totally off. This may cause the opening of multiple excel files. Disabling Excel Graphics Hardware Acceleration has been shown to address visual difficulties, enhance stability, and increase performance in Excel. If you are having problems with Excel, we highly advise you to disable it and see if it fixes the problem.


Solution: Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration

To disable hardware graphics acceleration we have to follow the procedures below.

STEPS:

  • In the beginning, navigate to the File tab on the ribbon, as in the previous solutions.
  • After that, pick Options from the backstage excel menus.
  • This will bring up the Excel Options dialog box.
  • Next, go to Advanced.
  • On the Display menu, checkmark the box beside Disable hardware graphics acceleration.
  • Lastly, click OK.
  • And, that’s all! Now you will be able to open multiple excel files.


Reason 8: Multiple Excel Files Are Hidden

Sometimes, we cannot open multiple excel files because some files are hidden. Maybe we hide those files for some working purpose and we forgot to unhide those files.


Solution: Unhide Excel Files

To unhide the hidden excel files to open them together at the same time, follow the procedures down.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, go to the View tab from the ribbon.
  • Secondly, from the Window group, click on Unhide.

  • This will display the Unhide dialog and show all the hidden files there.
  • Click OK to unhide all the files.
  • And, that’s it! You can now open multiple excel files at the same time.


Conclusion

The above solutions will assist you to fix the problem of being unable to open multiple excel files. Hope this will help you! If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback, please let us know in the comment section. Or you can have a glance at our other articles in the ExcelDemy.com blog!


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Sabrina Ayon

Sabrina Ayon

Hi there! This is Sabrina Ayon. I'm really excited to welcome you to my profile. Currently, I'm working in SOFTEKO as a Team Leader. I'm a graduate in BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from United International University. I love working with computers and solving problems. I’ve always been interested in research and development. Here I post articles related to Microsoft Excel. Hoped this may help you. Thank you.

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