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Home > English site > Articles > Prevent Open Event
Deze pagina in het Nederlands

Preventing auto_open and Workbook_Open events from running

Introduction

As a fulltime developer I oftentimes open files containing VBA and want to be able to run code. At the same time I sometimes want to prevent Workbook_Open event code or an Auto_Open macro from running. This little article shows you how to achieve that.

Why would you want to do this? Typically, I use this on my own files in which I am still developing. The Open event might contain code that takes a while to run, or configures the project in a way which I don't want to happen when I start working with the file.

If the file you opened using the methods described below contains other event handlers, note that these event handlers will remain disabled until you start a macro manually (by clicking a command button or a menu entry) or if a User Defined function in your code has been called.

I do not recommend using this method to open files from sources you do not know or trust. The VBA code can contain events which will eventually run and possibly cause trouble.

Excel 2010, 2013, 2016

Macro security set to low or trusted document

If you have set your macro security to "Enable All Macros" or you have already set the document to trusted or the document is in a trusted folder, click File, Open, select your file and hold down the shift key when you click the Open button:

Selecting the file from the File, Open dialog

Fig. 1: Selecting the file from the File, Open dialog (Excel 2010, 2013, 2016)

Of course your file might be listed in the Most Recently Used files (MRU) list.  In that case, hold shift when you click the file in the list:

Clicking the file on the MRU

Fig. 2: Clicking the file on the MRU (Excel 2010)

Doing so will prevent the Workbook_Open event from firing and the Auto_Open macro from running.

Macro security set to prompt

If your document is not in a trusted folder, has never been set to be trusted and macro security is set to something other than enable all macros to run, you can repeat what I've shown above.

Normally, if you open such a document, Excel will show the security bar. In this situation however, due to you holding down shift, Excel shows this window:

Enable macros dialog

fig 3: Enable macros dialog (Excel 2010)

Because you held down the shift button when you clicked the file in the MRU or when you clicked the Open button, you can now just click "Enable macros" and no Automacros will run.

Excel 2007 and up

Macro security set to low or trusted document

Note that this seems to fail if the trusted folder is on a network share!

If you have set your macro security to "Enable All Macros" or you have already set the document to trusted or the document is in a trusted folder, click File, Open, select your file and hold down the shift key when you click the Open button:

Selecting the file from the File, Open dialog

Fig. 4: Selecting the file from the File, Open dialog (Excel 2007 and up)

Of course your file might be listed in the Most Recently Used files (MRU) list.  In that case, hold shift when you click the file in the list:

Clicking the file on the MRU

Fig. 2: Clicking the file on the MRU (Excel 2007 and  up)

Doing so will prevent the Workbook_Open event from firing and the Auto_Open macro from running.

Macro security set to prompt

If your document is not in a trusted folder, has never been set to be trusted and macro security is set to something other than enable all macros to run, you can repeat what I've shown above.

Normally, if you open such a document, Excel will show the security bar. In this situation however, due to you holding down shift, Excel shows this window:

Enable macros dialog

fig 3: Enable macros dialog (Excel 2007 and up)

Because you held down the shift button when you clicked the file in the MRU or when you clicked the Open button, you can now just click "Enable macros" and no Automacros will run. 

Excel 97, 2000, XP, 2003

Macro security set to low or trusted document

In case your macro security is set to low, or your VBA code is signed and you have set the publisher as trusted, you must hold down the shift key when you click the Open button on the File, Open dialog:

Opening the file from the File, Open dialog

Fig. 7: Opening the file from the File, Open dialog (Excel 97-2003)

Of course your file might be listed in the Most Recently Used files (MRU) list.  In that case, hold shift when you click the file in the list:

Clicking the file on the MRU

Fig. 8: Clicking the file on the MRU (Excel 97-2003)

Doing so will prevent the Workbook_Open event from firing and the Auto_Open macro from running.

Macro security set to medium or higher

If your macro security is set to al least "Medium" and you have never set its publisher to trusted (for a signed macro) you can forget about holding shift when opening the file or clicking the file on the MRU list. Instead, you must hold shift when you enable macros:

Hold shift when you press Enable macros

Fig.9: Hold shift when you press Enable macros

Doing so will prevent the Workbook_Open event from firing and the Auto_Open macro from running.

 


Comments

Showing last 8 comments of 72 in total (Show All Comments):

 


Comment by: Rudi (6/24/2015 11:50:37 AM)

Thanks for the great tip.

 


Comment by: Hugo (10/23/2015 3:04:32 PM)

Excelent solution, thanks!

 


Comment by: Casandra (10/23/2015 4:33:59 PM)

Sometimes the answer is SO simple. This was extremely helpful!! Thanks!!

 


Comment by: Richard (11/21/2015 3:53:48 PM)

HI,
I have Windows 10 downloaded onto an original Windows 7 computer.
My Excel workbooks now open in compatibility mode.
I have VBA in Excel which is not compatible with the *.xlsx format. How can I open them in *.xls only so it shows the original 2003 Excel Format and nor the 'Ribbon' thing.
regards,
Richard
PS. This must affect a lot of other users.

 


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (11/21/2015 10:54:44 PM)

Hi Richard,

The Ribbon is here to stay, no way back I'm afraid. I'd advise you to be patient, try it for a bit and you'll probably get used to it.

To save files with VBA, save them as xlsm file.

 


Comment by: Richard (11/22/2015 3:51:28 PM)

Hi Jan,
Thanks for your comment re: 11/21/2015 10:54:44pm
I wasn't very clear in my first question.
My Excel VBA is not compatible with the xlsm extension. So how do I run them in 97-2003. I can't run them in the compatibility mode.
Regards,
Richard

 


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (11/23/2015 5:14:25 PM)

Hi Richard,

I'm afraid I fail to understand what the problem is.

What precisely happens when you try to run your macro?

 


Comment by: Richard (11/23/2015 8:21:10 PM)

Hi Jan,
The 'Run time error' comes up when I try to open the workbook. This is caused by the Customized toolbars failing to open with their specialized menus for the Workbook in question. I have eight different Workbooks all with their own Toolbars, including drop-down menus etc.
I can test no further without Toolbars.
Richard.

 


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