Exit Excel 2007 when closing last worksheet

After upgrading to Office 2007, I have been bugged *every* time I closed the last worksheet using the X (close) button in the top-right corner. Unlike all previous versions, Excel 2007 continues to run with no worksheet. I did a quick search and found this nice tip. In a nutshell:

  • Click the down arrow at the right of the Quick Access Toolbar and choose More Commands.
  • Select All Commands in the Choose Commands From pull-down menu.
  • Scroll down and select the Exit command.
  • Click the Add button in the middle to add the Exit command to the list on the right. (Hint: If you want, you can select a command on the right move them up or down by clicking the up/down arrow buttons.)
  • Click OK.

Now, if you really want to exit Excel, just click the X (Exit) button on the Quick Access Toolbar instead of the X close  button.

(Thanks to Carol Bratt for writing up this tip!)

Now that you know about the Quick Access Toolbar, it’s a great place to put your frequently used commands or macros. I also like it positioned under the Ribbon which is easy to do by selecting Show Below the Ribbon.

Update 2010-09-21:
Another option is to press Alt+F4. This exits Excel completely.

Comments 8

  • Hmm i just found that it also seems to be related if you have macro’s placed in PERSONAL.xlsb file, since this is the last file you have open but not visible, excel will stay open ;)

    Deleting that file, and avoid “global” macro’s will remove the problem.

  • So the close window button does not close the window when there are no active sub-windows.
    That is stupid. Who’s idea was that. Not the users.

  • UNcheck “Show all windows in the Taskbar” (Excel Options, Advanced,Display section)
    IT WORKS !!!

  • Hey Doug,

    Just thought you may want to know that the alternative to creating an exit button in the Quick Access Toolbar, is to add a ‘Close File’ button instead. This way, the button on the quick access bar will just close the file (leaving a blank Word/Excel application, then the “X” button (top-right corner) can be used as normal to close the whole application!

    This works in Word and all other MS Office programs!

    Hope this helps,


    P.S. There are lots of “Close” commands, under All Commands, just use the very first one with an icon; it’s a folder icon with an arrow arcing upwards, and when you hover the mouse over it, it says “FileTab|Close(FileClose)”.

    • Thanks Jo, but I’m not sure you a following the problem I was trying to solve. Basically, I want Excel to close when I close the last worksheet, just like all versions before 2007. You might as well just use the top-right X button if you just want to close the current worksheet. Maybe I’m missing your point though…I am pretty tired right now ;-)

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