7 Working Solutions to Fix Excel Opening Files To A Blank Screen

Are you the one facing the issue Excel opens but the spreadsheet won’t open or a blank screen appears only? Sometimes it happens that the Excel file appears blank with no cells, no column or rows names, and no grid lines.

Do you have any idea why this happens or how to make your Excel back to normal again? Well if not, then keep reading this post you will get an answer to all your queries.

Here in this article, I will give you the best fixes to resolve Excel opens blank or Excel file opens blank grey screen. Moreover, you will also get complete detail about this Excel open blank issue.

Why Is My Excel File Opening Blank?

Excel Opening Blank is a very irritating issue usually faced by the Excel users while trying to open their Excel files. When the users double-click on an Excel file or on the workbook icon, the program starts but a blank screen appears with a white screen or in some cases grey screen instead of the projected file.

Well, even some users are getting the issue by using File > Open > Workbook.

It doesn’t’ matter whether the screen appears grey or white this is very annoying. And Microsoft Support has described that issue arises after installing the security upgrade.

The security updates KB3115322, KB3115262 & KB3170008 in Excel made changes in certain types of files and the way they open. When the users try to open HTML or XLA files with an Excel .xls extension, then the program would caution over detachment between files and contents however opens without Protected View security.  

And after installing the security updates, the program won’t open workbooks but show a blank screen, because the files become incompatible with the program’s Protected View feature. There is no warning message appears related to the issue.

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Similar Issues Related To Excel Open Blank Screen Issue:

Excel Opens Blank Grey Screen: While working on Microsoft Excel many users are facing the grey screen issue. This error is faced by the users who updated their system from 2007 or 2010 to Excel 2016.  However this is not limited to Excel 2016, Excel 2013 users are also facing the same issue.

Excel Won’t Open White Screen: This is another issue related to the Excel opens blank screen issue. While trying to open Excel files many users are getting the White screen. Well, this issue is particularly faced by the Excel 2016 users on Windows 10 operating system.

These are the two cases faced generally by the users when there Excel files opening blank.  If in case your Excel files deny to get open and showing ‘Excel Cannot Open The File ‘(Filename)’.Xlsx’ Error.

Check out this helpful post on: ‘Excel Cannot Open The File ‘(Filename)’.Xlsx’ Error.

So, here check out the working solutions to Fix Excel Opens Blank Issue and simply access your workbook.

How To Fix Excel Opens Blank Issue?

Well, there is no any exact fix for the problem, so here try the different given fixes and check which one works for you. The below-given solutions work well in both the cases when the Excel file opens blank grey screen and white screen issue. So, try them in your respective case.

Solution 1: Un-check the Ignore DDE Box

One obvious reason or getting the Excel program not opening files is choosing the Ignore DDE box (Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange).

The DDE function is to send a message to the program when the user doubles click and then instructs it to open a file or workbook that has been double-clicked to open.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Open Excel program
  • If a new workbook open go to File > Options > Advanced> locate General tab
  • Now, uncheck Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) box
  • Lastly, click Ok

Please Note: Selecting the Ignore DDE box, will not open the workbook when double-clicked, as Excel ignores the entire instructions sent for other programs to itself.

However, this is a working solution that helped many users to open the Excel by troubleshooting the Excel not opening White or grey screen displays issue.

Read Also: Repair Excel Error “Opening Blank Page Issue When You Double-Click A File Icon Or File Name”

Solution 2: Check Hide/unhide

Well, you can also try this to fix the Excel opening blank screen workbook issue. Users can hide Excel documents by selecting the Hide option. And as a result, a blank screen appears instead of the actual spreadsheet document.

So here it is recommended to check if the hide option is enabled or not and “unhide” data.

Solution 3: Reset Excel File Associations

Try resetting the Excel file associations to its default settings to resolve Excel won’t open files issue.

Follow the given instruction to do so:

  • Go to Start > choose Control Panel > Programs > click Default Programs
  • Then under Default Programs > click Set your default programs ( Search process will begin to find your default programs)

  • And from the default programs list > select Excel
  • Click Choose default for this program > a Set Program Associations screen appears.

  • Click Select All > Save > OK

Hope doing this will help you to fix Excel file not opening blank grey screen or the white screen appears and access your Excel file easily.

Solution 4: Repair Microsoft Office

Well, in many cases the Microsoft office issue also causes various problems, so here it is recommended if yet the issue is not resolved then try repairing Microsoft Office programs.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Go to Start button > Control Panel > Programs
  • Now click Uninstall Programs > Microsoft Office
  • And click Change

  • Click Online Repair > click Repair

As the whole repairing process is finished restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 5: Turn Off Add-ins

Excel add-ins in many cases interfere with the documents loading so here check for the add-ins.

There are two types of add-ins that can cause Excel programs not to open files.

  • Excel add-in
  • COM add-in

So turn off Excel add-ins, and check if this helps you.

  • Open Excel > If a new workbook opens > go to File
  • Click Options > Add-Ins

  • And find Manage option bottom of the open screen

  • On the drop-down > COM Add-ins > click Go

  • Then from the box > clear one of the add-ins on the list
  • Click Ok

After finishing the whole steps double click on the file to restart your Excel program

Please Note: If in case still the problem is not resolved then follow the given steps and select the different add-in and remove it. And try opening the Excel workbook again.

Solution 6: Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration

Try disabling the hardware graphics acceleration option, this helped many users to fix Excel not opening issue.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Open Excel program > File > Options
  • Click Advanced > find Display tab

  • Now locate the Disable hardware graphics acceleration box > select it

  • Click Ok

Check if the Excel won’t open file white screen appears is resolved or not.

Solution 7: Contact Microsoft Support

If none of the above-given solutions helped you to fix the issue then the best is to contact Microsoft Support for further options.

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After reading the complete fixes, I am very much sure that you can fix Excel opening blank issues on your own. At last, I want to conclude that, Excel file opens blank grey screen issue is also conquered due to wrong changes in the Excel settings. That is mainly done for avoiding external programs. So, it’s my recommendation to carefully follow the above fixes.

Good Luck….

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Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.