Why Excel Shows Blank Screen When Opening File? – Get 10 Fixes Here!

Have you ever tried opening an Excel file and met with a frustrating blank screen issue? You’re not alone! This is a common problem that many Excel users face, and it can be extremely disruptive, especially when you’re on a deadline. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into why Excel shows blank screen when opening file issue and explore various methods to get your Excel back on track.

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Why Is Excel Showing Blank Instead of Opening a Document?

When the users double-click on an Excel file, the program starts but a blank screen appears with a white screen or in some cases grey screen instead of the projected file. It happens due to various unforeseen reasons, including:

  1. Corrupted or damaged Excel workbook.
  2. Due to enabled Ignore DDE feature or hardware graphics. acceleration option.
  3. Conflicting add-ins.
  4. Corrupted Microsoft Office.
  5. Outdated software.
  6. System incompatibilities.
  7. User profile problems.

Solutions to Fix Excel Shows Blank Screen When Opening File

There is no 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 cases when the Excel file opens a blank grey screen and white screen issue.

So, try them in your respective case.

Solution 1: Close Unnecessary Background Running Apps

Running too many applications in the system’s background can cause this problem. All you need to close the unnecessary applications running in the background to tackle this situation.

Follow these steps to do so:

  • Launch Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys.
  • In the Process tab, right-tap on the useless apps >> select End task.

Close the Unnecessary Excel Process

Solution 2: Un-check the Ignore DDE Box

One obvious reason for the Excel program not opening files showing a blank screen 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 and then instructs it to open a file or workbook that has been double-clicked.

Follow the steps to do so:

  • Open Excel program
  • If a new workbook opens go to File > Options > Advanced> locate General tab
  • Now, uncheck Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) box >> 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: Unlock Your Potential: Excel If Blank Then Skip to Next Cell Revealed!

Solution 3: 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. 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 4: Reset Excel File Associations to Fix Excel Shows Blank Screen When Opening File

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

Follow the given instructions to do so:

  • Go to Start > choose Control Panel > Programs > click Default Programs.
  • Then under Default Programs > click Set your default programs (The 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 a blank Excel sheet without cells appearing and access your Excel file easily.

Solution 5: 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
  • Click Change.

Excel shows blank screen when opening file

  • Click Online Repair > click Repair

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

Solution 6: Turn Off Add-ins

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

Two types of add-ins 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, follow these steps and open the Excel in safe mode.

Solution 7: Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration

Try disabling the hardware graphics acceleration option, this helped many users to solve Excel file not opening showing blank screen issues.

Follow the steps to do so:

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

Excel shows blank screen when opening file

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

  • Click Ok.

Also Read: Quick Ways to Remove Blank Rows in Excel

Solution 8: Ensure to Update Excel

Sometimes, updates to your Excel software can introduce compatibility problems and may result in blank screen issues. So, ensure to update the Excel application to overcome this situation.

Steps to Update Excel Software

  • Open Excel >> click on the File menu >> Account option.
  • Next, locate and click Update Options > Update Now.

Excel shows blank screen when opening file

Solution 9: Fix Excel File Corruption

To get rid of this perky problem, it is suggested to use Excel’s built-in Open and Repair utility. It can repair the corrupted Excel file for free & with ease.

If you want to run this utility, follow these steps:

  • Ensure to close all the XLS or XLSX documents.
  • Launch the Excel application, and click File > Open.

Excel shows blank screen when opening file

  • In the opened dialog box, click Browse option to choose a faulty Excel file that is not opening.
  • After that, click on a dropdown arrow next to an Open button.
  • Then, click Open & Repair >> Repair button.

excel open and repair 1

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Solution 10: Contact the Microsoft Support Team

If none of the above-given solutions helped you to fix a blank screen or blank Excel sheet without cells issue, you can contact the Microsoft Support team for further assistance to get rid of this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Do I Get a Blank Page When I Open an Excel File?

You might be getting a blank page when opening an Excel file due to a corrupted workbook or faulty installed add-ins within Excel.

When I Open Excel My Screen Goes Black?

When opening Excel, if your screen goes black then consider opening the Excel program or PC.

How to Recover a Blank Excel File?

If you have recently deleted your blank Excel file, you can restore it from the Windows Recycle Bin.

Final Verdict

After reading the complete fixes, I am sure you can fix the Excel file not opening showing blank screen issues on your own. Here, we have covered from basic troubleshooting to advanced techniques. So, it’s my recommendation to follow them carefully.

Additionally, keep regular updates and backups to prevent many common Excel problems.

Priyanka is a 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.