I unfortunately tried to open a few Excel files that have huge amounts of data. After 20 minutes they were not opened yet, so I did a force quit.

The problem now is that when I launch Excel, the program wants to open all the files that were opening when I did the force quit, which hangs Excel and brings me back to where I was. Arghh!

I tried logging out and then in again but it didn't help. Something somewhere remembers everything.

What can I do?


You are probably dealing with an AutoRecover issue. The Office programs will try to reopen documents that are open when the programs crash (a Force Quit is essentially a crash to the programs).

This link explains what's going on and how to recover from the problem. To quote the relevant part:

AutoRecover saves files in the ~:Documents:Microsoft User Data:Office 2008 AutoRecovery folder. These files are hidden, and their file names starts with ~ar.

You can see hidden files if you navigate to the folder above in Finder, type ⌘F, and choose FIle Invisible from the Kind dropdown - if that's not an option, choose Other..., and check the File Invisible checkbox - and set it to Invisible.

Try making the hidden files visible, then moving them to the Desktop, then start Excel. Of course, if you're using Office 2004 or Office 2011, they will have their own AutoRecovery folders.

  • Excellent thank you. I saw the folder, it was empty and it didn't cross my mind to look for hidden files. – kaklon Mar 8 '11 at 9:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .