Close Excel Workbook

How to Close Workbook in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

Closing a workbook in Excel is a basic yet essential skill for anyone working with spreadsheets. Whether you’re managing complex datasets or simple lists, knowing how to efficiently close your workbooks can help maintain your workflow and avoid losing data. In this guide, we’ll walk you through various methods to close a workbook in Excel, ensuring you can do so quickly and safely.

Using the Excel Ribbon

One of the most straightforward ways to close a workbook in Excel is by using the Ribbon interface.

  1. Open your workbook in Excel.
  2. Navigate to the File tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click on Close.

This method will close the active workbook. If you have unsaved changes, Excel will prompt you to save before closing.

We can close an Excel Workbook in methods:

  • We close the Workbook by using the Close Window button (X icon in the application menu) at top-right corner of the Excel File.
  • We can also close the workbook from the Task bar, right click on the workbook icon and click on the close window command.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a quick way to close workbooks without using your mouse. Here are a couple of handy shortcuts:

  • Windows: Press Ctrl + W
    • You can also use: Ctrl + F4
  • Mac: Press Command + W

Using these shortcuts will immediately close the active workbook. If there are any unsaved changes, you’ll be prompted to save them before the workbook closes.

Using VBA to Close Workbooks: Workbook.Close Method

For those who prefer automation, VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) can be a powerful tool. Here’s how you can use VBA to close a workbook:

  1. Press Alt + F11 to open the VBA editor.
  2. Insert a new module by clicking Insert > Module.
  3. Copy and paste the following code:
Sub CloseWorkbook()
ThisWorkbook.Close SaveChanges:=TrueEnd
  1. Run the macro by pressing F5 or by going to Run > Run Sub/UserForm.

This VBA script will close the active workbook and save any changes automatically. Adjust SaveChanges to False if you do not want to save changes.

Closing All Open Workbooks

If you have multiple workbooks open and need to close them all, you can use the following VBA code:

Sub CloseAllWorkbooks()
Dim wb As Workbook
For Each wb In Workbooks
wb.Close SaveChanges:=True
Next wb
End Sub

This script will loop through all open workbooks and close them, saving changes in each one.

Handling Unsaved Changes

When closing a workbook, Excel will prompt you to save any unsaved changes. You have three options:

  • Save: Save changes and close the workbook.
  • Don’t Save: Close the workbook without saving changes.
  • Cancel: Keep the workbook open.

To avoid losing data, always save your changes before closing, especially when prompted by Excel.

Common Errors and Troubleshooting

Here are a few common issues you might encounter when closing workbooks in Excel and how to resolve them:

  • Workbook is Read-Only: If you try to close a read-only workbook, ensure you have the necessary permissions or save a copy with a different name.
  • Workbook is Protected: If the workbook or worksheet is protected, you might need to unprotect it before closing.
  • Excel Not Responding: If Excel is not responding, try closing other applications to free up memory or use Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to force close Excel. Always try to save your work before doing this to avoid data loss.


Closing a workbook in Excel is a simple task, yet it’s crucial for effective data management. Whether you use the Ribbon, keyboard shortcuts, or VBA, understanding these methods will help you work more efficiently. Always remember to handle unsaved changes properly to avoid losing important data.

By mastering these techniques, you can ensure a smooth and productive experience while working with Excel. If you have any questions or run into issues, feel free to leave a comment below!

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