How to Close All Excel Files

Close All Excel Files


In Excel 2013 and later versions, each file opens in a separate window. Unlike earlier single-window versions, there is no Exit button or command, to close all the files, without clicking each window individually.

How to Close All Excel Files

Even though the Exit command is missing, there are a few ways to close all open windows in Excel 2013 and later versions.

Use a workaround, or use one of the shortcuts shown below.

Customize the QAT

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is a great place to add commands that are missing or hard to get to.

To add Close All and Exit commands, follow these steps:

  • Right-click the QAT, and click "Customize Quick Access Toolbar"
  • From the "Choose Commands From" drop down list, select "All Commands"
  • Scroll down, and click on Close All.
  • Click the Add button, to put that command on the  QAT.
    NOTE: It will be added below the command that is selected in the list at the right.
  • Scroll down to the Exit command, and add it to the QAT
  • Click OK, to close the Excel Options window.


Use the QAT Buttons

After you add the Close All and Exit commands to the QAT, use those commands to close all Excel files.

  • Close All – Closes all the Excel files, and leaves an empty window open
  • Exit – Closes all the Excel files, and closes Excel


Go to my Contextures site, for more tips on working with the QAT.

Excel Window "X"

Another way to close all Excel files is with the "X" at the top right of the Excel window.

  • If you simply click that "X", it will close the active window only.
  • To close all Excel files, press the Shift key, and click the X

Shift and click X

Excel will prompt you to save any unsaved files, and then all the windows will close.

File Command

Another way to close all Excel files is with this sequence of shortcut keys.

  • Press the Alt key, and tap the F key, to activate the File tab.
  • Then, tap the X key, as a shortcut to Exit.

NOT: Even though the X shortcut doesn't appear in the list, the Exit command runs when you tap X.


Windows Taskbar

Here's one more way to close all Excel files.

  • Right-click the Excel icon in the Windows Taskbar, at the bottom of your screen.
  • Then click the Close All Windows command.


NOTE: This only works if the Taskbar has "Always, hide labels" as the setting for "Combine taskbar buttons". (thanks J.Woolley)

To change that setting, right-click the Taskbar, and click Taskbar Settings.

Taskbar Settings

More Excel Tips

For more Excel file tips, go to the Excel Application and File FAQs page on my Contextures site.

Video: Close All Excel Files

Watch this video to see how to add the Close All and Exit buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar.


How to Close All Excel Files

Close All Excel Files


4 thoughts on “How to Close All Excel Files”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.