Where is the Excel Personal Macro Workbook Located?

Sometimes I blog things mostly so I can remember them and in the off chance that they might be useful to others. This post falls into that category. If you use Microsoft Excel, and you have a macro that you want to be available globally–in any open workbook–you can place it in your Personal Macro Workbook, which is just an Excel Workbook (in binary, XLSB, format, for speed) that lives at a particular location, where Excel will look for it whenever it launches.

On Windows 7, it lives here: 1


On Windows XP, it lives here:

C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\PERSONAL.XLSB

In either case, the easy way to create PERSONAL.XLSB is not to muck around with the file system directly. Instead, just record a macro in Excel and, when you’re prompted to save it, choose Personal Macro Workbook from the Store Macro In drop-down menu on the Record Macro dialog box. Record yourself typing a few numbers and adding some formatting to them or something similar. Afterwards, you can open up the Personal Macro Workbook via the Visual Basic button on the Developer tab later and delete whatever you record. Once you create it, your Personal Macro Workbook will be listed in the VBA Editor as “VBAProject (PERSONAL.XLSB)”.

Some Additional Details for the Truly Nerdy

The location of the Personal Macro Workbook is a little confusing, because older versions of Excel stored it in an XLSTART folder buried inside the Program Files folder. Even though you can’t write any files to it, Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 also have XLSTART folders inside the Program Files directory. Here are the paths:

For Excel 2010:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\XLSTART\

For Excel 2007:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\XLSTART\

“Office 14” is the internal name for Office 2010. It’s actually the 13th version of Office, but Microsoft saw fit to skip naming it Office 13, due, one suspects to superstition. So “Office 12” is Office 2007, “Office 11” is Office 2003, and so on. If you happen to be stuck running Excel 2003 on a Windows XP box, you’ll find PERSONAL.XLSB at this path:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\XLSTART\



  1. If there’s no Roaming directory in your setup, use Local instead. The rest of the path will remain the same.


  1. James,
    Regarding the startpath where the Excel Personal Macro Workbook is located. This location can be installed in several different locations on the PC or company network. The best advice for your readers (like me) is explained on Ron de Bruin’s website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/personal.htm
    1) Open excel
    2) Hit alt-F11 to get to the VBE
    3) Hit ctrl-g to see the immediate window and type this:
    4) ?Application.StartupPath
    5) Press enter
    You’ll see the startup path returned for the PC.

    Thanks for your blog, I am an avid reader!

  2. Also, you can use the enviromental variable %APPDATA% to get the base of the folder – for instance the path “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\” would reach the correct folder in most cases. If not, try replacing %APPDATA% with %LOCALAPPDATA%. For instance, just typing %appdata% at the start prompt opens the explorer at Documents and settings/username/application data”. Handy!

  3. I just changed to Office2010. PC died and new one has 2010. Previously, I was using Office2003. The Personal file is .xls. How do I convert it to .xlsb? I appreciate the other info.

  4. You can also hide and unhide the Personal WB. This is handy if you are often working with the VBA editor, since it wants you to have the workbook visible to edit the macros. If you are not editing them, it is better to have it hidden, or else it will open the Personal workbook each time you start Excel.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to post this. My work laptop just got upgraded to Windows 7, and all of a sudden my macros no longer work – and I rely on them intensively. This was a big help.

  6. I wnat to create a macro (UDF) which reads data from a file (or worksheet). I would like create a worksheet in personal workbook and save the data on it. There is a sheet 1(default) on personal workbook, but I cannot see it. If there is way to create a worksheet on perosnal workbook, please help me.

  7. I have got XLSTART folder at two paths on my PC (m using Excel 2010):

    1) C:\Documents and Settings\suneetaro\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
    2) C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\XLSTART

    Both don’t have PERSONAL.XLSB (not even hidden), but I had created a macro with ‘All open workbooks’ option selected for ‘Macros in’ dropdown ! Where the macro got stored then ?

  8. This was a real help to me as I accidentally closed the personal macro file and needed it open to continue to record macros (which I’m still a novice to intermediate at (practice makes perfect) – work have conveniently hidden my xlstart folder (a matter of annoyance) – although after sending them a technical email making them sound like I knew what I was doing (I do for the most part), they’ve now sent me a secret link that opens it & I can now do other things that I like to do with Excel that requires the xlstart folder (like have the worksheets and workbook open up in a format I like). Not sure work will like me doing that, but tough!

  9. @Mahendra Verma Sorry, it’s not something I can tackle right now.
    @Suneet Arora I’m not sure.
    @Claire Wilkins Glad to help!

  10. I have the same issue as Suneet and Search does not ‘find’ the file, i’ve stored about 6 macros today- can see them- but can’t edit them!…#frustratednovice

  11. Thanks so much for posting this!! I have a new computer and really don’t want to recreate all of my macros so this will help a ton.

  12. If this helps anyone else, I put some of my technical files to make life easier for myself on web-based shared drives (i.e. Google Drive, DropBox, etc.) I have an .xlsb file I put out there with the standard macros I want with me anywhere I go, and I just now created a basic .bat file out there as well that will copy that .xlsb file into the proper Windows 7 directory given the info I got from this page for %APPDATA%.

    Below is all that’s in the .bat file I created to make this work. You’ll have to modify your own username and path, but feel free to try it! :-)

    :: Copy my personal .xlsb file from my Google Drive to the Windows 7 Machine I’m using
    copy C:\Users\\”Google Drive”\”PERSONAL with macros for combining xlsx spreadsheets.xlsb” %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\personal.xlsb

  13. For some reason that first path got messed up; I had my username in the greather than less than brackets after “Users” but it’s not showing so I’ll just call the field USERNAME:

    :: Copy my personal .xlsb file from my Google Drive to the Windows 7 Machine I’m using
    copy C:\Users\USERNAME\”Google Drive”\”PERSONAL with macros for combining xlsx spreadsheets.xlsb” %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\personal.xlsb

  14. Thanks for this blog post. I wondered where personal.xlsb was saved!

    As it is saved in the user profile, which is typically saved on a pc’s local hard disk, even in a corporate setting, I would recommend getting in the habit of *copying* the personal.xlsb to another location so that you have a backup copy in the event of a hard disk failure, complete computer failure, the IT dept replacing your pc without checking with you, or your profile needing deleting and recreating. That latter used to be a common solution when I worked in IT support in the NT and XP days, when it was a quick fix solution to users complaining their pcs were running slowly. Don’t know if IT departments still use it as a quick fix for problems, but I’ve learned to make sure I keep a copy of anything important that’s in my user profile.

    Using the %APPDATA% and %LOCALAPPDATA% variables is good advice.

  15. I too like to share macros with my desktop and laptop without having to copy files back and forth to dropbox. My solution was to place the personal.lxsb file in my dropbox location and simply place a shortcut to it in the xlstart directory (the location of which is the subject of this topic). The first time you open excel after this change you will get a security warning so hit “enable macros” and continue. Once inside excel, to file->options->trust center->trust center settings->trusted locations and browse to the dropbox or google drive folder where you store the macros worksheet. This will stop the security warning on entry.

  16. I noticed that two people have the same problem as I. I can’t find my personal macro anywhere, not even on the XLSTART folder, not even when I select to show hidden folders. It’s a ghost that I would like to find and “kill”. Jokes aside, I would really like someone to help me with this problem.

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