VBA Open / Close Workbook

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Steve Rynearson

Last updated on March 3, 2022

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use VBA to open and close Excel Workbooks and other types of Files in several ways.

VBA allows you to open or close files using the standard methods .Open and .Close.

If you want to learn how to check if a file exists before attempting to open the file, you can click on this link: VBA File Exists

Open a Workbook in VBA

Open Workbook From Path

If you know which file you want to open, you can specify its full path name in the function. Here is the code:

Workbooks.Open "C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx"

This line of the code opens “Sample file 1” file from the “VBA Folder”.

Open Workbook – ActiveWorkbook

When you open a workbook, it automatically becomes the ActiveWorkbook.  You can reference the newly opened workbook like so:


When you reference a sheet or range and omit the workbook name, VBA will assume you are referring to the ActiveWorkbook:

Sheets("Sheet1").Name = "Input"

Open Workbook and Assign to a Variable

You can also open a workbook and assign it directly to an object variable. This procedure will open a workbook to the wb variable and then save the workbook.

Sub OpenWorkbookToVariable()
    Dim wb As Workbook
    Set wb = Workbooks.Open("C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx")

End Sub

Assigning workbooks to variables when they open is the best way to keep track of your workbooks

Workbook Open File Dialog

You can also trigger the workbook Open File Dialog box. This allows the user to navigate to a file and open it:

Sub OpenWorkbook ()

    Dim strFile As String

    strFile = Application.GetOpenFilename()
    Workbooks.Open (strFile)

End Sub

vba open close file


As you can see in Image 1, with this approach users can choose which file to open. The Open File Dialog Box can be heavily customized. You can default to a certain folder, choose which types of files are visible (ex. .xlsx only), and more. Read our tutorial on the Open File Dialog Box for detailed examples.

Open New Workbook

This line of code will open a new workbook:


Open New Workbook To Variable

This procedure will open a new workbook, assigning it to variable wb:

Sub OpenNewWorkbook()
    Dim wb As Workbook
    Set wb = Workbooks.Add
End Sub

Open Workbook Syntax

When you use Workbooks.Open you might notice that there are many options available when opening the workbook:

vba open workbook syntax

The Filename is required. All other arguments are optional – and you probably won’t need to know most of the other arguments.  Here are the two most common:

Open Workbook Read-Only

When workbook is opened read-only, you can’t save over the original file. This prevents the file from being edited by the user.

Workbooks.Open "C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx", , True

Open Password Protected Workbook

A workbook might be password-protected. Use this code to open the password-protected workbook:

Workbooks.Open "C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx", , , "password"

Open Workbook Syntax Notes

Notice that in the image above, we included a parenthesis “(” to show the syntax.  If you use parenthesis when working with Workbooks.Open, you must assign the workbook to a variable:

Sub OpenWB()
    Dim wb As Workbook
    Set wb = Workbooks.Open("C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx", True, True)
End Sub

Close a Workbook in VBA

Close Specific Workbook

Similarly to opening a workbook, there are several ways to close a file. If you know which file you want to close, you can use the following code:

Workbooks.Close ("C:\VBA Folder\Sample file 1.xlsx")

This line of code closes the file “Sample file 1” if it’s opened. If not, it will return an error, so you should take care of error handling.

Close Active Workbook

If you want to close the Workbook which is currently active, this line of code will enable you to do that:


Close All Open Workbooks

To close all open Workbooks, you can simply use this code:


Close First Opened Workbook

This will close the first opened/created workbook:


Replace 1 with 2 to close the second opened / created workbook and so on.

Close Without Saving

This will close a Workbook without saving and without showing the save prompt:

ActiveWorkbook.Close savechanges:=False

Save and Close Without Prompt

Similarly this will save and close a Workbook without showing the save prompt:

ActiveWorkbook.Close savechanges:=True

Note: There are several other ways to indicate whether to save or not save a Workbook and also whether to show prompts or not. This is discussed in more detail here.

Other Workbook Open Examples

Open Multiple New Workbooks

This procedure will open multiple new workbooks, assigning the new workbooks to an array:

Sub OpenMultipleNewWorkbooks()
    Dim arrWb(3) As Workbook
    Dim i As Integer
    For i = 1 To 3
        Set arrWb(i) = Workbooks.Add
    Next i
End Sub

Open All Excel Workbooks in a Folder

This procedure will open all Excel Workbooks in a folder, using the Open File Dialog picker.

Sub OpenMultipleWorkbooksInFolder()
    Dim wb As Workbook
    Dim dlgFD As FileDialog
    Dim strFolder As String
    Dim strFileName As String
    Set dlgFD = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFolderPicker)
    If dlgFD.Show = -1 Then
        strFolder = dlgFD.SelectedItems(1) & Application.PathSeparator
        strFileName = Dir(strFolder & "*.xls*")
        Do While strFileName <> ""
            Set wb = Workbooks.Open(strFolder & strFileName)
            strFileName = Dir
    End If
End Sub

Check if a Workbook is Open

This procedure will test if a workbook is open:

Sub TestByWorkbookName()
Dim wb As Workbook
    For Each wb In Workbooks
        If wb.Name = "New Microsoft Excel Worksheet.xls" Then
            MsgBox "Found it"
            Exit Sub 'call code here, we'll just exit for now
        End If
End Sub

Workbook_Open Event

VBA Events are “triggers” that tell VBA to run certain code. You can set up workbook events for open, close, before save, after save and more.

Read our Workbook_Open Event tutorial to learn more about automatically running macros when a workbook is opened.

Open Other Types of Files in VBA

You can use the VBA to open other types of files with VBA – such as txt or Word files.

Open a Text file and Read its Contents

The VBA open method allows you to read or write to the file once you have opened it. To read the contents of a file, we  can open the file for INPUT.

Sub OpenTextFile()
   Dim strFile As String
   Dim strBody As String
   Dim intFile As Integer

   strFile = "C:\data\test.txt"
   intFile = FreeFile
   Open strFile For Input As intFile
   strBody = Input(LOF(intFile), intFile)
   'loop here through your text body and extract what you need
   ''some vba code here
   Debug.Print strBody
   Close intFile
End Sub

The code above will open the text file “test.txt” and then it will read the entire contents of the file to the strBody variable.  Once you have extracted the file data into the strBody variable, you can use it for what you require. Using the Debug.Print command above enables us to see the contents of the strBody variable in the Immediate window in the VBE.

Open a Text File and Append to it

We can also open a text file in VBA, and then append to the bottom of the file using the Append method.

Sub AppendToTextFile()
Dim strFile As String
Dim strBody As String
Dim intFile As Integer

   strFile = "C:\data\test.txt"
   intFile = FreeFile
   Open strFile For Append As intFile
'add two lines to the bottom
   Print #intFile, "This is an extra line of text at the bottom"
   Print #intFile, "and this is another one"
'close the file
   Close intFile
End Sub

The above code will open the text file and then append 2 lines of text to the bottom of the file using the #intFile variable (the # sign is the key!).  The code then closes the file.

Opening a Word File and Writing to it

We can also use VBA in Excel to open a Word file.

Sub OpenWordFile()
   Dim wApp As Object
   Dim wDoc As Object
   Set wApp = CreateObject("Word.Application")
   Set wd = wApp.documents.Open("c:data\test.docx")
   wApp.Visible = True
End Sub

This code will open a copy of Word, and then open the document test.docx.


VBA Code Examples Add-in

Easily access all of the code examples found on our site.

Simply navigate to the menu, click, and the code will be inserted directly into your module. .xlam add-in.

(No installation required!)

Free Download

Return to VBA Code Examples