Sorry, Excel cannot open two workbooks with the same name

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • The Sorry, Excel can't open two workbooks with the same name error can occur due to an add-on conflict.
  • This article explores a few troubleshooting steps to help you resolve this error and get back to working on Excel in no time.
  • For more such detailed fixes, and guides follow our Troubleshooting page.
  • Interested in more such articles? Check out our dedicated Microsoft Excel section.
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The error Sorry, Excel can’t open two workbooks with the same name an occur when you try to refresh a workbook containing Quick reports and or Time series. This error can also occur when launching Microsoft Excel with a blank page.

This error usually occurs if there a conflict between 2 versions of the Excel add-in. If you have set up an add-on that loads when launching the Excel app, check the app for any conflict.

In this article, we explore a few troubleshooting steps to help you resolve the Sorry, Excel can’t open two workbooks with the same name error when using Microsoft Excel.

How do I fix the Sorry, Excel can’t open two workbooks with the same name error?

1. Rename the file 

Sorry, Excel can't open two workbooks with the same name
  1. Open the folder where you have saved the file using File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Rename. 
  3. Enter a unique name for the file and save the changes.
  4. Try opening the Excel file again to see if the error is resolved.

Alternatively, try starting a new instance of Excel and check if that resolves the error. Here’s how to do it.

Sorry, Excel can't open two workbooks with the same name
  1. Right-click on your Excel icon on the taskbar or desktop.
  2. Press and hold the ALT key on your keyboard.
  3. Click on the Excel icon to start the app.
  4. You will be prompted with a Do you want to start a new instance of Excel message. Click Yes.
  5. Open the file and check if the error is resolved.

2. Check for multiple add-on installation 

Sorry, Excel can't open two workbooks with the same name
  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location:
    C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
  2. Check if any add-ons exist in the location.
  3. Next, launch Microsoft Excel.
  4. Go to File and select Options.
  5. Next, select Addins.
  6. Uncheck all DLL add-ins.
  7. Save the changes and exit the Options window.
  8. Launch Microsoft Excel and open the file to see if the error is resolved.

You may encounter issues if you have installed an addin-in with the same name from two different sources even if the add-ins are in different formats like DLL, and XLSM, the issue can still occur. Disable the add-on to fix the error triggered due to a conflict.

Alternatively, if you know which add-in is causing the error, navigate to C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART and then delete the .xla file related to the add-in.


3. Repair Excel installation

Excel workbook add-on error
  1. Press the Windows key + R.
  2. Type control and click OK.
  3. Click on Uninstall Programs under Programs.
  4. Locate and select Microsoft Office from the list of installed apps.
  5. Click on Repair/Change from the top menu. Click Yes when prompted by UAC.
  6. In the Setup menu, click on the Repair button. 
  7. Next, you will see two repair options. Select Quick Repair first and follow on-screen instructions.
  8. Once the repair is complete, reboot the PC and check for any improvements.
  9. If the issue persists, select Online Repair and follow on-screen instructions. The Online Repair option may take some time and also requires an active internet connection to work.

After the repair is finished, open Microsoft Excel and check if the error is resolved.


4. Update/ Reinstall Microsoft Officer 

Update the Office app

Sorry, Excel can't open two workbooks with the same name
  1. Open the Excel app.
  2. Go to File and select Account.
  3. Under Product Information, click on Update Options.
  4. Choose Update Now.
  5. Microsoft Office will download and install any pending updates for the app.
  6. After the update is installed, reboot the computer and check for any improvements.

If the error persists, try reinstalling the app to fix any issues that may occur due to file corruption or a glitch.

Uninstall Microsoft Office

Excel workbook add-on error
  1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Search for Microsoft Office.
  4. Select the app and click on Uninstall. Click Yes if prompted by UAC.
  5. Once uninstalled, download the app from the official Microsoft download center.

The error Sorry, Excel can’t open two workbooks with the same name usually occurs due to an add-in conflict during the start.

Follow the steps above to find and delete the conflicting add-on to fix the error. Do let us know which method helped you in the comments below.

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