Excel Personal.xlsb anomoly

Copper Contributor

I have a workbook with multiple interlinked tabs.  In moving the position of one tab between the other tabs, I accidentally pulled the tab off the workbook and it seemed to be deleted so I closed the workbook without saving.


I have a 'Personal.xlsb' file active on my macBookAirM2.  Excel began alerting of linked spreadsheets each time I launched the application and requested save of my 'Personal.xlsb' file every time I quit Excel.


I've traced, and replicated, the problem to the fact that somehow the tab I had "deleted" from my workbook had actually been inserted/added to my 'Personal.xlsb' file.


To resolve the issue:

  • in view, select 'unhide' 'Personal.xlsb' 
  • delete the erroneous tab in 'Personal.xlsb'
  • use 'NameManager' to delete all erroneous linked names
  • use 'Format/Cells/Number' to delete all extraneous formats
  • in view, select 'hide' 'Personal.xlsb'
  • quit Excel and accept the save of 'Personal.xlsb'

I've occasionally moved a tab from one workbook to another by dragging the tab between open workbooks.  I was surprised that with only one workbook visible/open (and 'Personal.xlsb' open but hidden) dragging a tab from the visible workbook resulted in the tab dropping into the hidden workbook.


Is this a feature/anomoly/error in Excel for Mac?

2 Replies
best response confirmed by Hans Vogelaar (MVP)


The behavior you described where a tab from one workbook is inadvertently dropped into the hidden 'Personal.xlsb' file on Excel for Mac is an anomaly rather than an intended feature. It seems to be a result of a user interface inconsistency or a potential bug.

The 'Personal.xlsb' file is a hidden workbook that serves as a template for personal macros and customizations. It should not typically receive tabs from other workbooks unless intentionally programmed to do so.

To prevent such accidental transfers in the future, it's advisable to follow these best practices:

  1. Avoid dragging and dropping tabs between workbooks when only one workbook is visible/open, especially when the 'Personal.xlsb' file is active but hidden. Instead, use the move or copy sheet feature within Excel.
  2. Double-check the target workbook before moving or copying tabs to ensure you are placing them in the correct location.
  3. Regularly save backups of your workbooks to protect against accidental data loss or changes.

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Hope this will help you.

Thank you Nikolino. I appreciate your timely response.