Windows – Multiple versions of Excel

file associationmicrosoft excelwindows 7

I'm running Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, 2010 together. I would like to open all .xls files per default with Excel 2003 instead of Excel 2010. How do I do this on Windows 7?

Best Answer

  • When running multiple versions of Office, the only sure way to specify a "default" version is the order in which you install the programs. Repairing or reinstalling the application will not work.

    Start by removing, completely (use RevoUninstaller or similar) all Office apps on your computer.

    Then install Office 2010 completely and patch. You will not patch Office 2010 again until you want to set it to default, so patch thoroughly.

    Now install Office 2003 and patch.

    Selecting .xls files should open 2003 now. As long as you do not have the converter pack installed, .xlsx files should open in 2010.

    You may also want to check into disabling the auto-repair function. Word in particular (and Access) check their expected conditions on each start, and one thing they check is whether or not they are the default apps for their expected file types. Disabling the Auto-repair function in Office 2010 will prevent it from repairing itself and thus setting itself as default.

    Going forward, do not patch 2010 until you're done with 2003. Patch files will trigger a repair install of the full suite, most likely setting itself as default.