1. Alt + Open Excel The first, and also my favorite method is the ALT + Open method. It works as follows: Right click on the Excel icon in the taskbar. As the menu appears, hold down the ALT-key and left-click on the 'Excel' menu option. New Instance Excel - Alt Open - 1.1 Hold down the ALT-key until the below window pops up. Press Yes to open a new instance. New Instance Excel - Alt - Open - 1.2 Tip: you can also hold down the ALT-key, hoover your mouse over the Excel icon in the taskbar and click your scroll-button. This has the same effect and takes even less clicks. 2. Run Window One of the quickest ways to open a new Excel Instance is using the Run window. To do this: Click Start -> enter 'Run' -> fill in"Excel.exe /x" and press enter. Or on Windows 10: enter"Excel.exe /x" in the start menu and press enter. New Instance Excel - Start Window - 2.1 A new Excel instance will open. 3. Use VBA This method makes use of VBA. Run below VBA code to open a second Excel instance. Do note, this method does not show a pop-up to indicate you opened a new instance. Sub OpenNewExcelInstance() Dim xlApp As Excel.Application Set xlApp = New Excel.Application xlApp.Workbooks.Add xlApp.Visible = True Set xlApp = Nothing End Sub 4. Edit the Registry: Force Excel to Open in a New Instance by Default This section explains how to open each Excel spreadsheet in a new instance by configuring a registry key. From all methods, this one involves the most steps to configure. However, if you need Excel to open a new instance by default, this method may be worth your while. Note: this method only works when you use the Excel icon to open a new spreadsheet. When opening a new spreadsheet from within a file by using File -> Open, the file still opens in the current Excel instance. The same happens when you open a file from within the file explorer.