ALT + F4 in Excel – What Does it Do?

Alt F4 is a universal keyboard shortcut most commonly used to exit an active window or program.

It’s not exclusive to Microsoft Excel, but the function does the same thing when working with Excel as well. 

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what ALT F4 does in Excel and how you can use it to your advantage.  

What Does ALT F4 Do in Excel?

Alt+F4 is a keyboard shortcut commonly used to close the active window or program.

If you have an Excel file opened and active, using ALT + F4 (where you hold the ALT key and then press the F4 key) would close the active Excel file.

In case you have multiple Excel files open, this would only close the active Excel file.

If you use the ALT + F4 shortcut with an Excel file with unsaved changes, it will first show you the ‘Save your changes to this file’ dialog box. You can choose to save the file first before closing it, or you can choose the Don’t Save option.

ALT F4 in Excel - Save Changes dialog box

In addition to closing the current window, Alt+F4 can be used to shut down the computer, restart the computer, switch users, and open the shutdown dialog box. 

If you have multiple programs running at once, Alt+F4 will close the active program, but it won’t close any of the other programs you have open. 

Sometimes, Alt + F4 may not work. This could be due to several reasons, including a setting that has been enabled in Excel, which prevents the shortcut from working.

Apart from using the ALT + F4 keyboard shortcut, you can also close the active Excel workbook by using the shortcut Control + W (where you hold the control key and press the W key).

Other Excel articles you may also like: