5 Ways to Open the Options Menu in Microsoft Excel

This blog post is going to show you how to open the options menu in Microsoft Excel.

A lot of people don’t know that Excel has an options menu. The Excel Options menu contains a wealth of essential features that allow you to customize your Excel experience.

The Excel Options menu will allow you to customize your ribbon, change calculation settings, change language settings, and change many other workbook and app settings.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to open the options menu so you can access the various useful features it contains.

Open the Options Menu from the File Tab

The main method to open the options menu is through the File tab in the Excel ribbon.

  1. Go to the File tab in the ribbon.

This will open the backstage screen which contains various options for opening and saving files. This is also where you can find the Excel Options.

  1. Select the Options tab in the lower left of the backstage.

This will open up the Excel Options menu!

Open the Options Menu with a Keyboard Shortcut

There is no dedicated keyboard shortcut for opening the options menu, but you can use the Alt hotkeys.

When you press the Alt key, the ribbon will show you the keys you need to press to access all the tabs and commands available in the ribbon.

Press Alt, F, T on your keyboard to open the Excel Options menu.

💡 Tip: Press these keys in sequence, you don’t need to press these keys at the same time.

Open the Options Menu from the Search Bar

A quick way to open the Excel Options menu is through the search bar found at the top of your Excel app.

This allows you to access any command through a keyword search if you can’t remember where the command is located.

  1. Click into the search bar or press Alt + Q to set your cursor focus on the search bar.
  2. Search for the keyword option.
  3. Select the Options item under Actions.

This will open the Excel Options menu.

Open the Options Menu with a Right Click

You can customize the Excel ribbon and quick access toolbar from the right-click menu, and it turns out this will open up the Excel Options menu focused on the ribbon or quick access toolbar options.

Right-click anywhere on the ribbon menu then select the Customize the Ribbon option.

This will open up the Excel Options menu on the Customize Ribbon section. You can then select the section you want in the options.

Open the Options Menu from the Quick Access Toolbar

Once you know about the Excel Options menu, it’s likely a menu you will use repeatedly and is worth placing in your quick access toolbar.

This way you will always have access to the options menu with one click!

Follow these steps to add the Excel Options to your quick access toolbar.

  1. Right-click on the quick access toolbar.
  2. Select the Customize Quick Access Toolbar option from the right-click menu.

This will open up the Excel Options menu on the Quick Access Toolbar section.

  1. The Quick Access Toolbar section should be selected.
  2. Select the Commands Not in the Ribbon option from the dropdown.
  3. Select Options: Home from the list of commands.
  4. Press the Add button to add the command to your QAT.
  5. Press the OK button.

This will add a new item to your Quick Access Toolbar commands. When you click on this item it will open up the Excel Options menu in the General section.


The Excel Options menu allows you to access some very useful settings and customizations.

Unfortunately, the menu is not very prominent and accessible, but you should familiarize yourself with it if you’re not already.

Once you know how to open the Excel Options, you find many hidden settings which can be applied to your current workbook or to the entire app.

Do you use the Excel Options menu? Do you know any other methods to open this incredible feature? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and qualified actuary with over 15 years of experience. He has worked in a variety of industries, including insurance, ad tech, and most recently Power Platform consulting. He is a keen problem solver and has a passion for using technology to make businesses more efficient.


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John MacDougall

I’m John, and my goal is to help you Excel!

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  1. ian clark

    Hi John,
    very through article. Shame that none of the ways to find Options work on my Office 365 Excel. It is running on a MAC M1 and I am trying to use a customised Add-In, but without Options, can’t link it to the Excel worksheets.
    Any ideas?
    thanks, Ian

    • John MacDougall

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac / Excel for Mac.

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