VBA - working with data videos | How do I get data from a closed Excel file using VBA?

Posted by Andrew Gould on 08 April 2021

One way to get data from a closed Excel workbook is to open it first, but did you know that in VBA you can connect to a workbook and extract data from it without needing to open the file? This video explains how to do this using the ActiveX Data Objects library. You'll learn how to create a connection object and construct a connection string to talk to the closed Excel file. You'll also see how to create a recordset object and load a set of data into it using an SQL Select statement. As a bonus, the video shows you how to add some basic criteria to the SQL query to control which rows of data you return from the workbook.

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This video has the following accompanying files:

File name Type Description
Get Data from Closed Workbook.xlsm Excel workbook with macros
Movies.xlsx Excel workbook

Click to download a zipped copy of the above files.

There are no exercises for this video.

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This page has 1 thread Add post
24 Apr 21 at 16:06

How do I get data from a closed Excel file using VBA?

Hi Andrew,

I really love your videos they always have so much information in it!

I just finished watching a. m. video. My problem is the following: I have to grab data from a closed Excel-file, but the data table I need unfortunately is not positioned in row 1 - there has to remain some descriptive stuff above the very table, so I could of course grab the entire table and delete all rows which don*t belong to the datatable. 

But actually I would only need a very small portion of the data, here I would only need column 3 and 4 of the datatable and only values which are bigger than a number on another sheet. I work a lot with SQL statements so it would not be a problem at all to create the statement I need, but I can't address the column names, because they are not in the first row (I would not even need the headers)

Is there a possibility to address the data using a named range instead? Or do you have another idea how to solve that problem?

Best regards,


26 Apr 21 at 08:05

Hi Susanne,

Yes, you can use range names in your select statement rather than sheet names. If your range name refers to the entire data table without column headers make sure that you set the HDR extended property to NO in your connection string:


You can then use generic placeholder field names, so if you only need columns 3 and 4 you can write something like this:

"SELECT F3, F4 FROM [MyRangeName]"

I hope that helps!