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Excel add-ins fail to load


Update (Jan 10, 2021)

It seems the issue with add-ins including xl4 macro code being loaded with macros disabled has been fixed.

Update (Dec 14, 2020):

As of late Excel ignores add-ins which contain both VBA and the antiquated Excel 4 macro code. I have a couple of add-ins which have this combination because in some obscure cases it is the only way to access the formula property of an object.

What happens is that when you open the add-in directly using Windows Explorer or File, Open from Excel, the add-in loads but Excel does not prompt to enable macro's but silently disables them. Microsoft has confirmed this is a bug and has stated it will be fixed within the next weeks or so. In the mean time, you can manually install my add-ins by going through the add-ins dialog (the one immediately below) and clicking the Browse button.

End of update.

Lately (I wrote this page on August 17, 2016) I've been getting reports from people complaining that they can no longer use add-ins. In this article I describe the problem and a solution.

The problem

Even though an add-in has been "installed" into Excel using the Add-ins dialog its userinterface does not show. This is that dialog (you get there by going to File, Options, Add-ins tab and pressing the Go... button):

Add-ins dialog of Excel

As you can see, some add-ins are checked. But sometimes the user-interface of an add-in fails to display. In fact, the add-in file will not open in Excel at all, even if you try from Windows Explorer, or from File, Open from within Excel. Without any error message.

The cause

A recent Office Security update has caused any file downloaded from the internet (so this includes add-ins) to be marked as Blocked. Even if those files were in a zip container, they are marked as blocked. And Excel will simply not open them.


Unblock the files! Like so:

1. Copy the file from the zip file to any folder

2. Right-click the file and choose properties:

Select file properties

3. Click the Unblock button:

Click Unblock

Other resources

If you have a folder full of blocked files, this page describes a way to unblock all of them using Powershell.

And a great article by fellow-MVP Jon Acampora: Excel Add-in Ribbon Disappears After Installation.

This article describes the mechanics of the problem very well: http://www.howtogeek.com/70012/what-causes-the-file-downloaded-from-the-internet-warning-and-how-can-i-easily-remove-it/


Showing last 8 comments of 49 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: suraj kumar (27-9-2020 03:48:00) deeplink to this comment

I have added addin but it failed to display at forms control. How to add it in form control even it is not in other controls list

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (28-9-2020 10:19:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Suraj,

Which control are you trying to use exactly?

Comment by: Hans (12-10-2020 15:47:00) deeplink to this comment

Is it possible to make the Date Picker show Monday first?

Many kind regards


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (13-10-2020 14:10:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Hans,

Which date picker are you referring to please?

Comment by: Yasir khan (26-10-2020 23:13:00) deeplink to this comment

hats off to your great work

Comment by: Justin C (12-11-2020 16:52:00) deeplink to this comment

so im trying to install the sutosave addin for excel 2010 on windows 8. Whenever i try to unblock the .XLA file it doesnt give me the option to unblock the file in the general tab in properties menu. After browsing through the security tab i still cannot find the option to unblock the .XLA file. Any advice? thanks

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (13-11-2020 13:54:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Justin,

Perhaps it does not need unblocking. Does the add-in work? It should display the Add-ins tab of your ribbon where a button "Autosafe Settings" should appear.

Comment by: endang.supartini.66@gmail.com (1-3-2021 04:49:00) deeplink to this comment

Thank you, its working!
Ive had casses when using excel add in Stat 97. Where the file is ok, also it was active in setting. Just not wanna open. When i unblock it went open.

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