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Excel add-ins fail to load

Introduction

As you probably know, I offer a number of tools for your daily Excel work:

There is a problem however.

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.

Solution

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

Additional problems

Some users report that even though they can check an add-in in the add-ins dialog and that add-in then works, as soon as they close and reopen Excel, the add-in is no longer installed (and hence does not open).

This is probably due to a bug in Excel which causes the add-in entries in the registry to be wrong.

Make sure you close Excel first. Open the registry editor and navigate to this location: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\Options

OPEN entries in Excels registry settings tree

In that key, most of Excel's settings are listed. Find the ones that begin with the word "OPEN" (without quotes). Look closely, these MUST be numbered in order: OPEN, OPEN1, OPEN2, OPEN3, ...

If there is a gap, make sure you close that gap by renaming them. After renaming them, you should be able to add the add-in as usual.

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/


Comments

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

Hans


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

hi
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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