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Home > English site > Articles > Add-ins do not load

Excel add-ins fail to load


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:

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:


All comments about this page:

Comment by: Patrick Matthews (17-8-2016 19:48:59)

Blocking all downloaded files by default? That seems rather heavyhanded...


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-8-2016 06:20:49)

Hi Patrick,

I'm not sure yet whether it is all files, or just add-ins. I have mixed results when testing.


Comment by: Gunthor (19-10-2016 10:43:36)

I've been looking for this answer for 2 months...
M A N Y T H A N K S :-)


Comment by: Ralph (7-2-2017 16:00:17)

THANK YOU!!! I've been searching for this solution for a long, long-time!


Comment by: Wei (17-2-2017 07:37:12)

I tried, but still failed, I also tried to update the regedit, move the dll file to a safe location. Almost feel crazy.......


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (20-2-2017 09:57:33)

Hi Wei,

The article is about Excel-based add-ins (xla and xlam files), not about dll files.


Comment by: king_faisal (1-10-2017 01:03:12)

We are using Dose for Excel Add-In that provides more than +100 functions and features specialized in Excel editing and data manipulating, please consider this add-in in your post since it is so useful for Excel end-users.


Comment by: James Witherspoon (26-12-2017 19:57:51)

Excel 2003 no longer can load Name Manager. When trying to install the addin I get this error from Microsoft Visual Basic: "Errors occurred during load". Clicking the "help" button says to check the log file but I have no idea where that file is located. I unblocked the Name Manger.xla file, as instructed, but that did not help.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-12-2017 11:24:58)

Hi James,

What happens if you launch Excel first (from its shortcut)?


Comment by: Doug Hesketh (8-2-2018 09:45:56)

This was exactly the cause of my issue, a simple resolution and my frustration has disappeared. Thank you.


Comment by: Phil Sousa (16-3-2018 22:12:24)

Thanks very much for this fix!!! It worked! Woohooo!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (17-3-2018 13:36:08)

Hi Phil,

You're welcome!


Comment by: Dan Kelly (2-4-2018 10:12:17)

Using Excel 2016 on windows 10.
I was trying to add the JKP Name Manager add-in. Tried unblocking on the file properties, adding the add-in location as a trusted location and still nothing.
Later, I found out that Excel decided to put the Name Manager addin in the Formulas tab as a separate group. Didn't think to look there.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-4-2018 09:56:56)

Hi Dan,

The NM manual mentions where to find it in the user interface, this manual is part of the download containing the add-in :-)


Comment by: Ronald LaRiviere (25-5-2018 14:58:56)

We are using Excel 2016 and I cannot find the Name Manager Utility in the application. I checked the properties as described on the website:

However, there is no Security Block section. The Add-in is listed. What else can I do to have access?



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (25-5-2018 15:38:51)

Hi Ronald,

If you open Excel and subsequently the VBA Editor, is Name Manager listed in the list of projects?


Comment by: Ronald LaRiviere (25-5-2018 17:12:50)


It is listed NameManager (Name Manager 2007.xlam)



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (27-5-2018 11:32:28)

Hi Ronald,

Does control+shift+n open the name manager dialog? The UI can be normally found on the formulas tab of the ribbon, far right.


Comment by: Ron LaRiviere (29-5-2018 13:52:57)

When selecting Cntrl+Shift+n, the Name Manager Utility is there. Looking at the formulas tab, the icon is not and it is not in the selection list to add.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (29-5-2018 14:12:59)

Hi Ron,

If you enable show add-in userinterface errors (Excel options) and you reboot Excel, do you get any error messages?


Comment by: Ronald LaRiviere (29-5-2018 14:55:25)

I selected the options in options and when I open Excel, I get a Custom UI Error dialog box that reads as follows:

The custom UI associated with this document has been disabled by policy.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (29-5-2018 15:19:28)

Hi Ron,

Which is tech-speak which means your IT dept has decided for you that you do not want external tools to work properly. Unfortunately there isn't anything I can do about that :-(


Comment by: PhilUK (22-6-2018 10:44:37)

Hi Jan
Like many of your followers I have used your addin since Excel 2003 and have appreciated your work for many years
I am now using Excel 2016
When I try to add a new name I get an error message headed "API Clipboard Copy", which states "Memory location could not be Unlocked. Clipboard copy aborted"
The added name is then listed but typically shows as referring to the active cell only
I have tried to edit the "refers to" but the same error message appears
Can you offer any advice?


Comment by: Ricardo Hernandez Tablas (19-7-2018 18:30:32)

Excellent article, helped me a lot with some problems I was having with add-ins.

Thanks a lot


Comment by: Aslam (18-10-2018 08:19:12)

I was also having problem with Add-Ins and search alot of articles in this regard but didn't get any solution about, but this article helped me by Right Clicking property of add-ins and Unblocked the addins. now its working FINE many many thanks to the team.


Comment by: joan jiang (2-11-2018 20:38:01)

how many ways to insert the date picker function?


Comment by: Eddy Van Wulpen (2-7-2019 19:36:00)


only when I protect the sheet it doens't work,
even if you unlock the cell

Thank for helping me out


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-7-2019 11:05:00)

Hi Eddy,

I'm not sure what you are referring to?


Comment by: Eddy Van Wulpen (3-7-2019 14:01:00)

Hi Jan Karel,

put a date in a cell
DatePicker works
Go to Cell Properties>Properties>Unlock
Now Protect sheet>Unlocked cells only
DatePicker failed

Protect sheet>Unlocked cells + Edit objects
DatePicker works
Disadvantage: all other objects in the sheet can be moved or changed


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3-7-2019 16:17:00)

Hi Eddy,

Hmm, This is probably implementation-specific and has nothing to do with the page (this page) you placed your comment on. Depending on how this DatePicker works, the code will need to be adjusted.


Comment by: Adam Alhayek (25-11-2019 16:33:00)


when i try to add date i get msg " run-time error '13'
" type mismatch"


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (25-11-2019 16:42:00)

Hi Adam,

When exactly do you get this message? Is it with any of my downloads? If so, which one?


Comment by: Mollie (29-4-2020 08:19:00)

The latest version of Excel for Office 365 doesn't even show the "security....unblock" option in the properties of the date picker. Is there a newer workaround to have the datepicker reliably show up?
Note: I couldn't unzip to the suggested xlstart folder, because my Microsoft Office isn't listed in the x86 Program folder. Any advice?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (29-4-2020 10:18:00)

Hi Mollie,

Whether or not you see the Unblock button/checkbox is not caused by Office but rather by Windows I'm guessing. You are aware that you should be accessing the properties dialog from Windows Explorer?


Comment by: Carlos Ferreira (25-5-2020 18:16:00)

I need it on VBA.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (26-5-2020 11:02:00)

Hi Carlos,

Can you please elaborate what you "need on VBA"?


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