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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:


Showing last 8 comments of 40 in total (Show All Comments):


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"?


Comment by: Renny (11-6-2020 16:24:00)


I also get the error message "run-time error 13"

" type mismatch"

I run Office 16.

Appreciate any suggestions or help.



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (12-6-2020 12:04:00)

Hi Renny,

When do you get this error (opening what workbook and on which line of VBA code precisely)?


Comment by: Mike (11-8-2020 08:36:00)

Many thanks for this helpful description!


Comment by: abu (27-8-2020 22:50:00)

run time error 91 (vb) object variable not set


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