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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 48 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Tim (24-9-2020 07:19:00)

Many thanks Jan, this is exactly what I needed. I recently switched to a new PC and was going crazy without my trusty Excel add-in full of secret tools and functions!


Comment by: suraj kumar (27-9-2020 03:48:00)

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)

Hi Suraj,

Which control are you trying to use exactly?


Comment by: Hans (12-10-2020 15:47:00)

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)

Hi Hans,

Which date picker are you referring to please?


Comment by: Yasir khan (26-10-2020 23:13:00)

hats off to your great work


Comment by: Justin C (12-11-2020 16:52:00)

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)

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.


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