Tools on Developer Tab are Unavailable

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2013)

4

Micky noted that when she opens a particular workbook in Excel and displays the Developer tab on the ribbon, some of the tools are disabled (Macros, Visual Basic Editor, Record Macro). She wonders why they are disabled and how she can make them available.

There are any number of reasons why the options would not be available, but they all boil down to security settings for the workbook. For instance, when you first open the workbook, you may be notified that it contains macros and asked if you want to enable them. If you don't enable them, then the security setting on the workbook is set to a high enough level that the macros (and doing anything with the macros) are disabled.

If you weren't asked about enabling macros when you opened the workbook, it could be because of the security level you have set on Excel itself. Check the settings in the Trust Center (display the Excel Options dialog box, click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings) to make sure that you allow macros.

If you prefer, you can display the Developer tab in Excel and then click the Macro Security tool. Excel displays the same Trust Center Settings dialog box mentioned in the previous paragraph. There are four settings for macros; if the "Disable All Macros without Notification" radio button is selected, then the macro capabilities of Excel will be disabled. You'll want to select one of the less stringent settings, probably "Disable All Macros with Notification." When you restart Excel, you'll be asked if you want to enable any macros that may be in the workbook.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6862) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Page Numbers

Ever want to add page numbers to your document? Word allows you to control many aspects of page numbering. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Understanding Decimal Tabs

Word offers a variety of tabs that define different ways to align text. If you need to align numeric values, you'll ...

Discover More

Creating Two Versions of the Same Document

You may often need to create two versions of the same document, one with everything and the other with a subset of what ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Digital Signatures for Macros

The security features built into Excel allow you to digitally sign your macros so that users can rest assured that they ...

Discover More

Determining the Day of the Month

Want to figure out the day of the month represented by a particular date? You can use the Day function in VBA to get the ...

Discover More

Getting User Input in a Dialog Box

Want to get some input from the users of your workbooks? You can do it by using the InputBox function in a macro.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 2?

2018-06-14 02:00:37

Mrid..zy

Hi,

As Mr Wyatt said in my excel also few tools are not working.
I tried all possible option but still VB and Macros option are disabled.

Pls help.

I am using 32 bit Miocrosoft Excel 2013

Thanks


2014-09-14 22:34:01

JOSEPH STARL

Why can I not get macros to work on my Microsoft surface


2013-10-22 12:20:23

Aldo

Everyone, this is not an Excel option problem. This is a Microsoft problem. I am experiencing same issues along with many others. An update was issued I believe and it has a bug. I went through several re-installs and repairs and it is has not fixed anything. I have posted comments on Office Community about this. Nothing as of yet as to what they are or going to do.

If you have Office 2007 everything works fine. I re-installed my version, no issues. But Office 2013 or Office 365 ... well big problems are occurring.


2013-10-21 09:10:11

Bryan

This tip is not correct. In Excel 2007 I disabled all macros without notification, and the only thing disabled in the Developer tab was Design mode, which is also initially disabled when I enable macros.

I was able to record, view, and edit macros with macro security set to maximum. The only thing I could not do was excecute one.

The tip says the tools are only disabled when "a particular workbook" is opened. This leads me to believe that there is something wrong with this workbook, not the global macro settings. If it were a global setting, the problem would appear for *every* workbook, not just one.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.