Tools on Developer Tab are Unavailable

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 5, 2019)

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, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Undoing an AutoFormat

Excel allows you to automatically format data tables using a number of different schemes. What happens if you want to ...

Discover More

Resetting Dynamic Menus

Excel's menus, by default, only display the most common commands that you use. After a time you may want to reset the ...

Discover More

Specifying Index Section Dividers

When adding an index to your document, you can use one of the available field switches to specify how the index should be ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Counting Empty Colored Cells

There are a variety of ways that you might want to count the cells in your worksheet. One way is to figure out how many ...

Discover More

Creating a Floating Macro Button

Macros can make your use of Excel much more powerful. If you have a macro that is triggered by an on-screen button, you ...

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
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 4 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.