Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Clean Up Your Macro List.

Clean Up Your Macro List

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 1, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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Whenever you use the macro recorder to record a macro, Excel assigns it a name of MacroN, where N is the next available macro number. Thus, your first macro recorded would be Macro1, the second would be Macro2, and so on. (Although Excel lets you pick a different name when you record the macro, it is my experience that most people do not take advantage of this for quick-and-dirty macros.)

Because of this naming practice, it is real easy to "muck up" your workbooks with macros you no longer need. Heck, you probably can't even remember what they do! The solution to this situation is to periodically clean out your macro list. I make it a habit to always delete anything that is in this default naming sequence. Doing this periodically means that your files take less space and your Excel workbooks take less time to load.

To delete a macro, just display the Macro dialog box (press Alt+F8), select the macro you want to delete, and then click the Delete button.

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ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8037) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Clean Up Your Macro List.

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. ...

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What is 8 - 3?

2018-05-21 08:26:02

Ruthie A. Ward

I agree that the default macro naming is meaningless. However, I recommend reading through those modules to see if you really do want to keep them rather than just doing a wholesale delete job on Module 1, Module 2, etc. If you do find a keeper, rename it to something more descriptive and put in a comment as to what the macro does and which for file or task it is used.

I've a single workbook (backed up regularly) in which I keep all my macros. That way I know where to find them and can easily use, update, copy, modify, or export them as needed. This practice also enables me to run any macro on whichever file desired - macro-enabled or not!


2018-05-19 05:04:56

Chris

I agree, replacing the Macro-i name automatically assigned by something meaningful is essential in the case of macros which one wants to reuse.
Macros which are in the grey area between "delete" and "may be useful later" can be removed from the list by putting a dummy argument in the brackets when renaming them, e.g.
Before: Sub Macro7()
After: Sub Save_as_text(Dummy)
Because the Sub now has an argument it will not appear in the macro list.


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