Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Expiration Date for Excel Programs.

Expiration Date for Excel Programs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 16, 2018)

6

Excel provides a robust development environment of which many people take full advantage. In fact, many people have written entire application programs using VBA with Excel as the framework.

If you do program development in Excel, you may be wondering if there is a way to write your program so that it will no longer work after a specific date. Fortunately, this is rather easy. One solution is to use something like the following as an Auto_Open macro:

Sub Auto_Open()
    Dim exdate As Date
    exdate = "12/31/2014"
    If Date > exdate Then
        MsgBox ("You have reached end of your trial period")
        ActiveWorkbook.Close
    End If
    MsgBox ("You have " & exdate - Date & "Days left")
End Sub

If the date on the system running the program is greater than the date specified in the exdate variable, the user will see a message box indicating that their trial period has expired. When the user clicks on the OK button, the workbook closes. If the trial period is not over, then the message box indicates how many days are left in the period.

Of course, if you put a macro such as this in your application, it may stop you from opening the workbook to make program changes. The obvious way around this, of course, is to hold down the Shift key as you open the workbook. Doing so stops the Auto_Open macro from running. If your users know this, they can bypass the expiration check just as easily as you, however. The solution is to place similar checks within other macros that cannot be bypassed and that are essential to your program.

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 (10230) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Expiration Date for Excel Programs.

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 nine more than 0?

2019-04-30 15:34:17

Saru

Very good tip
Now say I want to extend the expiry date by one more year
Is there a way to do that without sending them
Another excel file

Any ideas or workarounds


2018-07-16 23:01:11

Darren E

Good advice Barry! It should be noted that the shift key / disable macros bypass method doesn't work if the file is an add-in. But the most important advice - make sure you keep a personal copy of the file *minus* the expiry date check.


2018-07-16 05:58:20

gerdami

Related: https://excelribbon.tips.net/T012812_Self-Deleting_Macros.html


2016-01-19 06:02:24

Barry

The simplest way is to hold down the "Shift" key when opening the file. This disables macros thereby bypassing the expiry check.

To get around a system time change, it is possible to get the time from the Internet (a working Internet connection is, of course, required for this to work). There are lots of code examples of this on the Internet.

All the worksheets should be set to "VeryHidden" whenever the workbook is saved or closed, except for one worksheet which advises the User to enable macros in order to access the Workbook, and unhidden when the workbook is opened provided the license date hasn't expired.


2016-01-18 22:13:40

Eric

one way to bypass the expiration date is to change the system date to older date and run the excel file again. hope it helps .


2015-04-21 02:01:57

Kusyadi

thanks a lot.....


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