Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Removing Add-ins.

Removing Add-ins

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Whenever you install an add-in in Excel, it is added to an internal list of available add-ins. This list is used by Excel whenever you display the Add-ins dialog box. Removing a previously installed add-in can be a confusing process, since Excel provides no way to directly edit that internal list of add-ins. You can get around this frustration, however, by following these steps:

  1. Get out of Excel.
  2. Use the tools in Windows (such as the Search tool) to locate the add-in file you want removed. You can locate add-in files by their file name extension: either .xla or .xlam, depending on your version of Excel.
  3. Delete, rename, or move the add-in file.
  4. Start Excel. If the add-in was one that was automatically loaded when Excel first starts, you will get a message from Excel indicating that it cannot find your missing add-in file.
  5. Answer Yes when prompted if you want to remove the add-in file from the list.
  6. If the add-in was not one that started automatically, choose Add-Ins from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Add-Ins dialog box, and your deleted add-in should still be listed as available. (Remember; this dialog box represents the internal list of add-ins, and hasn't been updated.)
  7. Select the check box next to the add-in you want deleted. This informs Excel you want to use the add-in.
  8. Click on OK. You should get the same message described in step 4.
  9. Answer Yes when prompted if you want to remove the add-in file from the list.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11877) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Removing Add-ins.

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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