MS Excel – Just a little about the add-ins and how to get rid of them

In this article I will explain two really useful points:

  • What are add-ins?
  • How to get rid of them? (only in case that we need to)

If we ask google, we understand that an addin is a component you can add to a computer to increase its capabilities. Add-ins can increase memory or add graphics or communications capabilities to a computer. Pretty useful, I think. Actually the add-ins are really great, if you know how they work and why do you need them. Excel 2010 even has its own pre-built add-ins, which you may see easily: Open MS Excel and press ALT+T+I. Then you see the following picture:



This is the menu at my Excel, where I have decided to install two of the four pre-build add-ins, which come with MS Excel. In order to add the other two, I just have to select the checkboxes and click “OK”. Then I wait about 5-10 seconds and the new options come at the ribbon. Beautiful, if you need them!

Actually, there is a good way to understand more about the add-ins that you possess. The following macro gives you additional information for the Excel Addins. It does not work for the COM add-ins, which are add-ins, developed from third parties and are not part of the standard MS Excel Package. Here is the macro:

So, back to the more interesting part. As I said at the beginning, I will show you how to get rid of the add-ins. It is a little tricky, once you have more than one add-in or you have installed various add-ins from the net and you cannot remove them. Removing them is actually really not an easy task and would definitely be a problem for beginner. So, here is what you should do:

1. If you have add-ins with word, just go and find the file “”. Then just rename the file to something else, such as “” and start word again. It will start up without the useless add-ins or macros, which you have put. Actually it will start as if you have just reinstalled your MS Word.

2. If you have add-ins in excel or you have customized the ribbon in an unpleasant way and now you want it back, it is a little more tricky. Go to RUN and write there regedit.exe. Then go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/14.0/

There leftclick excel and click “Export” as in the screenshot:


This will create a backup copy of the Excel file.

Then simply go and delete the Excel folder, by clicking “Delete” (see again the picture above). It will return the excel to the standard configuration and no add-ins or VBA code doing strange things will be present. Anyway, if you want your old configuration of Excel back, you may always return to it by clicking the registry file, which you have created as a backup. Within seconds you will have it back.

Anyway, always be very careful, when you are working with the registry editor. If you delete something there by mistake, you may need to reinstall a program or the whole operations system with loss of data!

I hope you have enjoyed this trick! Have a nice day! 🙂