Microsoft Excel already has some amazing features and functionalities that come in-built with it.
To add to it, you can also add some add-ins that can further enhance the functionality and can do things that are otherwise not possible with the existing features in Excel.
However, as you add more and more add-ins, it can slow down your Excel performance and make it difficult to navigate.
Removing or disabling add-ins that are no longer needed can help to improve Excel performance, and in some cases, may be needed as it might be causing issues.
If you have some add-ins in Excel that you would like to remove/disable, this article will show you a few different methods you can use.
Some add-ins can be removed directly from Excel’s Add-ins menu, while others may need to be uninstalled from your computer entirely.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways you can use to disable or remove add-ins from Excel. I also cover some common issues you may face when removing add-ins from Excel and the possible solutions for them.
Why Remove/Disable Add-ins from Excel?
Before I show you how to remove add-ins, let me quickly give you some reasons why people sometimes want to remove add-ins.
- Add-ins can lead to Performance issues: Some Excel add-ins can slow the processing of Excel files or cause them to crash, especially if they are poorly designed or incompatible with your version of Excel.
- Security concerns: Add-ins can potentially contain malicious code that can harm your computer or compromise your data. Removing suspicious or untrusted add-ins can help protect your system.
- Compatibility problems: Certain add-ins may not play nicely with other add-ins or software programs in your system. Removing (or disabling) incompatible add-ins can help prevent errors and compatibility issues.
- No longer need the add-in: If you no longer need certain add-ins or their features, removing them can help simplify your Excel environment and reduce clutter (and also improve the performance of Excel and make it fast).
It’s important to note that removing add-ins from Excel is not the same as disabling them.
Disabling an add-in simply turns off its functionality, but it remains installed in Excel and can be re-enabled later.
Removing an add-in, on the other hand, completely uninstalls it from Excel and removes all associated files and settings.
Method 1: Disable Add-ins Using the Option in the Ribbon
This is a straightforward method of removing Add-ins in Excel.
The method uses the Excel Add-ins option available in the Developer tab of the ribbon.
For demonstration, I will disable the Solver Add-in that is already enabled on my system. If you don’t know how to enable the Solver Add-in, steps are provided at the end of the tutorial. The steps I show here can be used to remove any add-in that is already installed in your Excel.
Note: Before using this method, make sure the Developer tab is enabled in your Excel file. If you do not see the Developer tab in the ribbon, you can either enable it or skip this method and go to method 2, which is described in the next section.
If the Developer mode is enabled on your Excel, follow the below steps:
- Click on the Developer option in the ribbon
- Click on the Excel Add-ins option
- Uncheck the Solver Add-in option. If you have any other add-in that is installed and enabled, it will show in this Add-ins dialog box.
- Click on OK
This will remove the solver Add-in from Excel.
This is the most simple method of disabling Add-ins in Excel, provided that the developer mode is enabled in your Excel Sheet.
Method 2: Disable Add-ins Using Options in the File Menu
In this method, I will show you how you can disable an Excel Add-in using Options in the File menu.
For demonstration, I will disable the Solver Add-in that is already enabled on my PC.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get the complete process.
- From the ribbon, click on the File option
- From the menu that appears, click on Options
- This will open the Excel Options dialog box from where you need to select the Add-ins option.
- Click on the Manage drop-down option
- From the drop-down, choose the Excel Add-ins option
Note: You can select any option from the dropdown depending on which Add-ins you are looking for. I choose this option because I am looking for Solver Add-in that is available in the Excel Add-ins option.
- Click on the Go option appearing next to the Manage dropdown
- Uncheck the Solver Add-in option.
- Click on OK
This will disable the solver Add-in, and you will not find the Solver option in the Data tab anymore.
You can follow the same steps to disable any add-in from your Excel files.
In this method, I showed you how you could disable any Add-ins from Excel. However, the next method will guide you about removing Add-in permanently.
Method 3: Remove Add-in Permanently from Excel
In this Method, I will show you how you can get rid of an Add-in by completely removing it from Excel.
The process involves locating the path of the Add-in and removing the Add-in from the specified location.
For demonstration, I will show how you can remove Sover Add-in from Excel, like in Methods 1 and 2.
So follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Click on the File option in the ribbon
- From the File menu, click on Options
- Select the Add-in option from the Excel options dialog box.
- Click on the Manage drop-down option
- From the drop-down, choose the Excel Add-ins option.
- This will show all the installed Add-ins. Now locate the path of the Add-in that you want to remove permanently, which is Solver in my case.
- Go to the located location on your PC
- Rename or delete all the above files.
- Restart the Excel application.
Doing so, the Add-in will be permanently removed from Excel.
So in this section, I showed how you could remove Add-in permanently from your Excel. The next section will guide you about the addition of an Add-in in the Excel application.
How to Enable an Add-in in Excel
In this section, I will demonstrate how you can install Add-in in Excel. Here, I am going to show the process by installing Solver Add-in.
To do so, follow the steps.
- From the menu bar, click on the File option.
- From the menu that appears, click on Options.
- In the Excel Options dialog box, click on Add-ins
- From the Manage drop-down, choose the Excel Add-Ins option
- Click on the Go option
- From the Add-ins dialog box, check the Solver Add-in option.
- Click on OK
This will install Solver Add-in in your Excel. You can view the Solver Add-in in the Data tab of the ribbon.
Common Problems When Removing Add-ins in Excel
When removing add-ins from Excel, you may encounter some common problems.
Here are a few solutions to help you resolve these issues:
- Problem: You cannot remove the add-in because it is currently in use.
- Solution: Close Excel and all other applications that may be using the add-in. Then try to remove the add-in again.
It is important to note that some add-ins may be loaded by other applications, so make sure to close all relevant applications before attempting to remove the add-in.
- Problem: The add-in is not listed in the Manage Add-ins dialog box.
- Solution: Check the registry to see if the add-in is listed there. To do this, go to Start > Run > regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins. If the add-in is listed, delete the corresponding key to remove the add-in.
It is important to be cautious when editing the registry, as making incorrect changes can cause serious problems with your system.
- Problem: The add-in is listed, but the Remove button is grayed out.
- Solution: Try disabling the add-in first, then restart Excel and try to remove the add-in again. If this does not work, try uninstalling the add-in from your system and then removing it from Excel.
Remember to always save a backup of your Excel files and settings before making any changes to your add-ins or registry.
In this tutorial, I showed you three approaches for removing Add-ins from Excel. In the first two methods, I showed how you could disable the Add-in, while in method 3, I explained the complete process of permanently removing Add-ins from Excel.
Apart from that, I also explained the complete procedure of enabling Add-ins in Excel. So if you don’t know how to enable an Add-in, the stepwise procedure is depicted in the last section of the tutorial.
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