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Home > English site > Articles > Add-ins do not load

Excel add-ins fail to load


Lately (I wrote this page on August 17, 2016) I've been getting reports from people complaining that they can no longer use add-ins. In this article I describe the problem and a solution.

The problem

Even though an add-in has been "installed" into Excel using the Add-ins dialog its userinterface does not show. This is that dialog:

Add-ins dialog of Excel

As you can see, some add-ins are checked. But sometimes the user-interface of an add-in fails to display. In fact, the add-in file will not open in Excel at all, even if you try from Windows Explorer, or from File, Open from within Excel. Without any error message.

The cause

A recent Office Security update has caused any file downloaded from the internet (so this includes add-ins) to be marked as Blocked. Even if those files were in a zip container, they are marked as blocked. And Excel will simply not open them.


Unblock the files! Like so:

1. Copy the file from the zip file to any folder

2. Right-click the file and choose properties:

Select file properties

3. Click the Unblock button:

Click Unblock

Other resources

If you have a folder full of blocked files, this page describes a way to unblock all of them using Powershell.

And a great article by fellow-MVP Jon Acampora: Excel Add-in Ribbon Disappears After Installation.

This article describes the mechanics of the problem very well:


Showing last 8 comments of 14 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: king_faisal (10/1/2017 1:03:12 AM)

We are using Dose for Excel Add-In that provides more than +100 functions and features specialized in Excel editing and data manipulating, please consider this add-in in your post since it is so useful for Excel end-users.


Comment by: James Witherspoon (12/26/2017 7:57:51 PM)

Excel 2003 no longer can load Name Manager. When trying to install the addin I get this error from Microsoft Visual Basic: "Errors occurred during load". Clicking the "help" button says to check the log file but I have no idea where that file is located. I unblocked the Name Manger.xla file, as instructed, but that did not help.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (12/27/2017 11:24:58 AM)

Hi James,

What happens if you launch Excel first (from its shortcut)?


Comment by: Doug Hesketh (2/8/2018 9:45:56 AM)

This was exactly the cause of my issue, a simple resolution and my frustration has disappeared. Thank you.


Comment by: Phil Sousa (3/16/2018 10:12:24 PM)

Thanks very much for this fix!!! It worked! Woohooo!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (3/17/2018 1:36:08 PM)

Hi Phil,

You're welcome!


Comment by: Dan Kelly (4/2/2018 10:12:17 AM)

Using Excel 2016 on windows 10.
I was trying to add the JKP Name Manager add-in. Tried unblocking on the file properties, adding the add-in location as a trusted location and still nothing.
Later, I found out that Excel decided to put the Name Manager addin in the Formulas tab as a separate group. Didn't think to look there.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4/3/2018 9:56:56 AM)

Hi Dan,

The NM manual mentions where to find it in the user interface, this manual is part of the download containing the add-in :-)


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