How to Uninstall and Remove an Excel Add-in

Bottom Line: Learn how to disable or completely uninstall and remove an Excel Add-in from the Add-ins menu.

Skill Level: Beginner

What is an Excel Add-in?

An add-in (or VBA add-in) is a file that contains macros.  It has the extension “.xlam”. When opened, the worksheets in the file are hidden and the macros are typically accessed through buttons that are added to the toolbar or ribbon.  Once installed, the .xlam file will automatically open every time Excel is opened.  Check out are guide for installing an Excel Add-in to learn more.

If you don't want an add-in to run, it can simply be disabled (switched off) or completely removed.

How to Disable an Add-in

  1. Open Excel and click on the File tab.                            Choose the File tab
  2. Then choose the Options menu.                                                                                                                  Go to the Options Menu
  3. Next, click the “Add-Ins” option on the left-side menu, and then click the “Go…” button.

Choose the Add-ins Option, then Go..

You may have to wait a few seconds for the window to appear.

Another way to access your add-ins is by clicking on the Excel Add-ins button on the Developer tab.

Access Add-ins from the Developer Tab

You can also add the Excel Add-ins button to the Quick Access Toolbar if you use it frequently.

  1. Uncheck the box next to the name of the add-in you want to disable. Then click OK.

Uncheck the box for the add-in you want to disable....

The add-in will be disabled and closed in the background.  It will not open next time you open Excel.

To Completely Remove an Add-in

  1. Open Excel, go to the File tab, and choose the Options Menu, just as in steps 1 and 2 above.
  2. Next, determine where the add-in file is saved on your computer.

Determine the location of the add-in....

  1. Close Excel.
  2. Then go to the location of the add-in and delete or rename it.Rename or delete the add-in file
  3. Open Excel and navigate back to the Add-ins menu in the Options window.
  4. Press the “Go…” button to open the Add-ins window.
  5. Click the add-in you just deleted.                                                                              Choose the add-in you just deleted....
  1. A message box will appear asking you if you want to permanently delete the add-in.  Click Yes.                               Message box to permanently delete add-in..

You've now permanently deleted the add-in from the Add-ins Window menu.

You can also use this process for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Install an Excel Add-In

Now that you know how to disable and remove Excel add-ins, check out my video blog post on how to install an add-in.

And for a complete list of all of the useful Excel Campus add-ins available for purchase, you can go here.


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