How to Install an Excel Add-in

Learn how to install an Excel add-in to add more power to Excel. Only a few simple steps are necessary. We have sad quite a number of times that Excel is a great tool, but there are some frustrating limitations.

Today’s guide explains why add-ins are important for Office, how to install this type of Excel file.

What is an add-in? How to use it?

An Excel add-in serves only one purpose: it can bridge some limitations of Microsoft Excel. In a nutshell, a great add-in expands the built-in functionality. For example, with its help, we can use new user-defined functions, custom formulas, or time-saving tools. In some cases, exactly what is needed!

A custom add-in is an Excel file that contains one or more modules. We stored the VBA code in this place. A native Excel file has a “.xlsx” extension, and the add-in has “.xla” or “.xlam” extension (Excel 2007 or newer versions).

In the great majority of cases, the add-in is a ribbon controlled application. On the ribbon, you can use custom tabs, drop-down list, and custom buttons. As first, install the add-in. After that, you can use it continuously if Excel is started.

If you are in VBA programming and have design skills, you can modify the XML header easily. Check the graphical user interface of our productivity tool.

sample ribbon gui excel add-in after install

After a short introduction, we will show you how to install an Excel add-in.

Add-in installation guide

Follow these steps:

  1. Download the add-in into your computer. For security reasons, we packed the add-in into a zip file. So, extract the zip file content.
  2. Create a folder, and named for example, ‘My Add-in folder’. We recommend you use the C:\Documents folder.
  3. Locate the Developer tab on the ribbon. If it’s not appeared by default, enable it.
  4. Find the add-in file by clicking Browse.
  5. The add-in will appear in the list. Finally, click OK.

Another way to install an Excel add-in

If you like to watch tutorials on Youtube, please check this video below about how to install an Excel add-in in seconds.

My add-in is missing!

Don’t worry; we can help you. Try to apply these fixes:

  • Create a trusted location for your add-in files
  • Unblock the add-in

Additional resources: