Where is Toolbar Customization Information Stored?

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2016)

2

Excel, like all Office Applications, is highly customizable. This means that you can change menus, toolbars, and other user interface options quite easily. (In fact, you can make Excel look completely different if you want to.)

As you make changes to your toolbars, Excel keeps track of the changes in a special file that has the extension .xlb. Depending on your version of Excel and the operating system you are using, the file could be called Excel.xlb, Excel10.xlb, Excel11.xlb, or even yourname.xlb (where yourname is your system login name).

The contents of the .xlb file are updated whenever you quit your Excel session. It is interesting to note that this particular filename extension is only used by Excel for this one file. This means that it is very easy to locate the file using the Find File feature of Windows, and then copy the file to a safe location. (The file can be in different locations, depending on your Excel version and your operating system version.)

It is a good practice to periodically make backups of the .xlb file and store them in a safe place. If, at some later time, your toolbars become corrupted in Excel, you can quit the program and copy the backup version of your .xlb file over the top of the corrupted file. This should then restore everything to the proper state when you again start Excel.

As a side note, if you wanted to get rid of all your customizations at once, you could simply rename or delete the .xlb file. The next time you restart Excel, it recreates the file for you using default settings.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2068) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Embedding an Excel Chart in a Word Document

Word and Excel usually work pretty well together. This means that you can easily paste charts from Excel into your Word ...

Discover More

Typing Check Marks into Excel

Need to enter a check mark into a cell? There are a number of ways you can get the desired character, depending on the font ...

Discover More

Excel Not Responding

Have you ever been working with data in Excel and experienced a "freeze" where the program stops responding? This can be ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Deleting a Toolbar

After a time you may not need one of the custom toolbars you've created. This tip explains how to free up resources in Excel ...

Discover More

Customizing a Toolbar

Toolbars make it easy to quickly access your most common commands. Excel allows you to customize your toolbars so that they ...

Discover More

Resetting Toolbars to Their Default

Once you've edited your toolbars, you may want to change them back to their default appearance and behavior. This tip ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 3?

2017-06-09 10:56:01

Saul

Hello Allen.
Let me first thank you for your useful tips, over the years I have used many of them!

I'm using a MBP, Sierra 10.12.5 and Excel 2011.
Just wiped off my HD and installed Sierra from scratch. I made backups before.
After reinstalling the OS I tried to get back to my old toolbars.
There were no *.xlb in my computer (neither searching "This Mac" nor my library) except 2 NeoOffice files.

Even when I found the "Microsoft Excel Toolbars" and replaced the new one with the older one from the backup it didn't help.
The only way I succeeded was: opening both the older and the newer "Microsoft Excel Toolbars" files in TextEdit (I guess any other editor would work, but I just wanted to make sure there are no "interferences") (formatting and so), erasing content in newer and pasting all the text from the older to the newer, saving and... there were my old toolbars!

Not sure if it's required, but I restarted the computer after every change I made.
The "Microsoft Excel Toolbars" file is located in Users/Your username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011/
Thanks.
Saul


2016-08-16 11:42:02

Sean

WHERE is it stored though?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.