Where is Toolbar Customization Information Stored?

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2016)

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. ...

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