Where is Toolbar Customization Information Stored?

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


7

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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What is 9 + 7?

2022-08-19 13:09:45

GoodWithComputers

P.S.:
Office DOESN'T migrate this, so if you flip this bit, forget that your flip it, and then panic because you lost all your QAT & Ribbon customizations:

Just flip it back.


2022-08-19 13:08:30

GoodWithComputers

Starting with Office 2010, this actually gets controlled by this group policy setting (you'll need to fetch the appropriate admx, of course.):


User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office YOUROFFICEVERSIONHERE\Global Options\Customize\Allow roaming of all user customizations

This controls the value of the appropriate group policy registry key at:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Toolbars

namely, the REG_DEWORD with the value name customuiroaming. 1 to have this policy enabled, 0 to disabled.

This in turn leads the group policy client to flip the value of the appropriate registry key over in:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\YOUROFFICEVERSIONNOHERE.0\Common\Toolbars

namely, the REG_DEWORD with the value name customuiroaming. 1 to have this feature enabled, 0 to disabled.


If this feature is on (which it default ISN'T), Excel switches to what seems like a much older codepath, and the customizations once more get stored inside the .xlb inside:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Excel\

If the feature is not configured or off (which it default IS), Excel uses what seems like a much newer codepath, and the customization indeed gets stored inside:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\Office\


Previously (Office 2007), this got controlled by QuickAccessToolbarRoaming.


2019-05-22 06:24:51

karma

This tip (2068) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

The information is correct :).


2018-01-23 01:29:46

ben

*NOTE - my previous comment had an error.

it is not the AppData/Roaming path but the AppData/Local


so for the ribbon file for excel:

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Excel.officeUI




2018-01-23 01:24:26

ben

this information is WRONG for Excel 2016..

If you delete the .xlb file there is no change to the ribbon. (for extra tabs and customisation)

the correct file is "Excel.officeUI" and it is located in

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Office

cheers

Ben


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?


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