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. ...


Deleting Paragraph Borders

Got a document that has a border around some paragraphs? Here's how you can get rid of the border in the fastest way ...

Discover More

Watching Cell Values

Want to know what is happening in certain cells in your worksheet? Using the Watch Window is a great way to keep an eye ...

Discover More

Engraving Text

Word allows you to format your text in a number of different ways. One rather esoteric way to format your text is by ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Creating a New Toolbar

Excel's interface can be easily modified to reflect the way you want to do your work. This tip explains how you can ...

Discover More

Changing a Toolbar Button Image

Excel allows you to modify virtually all aspects of its user interface. One of the things you can change is the images ...

Discover More

Saving Valuable Toolbar and Screen Space

Not only does Excel allow you to customize your toolbars, but you can also move commands from the toolbars to your menus. ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 6Mpixels. 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 1 + 5?

2018-01-23 01:29:46


*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:


2018-01-23 01:24:26


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




2017-06-09 10:56:01


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/

2016-08-16 11:42:02


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

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.