Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Removing Add-ins.

Removing Add-ins

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 22, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Whenever you install an add-in in Excel, it is added to an internal list of available add-ins. This list is used by Excel whenever you display the Add-ins dialog box. (The Add-ins dialog box is where you are shown available add-ins and can use a check box to indicate which should be enabled when running Excel.) Removing a previously installed add-in so that it doesn't appear in the Add-ins dialog box can be a confusing process, since Excel provides no way to directly edit that internal list of add-ins. You can get around this frustration, however, by following these steps:

  1. Get out of Excel.
  2. Use the tools in Windows (such as the Search tool) to locate the add-in file you want removed. You can locate add-in files by their file name extension: either .xla or .xlam, depending on your version of Excel.
  3. Delete, rename, or move the add-in file.
  4. Start Excel. If the add-in was one that was automatically loaded when Excel first starts, you will get a message from Excel indicating that it cannot find your missing add-in file.
  5. Answer Yes when prompted if you want to remove the add-in file from the list.
  6. If the add-in was not one that started automatically, choose Add-Ins from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Add-Ins dialog box, and your deleted add-in should still be listed as available. (Remember; this dialog box represents the internal list of add-ins, and hasn't been updated.)
  7. Select the check box next to the add-in you want deleted. This informs Excel you want to use the add-in.
  8. Click on OK. You should get the same message described in step 4.
  9. Answer Yes when prompted if you want to remove the add-in file from the list.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2733) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Removing Add-ins.

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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