How to Install Add-ins in Microsoft Excel

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You will definitely find that your productivity will increase significantly once you start using Excel Add-ins. Add-ins provide additional functionality and customization options, right from within the Excel interface. However, installing Add-ins in Microsoft Excel, can be a little bit confusing if you are not used to it. In this post we will cover the two main ways of getting amazing Add-ins in Microsoft Excel. So, let’s get started.

Get An Excel Add-in Through the Integrated Store

The first main way of getting an Excel Add-in involves the following steps.

1. Open Microsoft Excel and go to the Insert Tab. In the Add-ins Group, select the Get Add-ins option.

Screenshot showing the Get Add-ins option, highlighted.

2. The Office Add-ins Window should appear.

Screenshot showing the Office Add-ins Window.

3. If you know the name of the Add-in that you would like, then you can enter it directly in the Search Box and click Search. Alternatively, you can browse through the Categories to see what is available. By default, the Add-ins are sorted by Popularity. You can change this by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to Popularity and then either selecting Rating, Name or Release Date to change the filter on the sort.

Screenshot showing the different Filter options.

  • To install an Add-in, you need to do the following, in this case we will install the Wikipedia Add-in.

1.  Click the Add button, next to Wikipedia.

Screenshot showing the Add button, highlighted.
2. Read the license terms and then click to Continue.

Screenshot showing the Continue button, highlighted.

3. You should see that the Wikipedia Add-in is now accessible from Excel.

Screenshot showing the Wikipedia Add-in, in Excel.

How To See all Your Installed Add-ins

Follow these steps to see the Add-ins you’ve installed and use them in other workbooks.

1. Go to the Insert Tab. In the Add-ins Group, click on the My Add-ins option.

Screenshot showing the My Add-ins option, highlighted.

2. You should see the Office Add-ins Window, showing all your installed Add-Ins.

Screenshot showing all the installed Add-ins.

3. To use the Wikipedia Add-In, in another workbook, select it and then click Add.

Screenshot showing the Add button, highlighted.

Download Add-ins from Other Sites

You can manually install an Add-in that you downloaded from another site. Just verify that the Add-in is from a trusted source.

To find good, secure Add-ins, browse the websites of Excel MVPs. Since many have developed free Excel Add-ins for the Excel community. You can search through the MVP database here.

1.  You will have to download the Add-in first, which will usually be provided in a zip file. We will download the free Flexfind Add-in developed by MVP Jan Karel Pieterse. This Add-in provides advanced find and replace functionality.

2.  The next step involves locating the actual Add-in Folder (where Microsoft Excel stores Add-ins).

3. Go to the Developer Tab on the Ribbon. In the Add-ins Group, select the Excel Add-ins option. If you need to add the Developer Tab to the Ribbon, then click here to see how to do it.

Screenshot showing the Excel Add-ins option, highlighted.

4. Using the Add-ins Window, you can check any of the listed Add-ins. In this case we will check the Solver Add-in.

Screenshot showing the Add-ins Window, with the Solver option ticked.

5. Click the Browse… button.

Screenshot showing the Browse button, highlighted.

6. You should see the Browse Window.

Screenshot showing the Browse Window.

7. Right-click the path and choose Copy address as text.

Screenshot showing the Copy address as text option, highlighted.

8. Paste the Add-in Folder location in a Notepad file or Word document (for later use).

9. In Excel, press Cancel to close the Browse Window and then Cancel again. Close Excel.

10. Now unzip the Add-in zip file and copy the flexfind.xlam file to the Add-in Folder location.

  • You will have to unblock the flexfind.xlam file and activate it to use it.

1. While still in the Add-in Folder, right-click the flexfind.xlam file and select Properties.

Screenshot showing the Properties option, highlighted.

2. Check the Unblock option and then click Ok.

Screenshot showing the Unblock option, ticked.

3. Open Microsoft Excel.

4. Go to the File Tab and select Options.

5. In the Excel Options Window, choose Add-ins.

Screenshot showing the Excel Options Window.

6. In the Manage: Section, ensure that Excel Add-ins is selected and click on the Go… button.

Screenshot showing the Go...button, highlighted.

7. Using the Add-ins Window, check the Flexible Find & replace utility option and then click Ok.

Screenshot showing the Flexible Find & replace utility, ticked.

8. Now go to the Home Tab and you should see that a new Group called Flexfind, with the FlexFind option has been added.

Screenshot showing the FlexFind option, highlighted.

Remove an Add-in

If you would like to remove an Add-in that you installed using the Integrated Store, you need to follow these steps.

1. Go to the Insert Tab. In the Add-ins Group, click on the My Add-ins option.

Screenshot showing the My Add-ins option, highlighted.

2. Select the Add-in, that you would like to remove.  In this case we are going to remove the Analytic Solver Add-In. 

Screenshot showing the Add-in, chosen.
3. Click the three dots.

Screenshot showing the three dots, highlighted.

4. Click to Remove.

Screenshot showing the Remove option, highlighted.

5. Click Remove again.

Screenshot showing the Remove option.

6. The Add-in will now be removed and will no longer appear in the list.

Screenshot showing the Analytic Solver has been removed.

  • Note: For Add-ins that you installed manually, you will have to delete the .xlam file from the Add-ins Folder.


In this post, we have given you a comprehensive overview of how to install or remove Add-ins. Add-ins can really enhance your Excel experience. Comment below and tell us about Add-ins that you find useful.

Find out more about what’s new in Excel here.