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How to add ins in excel (The Easiest Way with Examples)

July 21, 2022

A WPS Excel extension that provides extra capabilities and options is known as an add-in. The power of Excel is increased by offering the user more functions. To use an add-in, it must first be activated. Once activated, it begins to operate when Excel is opened. A workbook's data can be created, deleted, and updated, for instance, using an Excel add-in. Additionally, one may use add-ins to execute custom functions and add buttons to the Excel ribbon. Several Add-ins are accessible in Excel by selecting Add-ins from the Options button of the File tab. Additionally, one may choose Manage from the drop-down menu in the Add-ins box to access other add-ins.

Some add-ins could be hidden by default. The Data tab on the Excel ribbon allows users to examine the add-ins that are not hidden. 

#1. What Are Add-ins in Excel

Add-ins in Excel

Excel add-ins are powerful tools that enhance the functionality of Microsoft Excel by providing additional features and capabilities. They are designed to streamline tasks, automate processes, and extend Excel's functionality beyond its default capabilities. Add-ins come in various forms, each catering to specific needs and tasks within Excel.

Types of Excel Add-ins:

  1. Math and Functions: These add-ins give you extra math tools and new ways to do calculations in Excel.

  2. Data Helpers: These tools help you understand and work with your data better. They can make charts and tables to show your data in a clear way.

  3. Time Savers: Add-ins can do repetitive tasks for you, saving you time and making your work faster.

  4. Connections: Some add-ins help Excel talk to other programs or websites, so you can bring in information from different places.

  5. Templates: These are like ready-made documents that you can use. They're helpful for different tasks, like managing projects or keeping track of money.

  6. Make Your Own: With some add-ins, you can create your own special tools if you know a little bit of programming.

How Add-ins Help You:

  • Easy Work: Add-ins make your work easier by doing complicated things for you.

  • Less Mistakes: They help you avoid mistakes in your calculations and data.

  • Smart Analysis: Some add-ins help you understand your data better by showing it in a smart way.

  • Quick Jobs: Add-ins can do things quickly that would take a long time to do by hand.

  • Custom Excel: You can make Excel work just the way you want by adding the tools you need.

In short, Excel add-ins are like extra helpers that give your Excel superpowers, making your work faster, smarter, and more accurate.

By leveraging Excel add-ins, users can unlock new possibilities, simplify complex tasks, and make the most of their Excel experience.

#2. How to Add or Remove Add-Ins in Excel

Adding or removing add-ins in Excel is like customizing your toolbox with special tools that make Excel even better at different tasks.

How to Install an Excel Add-In

Embark on a journey of enhancement as we guide you through the seamless installation of an Excel add-in.

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to Add-Ins: Click on the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon. Then, click on the "Get Add-ins" button.

the "Insert" tab

Step 3: Browse Add-Ins: Explore the Add-ins marketplace. Browse through the available options or search for a specific add-in.

Browse Add-Ins

Step 4: Choose an Add-In: Select the desired add-in by clicking on it. Review its description and features.

Step 5: Install: Click the "Add" button next to the chosen add-in. Excel will download and install the add-in.

Click the "Add" button

Step 6: Access the Add-In: Once installed, you'll find the add-in under the "Home" or "Insert" tab, depending on its functionality.

Exploring the Add-ins marketplace felt like wandering through a digital wonderland. The seamless integration of the chosen add-in transformed my Excel world, giving me newfound analytical prowess.

How to Uninstall an Excel Add-In

Follow our methodical steps to bid adieu to an add-in when it's time for a fresh start or a strategic switch.

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel.

Step 2: Manage Add-Ins: Click on the "Insert" tab and then select "My Add-ins."

Manage Add-Ins

Step 3: Remove an Add-In: Locate the add-in you want to uninstall. Click on the "..." (more options) button next to it.

Step 4: Uninstall: Select "Remove" from the drop-down menu. Confirm the removal when prompted.

Select "Remove" from the menu

Step 5: Completion: The add-in is now uninstalled from your Excel. You may need to restart Excel for the changes to take effect.

With a few clicks, I bid farewell to an old add-in, making room for fresh innovations. The process was surprisingly simple, and my Excel environment instantly felt more streamlined.

How to Activate an Excel Add-In

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel.

Step 2: Locate the Add-In: Go to the "Insert" tab and choose "My Add-ins."

Locate the Add-In

Step 3: Activate: Find the add-in you want to activate and click on the toggle switch to turn it on.

Step 4: Enable Permissions: Some add-ins might require permissions. Follow the prompts to grant necessary permissions.

Enable Permissions

Step 5: Confirmation: The add-in is now activated and ready to use. Look for its features in the designated tab.

Toggling on an add-in was like turning on a light switch in a dim room. Suddenly, Excel's capabilities expanded before my eyes. It's amazing how a single action can spark a world of possibilities.

How to Deactivate an Excel Add-In

Learn to temporarily bid adieu to an add-in, ensuring that you have full control over your Excel environment.

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel.

Step 2: Access My Add-ins: Click on the "Insert" tab and select "My Add-ins."

Access My Add-ins

Step 3: Deactivate: Locate the active add-in you wish to deactivate and toggle its switch to the off position.

Step 4: Confirmation: The add-in is now deactivated. It won't be accessible until you reactivate it.

Temporarily deactivating an add-in was like putting a tool back in the toolbox. My focus shifted to the essentials, and I appreciated the uncluttered space. It's a simple yet effective way to maintain control over my Excel experience.

Embark on a journey of mastery with these step-by-step tutorials, and become a virtuoso of Excel add-in management.

#3. Recommendations for the 3 Best Free Excel Add-Ins

Embark on a journey of discovery as we unveil three exceptional free Excel add-ins that are destined to transform the way you work.

Excel Functions Translator

Excel Functions Translator

Unleash the true power of Excel's functions with the Excel Functions Translator add-in. Seamlessly switch between languages, making complex formulas universally accessible. With a user-friendly interface and intuitive design, you'll effortlessly navigate through functions, boosting your efficiency and understanding. Dive into the world of translated functions with ease.

Functions and Features:

  • Seamless Translation: Translate Excel functions between languages, making formulas accessible to a global audience.

  • User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive design ensures easy navigation and usage, catering to both beginners and advanced users.

  • Enhanced Accessibility: Overcome language barriers and collaborate effortlessly with colleagues around the world.

  • Time-Saving: Instantly switch between languages without manually looking up translations.

  • Compatibility: Works with a wide range of Excel versions, ensuring compatibility with your preferred environment.


Wikipedia add-ins

Expand your Excel horizons with the Wikipedia add-in. Access a vast database of knowledge, enriching your spreadsheets with accurate information. Whether you're researching, fact-checking, or enhancing your data, this add-in offers a seamless integration of insights within your Excel environment.

Functions and Features:

  • Seamless Integration: Access Wikipedia's vast knowledge base directly within Excel, enhancing research capabilities.

  • Instant Fact-Checking: Verify data accuracy and enrich your spreadsheets with up-to-date information.

  • Dynamic References: Link cells to Wikipedia entries, creating a dynamic connection to relevant content.

  • Visual Enhancements: Incorporate images and media directly into your spreadsheets for engaging presentations.

  • Data Validation: Validate information by cross-referencing against reliable sources for increased credibility.

Bing Maps

Bing Map Add Ins

Visualize your data like never before with the Bing Maps add-in. Transform numbers into interactive maps, allowing you to analyze geographical trends with ease. Whether you're mapping customer locations or plotting sales data, this add-in provides a dynamic perspective that adds a new layer of depth to your Excel experience.

Functions and Features:

  • Interactive Mapping: Transform data into interactive maps, providing a visual dimension to geographic insights.

  • Customization: Customize maps with pins, routes, and labels to convey complex information with clarity.

  • Data Analysis: Analyze spatial trends and patterns, making data-driven decisions based on location.

  • Enhanced Communication: Visualize business data and strategies using compelling map visualizations.

  • Geographic Context: Add geographical context to your data, enhancing your audience's understanding.

Embrace these add-ins to amplify your Excel journey, turning ordinary spreadsheets into extraordinary tools of insight and efficiency.

#4. Download Free Excel Add-Ins from WPS Office

WPS Office logo

Explore a world of possibilities with WPS Office's free Excel add-ins, designed to amplify your spreadsheet experience. Here's why you should dive into this treasure trove of digital tools:

Download for Free: Unleash the Power Access a variety of add-ins at no cost, empowering you with versatile functionalities to tackle complex tasks. Elevate your data analysis, visualization, and automation prowess without spending a dime.

Seamless Compatibility: A Harmonious Blend WPS Office ensures seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office features, formulas, and macros. You can confidently work across platforms, leveraging the full spectrum of Excel functionalities without limitations.

Ready to embrace the world of free Excel add-ins from WPS Office? Start your journey of enhancement today!

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Why Is Power Pivot Not Showing in Excel COM Add-Ins?

If Power Pivot isn't appearing in your Excel COM Add-Ins, consider:

Compatibility: Ensure your Excel version supports Power Pivot (Excel 2013 onwards).

Installation: Check if Power Pivot is installed from Microsoft's official sources.

Activation: Verify "Microsoft Office Power Pivot" is enabled under COM Add-Ins.

Disabled Items: Look in Excel's options for disabled add-ins and re-enable them if needed.

Repair/Reinstall: As a last resort, try repairing or reinstalling Microsoft Office.

By following these steps, you can swiftly resolve the issue and restore Power Pivot to your Excel toolbox.

Where Are Office Add-Ins Stored?

Office Add-Ins, those little helpers that enhance your productivity, are stored in a specific directory on your computer. Depending on your system, you'll find them here:

  • Windows: Look in the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Wef folder (replace 16.0 with your Office version).

  • Mac: They reside within the Applications folder, where Office applications are stored.

Remember, these directories might slightly differ based on Office versions and system configurations. But fear not, armed with this knowledge, you can locate and manage your Office Add-Ins with ease.

Are There Any Security Risks Associated with Excel Add-Ins?

Security Risks and Excel Add-Ins: Stay Informed

  1. Malicious Add-Ins: Be cautious of unverified sources to avoid malware.

  2. Data Privacy: Check permissions before installing to protect your data.

  3. Compatibility: Ensure add-ins work with your Excel version.

  4. Phishing: Stick to trusted sources to avoid scams.

  5. Vulnerabilities: Keep add-ins updated to stay secure.

Stay aware, stay secure.


Discover the potential of Excel Add-Ins, elevating your data analysis and visualization game. Learn to effortlessly install, activate, and troubleshoot add-ins, ensuring a seamless experience. Explore WPS Office's free Excel add-ins, enhancing compatibility and versatility. Embrace this dynamic duo to unlock Excel's true potential, while staying vigilant against security risks. Elevate your spreadsheets from mundane to magnificent with these transformative tools.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.