How To Prevent The Excel Error Message For A Missing Add-in

By Chris Newman •  Updated: 12/13/18 •  2 min read
How To Prevent The Excel Error Message For A Missing Add-in

I’ve run into this issue numerous times and I just figured out how to prevent the dreaded error message from popping up when Excel opens stating:

Sorry, we couldn’t find add-in [insert add-in name]. Is it possible it was moved, renamed or deleted? - Microsoft Excel

How To Prevent This

First you will want to note the file path that Excel thinks the add-in should be located in and the name of the add-in file. Once you know where that folder is located and the name of the add-in, proceed to do the following:

  1. Create a new Excel file
  2. Save the file with the following conditions:
    • Use the Add-in name
    • Use the Excel file extension “.xlam” (if it is an older add-in it might need to be “.xla”)
    • Save to the same folder path
  3. Once you have saved this new faux add-in file, close down Excel
  4. Reopen Excel and hopefully you won’t receive the error message
  5. Go into your Excel Add-ins dialog box and check the add-in and hit Ok
  6. Go back into you Excel Add-ins dialog box and uncheck the add-in and hit OK
  7. Close out of Excel

You should now be able to go and delete the faux Excel add-in file and not see the error message going forward. Yay!!

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Chris Newman

Chris Newman

Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.