How to Install (or Uninstall) a VBA add-in (.xlam file) for Microsoft Excel

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Steve Rynearson

Last updated on August 31, 2021

How to Install an Excel add-in

This tutorial will teach you how to install or uninstall a .xlam add-in for Excel.

1. Save Add-in to Computer

Make sure to download and save the add-in (.XLAM file) to your computer. Pick a folder that’s easy to find (ex. My Documents)

2. Unblock the File

  1. After saving the file, locate the file in the Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the file and select Properties
  3. Make sure the box Unblock is checked near the bottom of General Tab.

unblock excel add in (xlam)

3. Trust the File Location

In July 2016, Microsoft added a security update that requires you to add the .XLAM file location as a Trusted Location in order for the add-in to work.

Go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings… > Trusted Locations > Add New Location

     3a. File > Options

.xlam file

     3b. Trust Center  > Trust Center Settings…

excel add in trust center settings

     3c. Trusted Locations > Add New Location

xlam add new location

     3d. Add New Location: Browse to the file location containing your add-in

trust location for excel add in

3e. Alternatively, you can move your add-in to one of the existing Trusted Locations listed in the previous step!

4. Make Sure the Developer Tab is Visiblevba developer ribbon 

If you don’t see the Developer tab then follow these instructions: Add Developer Ribbon.

5. Browse For File

Go to Developer > Excel Add-ins > Browse and select your filevba add in install

Make sure the add-in has a check mark next to it and click OK.

Your add-in is now installed!

5. Allow Programmatic Access

If you install one of our VBA add-ins, you’ll also need to allow Programmatic Access for the add-in to work. If you don’t you may see this error message:

vba add in error

To allow access, follow this steps:

In the upper-left corner of Excel, click File > Options. Then Trust Center > Trust Center Settings….

excel macro trust center settings

Then click Macro Settings and make sure Trust Access to the VBA project object model is checked.

excel macro settings

Unloading an Add-in

To unload an add-in simply navigate to the Add-ins dialog box (see “Browse For File” above) and uncheck the add-in.

You can also delete the .XLAM or .XLA file from your hard drive.


What is a .XLAM File?

A .XLAM file is an Excel add-in file. Excel Add-ins are hidden workbooks then open each time Excel is opened. The add-ins can contain VBA code (Macros) and other calculations that you can use when working in other workbooks.

How to Install an Excel Add-in (.xlam file)?

Open the Developer Tab. Click Excel Add-ins > Browse and select your add-in file. Note: There may be additional steps you need to take to show the Developer Tab and to tell Excel to “trust” the add-in.

How to uninstall an Excel Add-in (.xlam file)?

Open the Developer Tab. Click Excel Add-ins > Browse and deselect the desired add-in. Or you can delete the add-in file from your computer.


VBA Code Examples Add-in

Easily access all of the code examples found on our site.

Simply navigate to the menu, click, and the code will be inserted directly into your module. .xlam add-in.

(No installation required!)

Free Download

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