Microsoft Office add-in’s not loading Automatically?

If you’ve got an extension that keeps disabling itself every time you close Word/Excel/Outlook etc then here’s something you could give a try:

Firstly, verify that the extension is actually disabled from the start by going to:

File -> Options -> Add-In’s and then click on the “Go” button next to “COM Add-In’s”

From there you’ll get a huge list of all the add-ins you have enabled/available on your system. Highlight the one you’re having trouble with and take a peek at the “Start-up Behaviour” as shown below:

The above is how it should look. But this isn’t how it looks for you – so we’ll need to do a bit of messing around in the registry. Before we do that though, you will need 3 bits on information:

  1. Is your version of Office Click-To-Run or not?
  2. Is your version of Office 64bit or 32bit?
  3. Is your version of Windows 32bit or 64bit?

So let’s start with number 1:

Click “File” at the top and click “Account/Office Account”

In there you will see something that looks like this:

If your version says “Click-to-Run” at the end then guess what? If the version simply ends with the build number then you have the regular/non-click-to-run version. I could explain this but it’s really not important and you’re only here for answers and not a lot of unnecessary filler.

Onto Number 2:

You will also need to know if your version is 32-bit or 64-bit which you can get by clicking the “About Outlook” button shown above. This will show you a window with the following information:

If it says 32-bit then … and if it says 64-bit then…

and finally, number 3:

Hold the Windows Key and press R this will bring up the Run window. In there type “MSINFO32” and hit return. this will return a big window full of information about your system. The bit of information we’re interested in however looks like this:

So now that you have those 3 bits of information together we need to go to the registry:

Open the Registry Editor by holding the Windows Key and pressing R this will open the run dialogue and from there type in “regedit” and smash the return key; this will open the registry editor. (Note: Be careful in here)

Now, this is where things could get a tad confusing but stay with me; here is a handy table telling you where you need to go based on the information you have just gathered:

Windows VersionOffice VersionClick-To-Run?Registry Location (Below)

Once in here simply go a bit deeper by clicking into the application you are having a problem with so if you’re having issues with an Excel add-in – expand the Excel folder.

Then open the “Addins” folder and this should show the add-in’s you have available, including the one that won’t load for you.

From here you should have an entry called “LoadBehavior” – double-click on it and you’ll see this window:

Change the “1” to a “3” and hit OK.

Close the Registry Editor and re-load the application. Your add-in will now (hopefully) load as normal from the start.

If you want more information on what the LoadBehavior numbers mean then you can go here:


30-something Sysadmin from the Midlands, UK.