Excel Add-In not displayed in ribbon due to Group Policy setting

Excel Add-In not displayed in ribbon due to Group Policy setting

Problem: The Excel Solver Add-in is enabled and appears to load during startup, but is not displayed/visible in the ribbon.

Solution: Update the Group Policy setting titled “Disable UI extending from documents and templates” to uncheck/disable “Disallow in Excel”.


Today I encountered another interesting customer environment setting that caused unusual behavior in our software, this time with Excel. I received a question from a data analyst who was trying to use the Solver Add-In in Excel 2013, but no matter what he tried, the Solver button would not get displayed in the Data ribbon. We enabled the Solver Add-in and saw the message during startup that the add-in was being loaded, but it was not visible in the toolbar ribbon. The following screenshot shows it being loaded during startup.

Excel Solver Add-In

After scouring several online threads and blog entries, we finally isolated the issue down to a specific GPO Group Policy setting, thanks to outstanding support from fellow Microsoft colleagues Jacob Heaton, Justin Abel, and Karl Camacho.

From gpresult output:

Excel Add-In Not Visible in Ribbon


To update the GPO setting that is preventing the button from being added:

  1. Launch gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Microsoft Office 2013 -> Global Options -> Customize -> Disable UI Extending from documents and templates.
  3. Uncheck “Disallow in Excel”
  4. Close gpedit
  5. Run “gpupdate /force” to update the change on the local machine
  6. Launch Excel and verify that the Solver add-in is displayed in the Data -> Analysis ribbon

Excel Add-In Not Visible in Ribbon

Sam Lester (MSFT)