Sideload Office Add-ins on Mac for testing

To see how your add-in will run on Office on Mac, you can sideload your add-in's manifest. This action won't enable you to set breakpoints and debug your add-in's code while it's running, but you can see how it behaves and verify that the UI is usable and rendering appropriately.


To sideload an Outlook add-in, see Sideload Outlook add-ins for testing.

Prerequisites for Office on Mac

  • A Mac running OS X v10.10 "Yosemite" or later with Office on Mac installed.

  • Word on Mac version 15.18 (160109).

  • Excel on Mac version 15.19 (160206).

  • PowerPoint on Mac version 15.24 (160614).

  • The manifest .xml file for the add-in you want to test.

Sideload an add-in in Office on Mac

  1. Use Finder to sideload the manifest file. Open Finder and then enter Command+Shift+G to open the Go to folder dialog.

  2. Enter one of the following filepaths, based on the application you want to use for sideloading. If the wef folder doesn't exist on your computer, create it.

    • For Word: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/

    • For Excel: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/

    • For PowerPoint: /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/


      The remaining steps describe how to sideload a Word add-in.

  3. Copy your add-in's manifest file to this wef folder.

    Wef folder in Office on Mac.

  4. Open Word (or restart Word if it's already running), then open a document.

  5. On the Word ribbon, choose the Insert tab, and then select My Add-ins (dropdown menu) in the Add-ins group. On the dropdown menu, choose your add-in.

    My Add-ins in Office on Mac.


    Sideloaded add-ins will not show up in the My Add-ins dialog box. They are only visible within the drop-down menu (small down-arrow to the right of My Add-ins on the Insert tab). Sideloaded add-ins are listed under the Developer Add-ins heading in this menu.

  6. Verify that your add-in is displayed in Word.

    Office Add-in displayed in Office on Mac.

Remove a sideloaded add-in

You can remove a previously sideloaded add-in by clearing the Office cache on your computer. Details on how to clear the cache for each platform and application can be found in the article Clear the Office cache.

See also