Disabled Add-ins in Microsoft Office

Another little fix here. Many companies will have certain add-ins in their Microsoft Office products, and sometimes things go wrong. Often if an Office product crashes, it will blame an active plugin and bring up the prompt asking if you want to disable the add-in:

For most people presented with more than a line of text and a ‘Yes/No’ option, they’ll just click ‘Yes’ and continue on their merry way – not realising they’ve just crippled some functionality.

In Office 2010, it’s a bit of a pain to re-enable an add-in manually: Click File > Options > Add-ins > Drop down Manage and choose ‘Disabled Add-ins’ > Go > Choose the add-in > Click Enable > Click OK > Click OK > Have a nap. Hard work!

So, what I decided to do was use Group Policy to automatically wipe from the registry anything that’s disabled. This will happen on 90 minute intervals, and at login time – so for some users, it’s easier to train them to log off and back on (or reboot) if they’re having that important add-in disabled.

The relevant keys to delete are:


I am doing this with a Registry Group Policy Preference set to ‘Delete’

Of course this could be added to a login script if you use those, or if it’s a really common problem a desktop shortcut or reg file that deletes the key when the user choose to. All it needs to contain is this:


Note that this is for Office 2010, but the same works for 2007 and 2003, just the version path needs to be changed – for 2003, it’s 11.0 and 2007 is 12.0 (no unlucky 13.0).

6 thoughts on “Disabled Add-ins in Microsoft Office

  1. Heads up , for people looking for this option in 2013


    Using the pane on the right, right-click and from the menu select New, DWORD (32-bit) Value
    Enter the name of the plugin
    Double-click the entry to edit it
    Set the value to 1
    Close Windows Registry Editor

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.