Command bars of add-ins are not displayed or removed in Excel 2013 or later when you load or unload the add-ins


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When you use add-ins in Microsoft Excel 2013 or later, you experience the following issues.

Issue 1

When you load an Excel add-in (xlam) or an Excel 97-2003 add-in (xla), the command bars of the add-in are not displayed automatically. Instead, you must close all workbooks and then restart Excel to display the command bars.

Issue 2

When you unload an Excel add-in (.xlam) or an Excel 97-2003 add-in (.xla) or close an Excel macro-enabled workbook (.xlsm) that contains command bars, the command bars of the add-in or the macro-enabled workbook are not removed from all open workbooks.


These issues occur because of the Single Document Interface (SDI) in Excel 2013 or later. When you use a legacy CommandBar object to create menu items, the menu items are added to the Add-Ins tab of the ribbon. In Excel 2013 or later, each workbook has its own ribbon. Therefore, when you load or unload add-ins after the ribbon of the workbook is created, the ribbon is not updated. 

The following code sample creates menu items by using the CommandBar object:

Application.CommandBars("Worksheet Menu Bar").Controls.Add Type:=msoControlPopup


To work around issue 1, close all open workbooks, and then restart Excel.

To work around issue 2, use one of the following methods:

  • Replace command bars with a Ribbon (XML) item in the add-in or the macro-enabled workbook. For more information about the Ribbon (XML), see Ribbon XML.

  • In the Workbook_BeforeClose event of the add-in or the macro-enabled workbook, loop through all open windows, and remove the command bars. The following is a code sample:

    For Each wnd In Application.Windows
    Next wnd


In this code, the placeholder <ToolbarName> represents a command bar name.