Sideload Office Add-ins for testing

You can install an Office Add-in for testing in an Office client running on Windows by publishing the manifest to a network file share (instructions below).


If your add-in project was created with the yo office tool, there is an alternative way of sideloading it that might work for you. For details, see Sideload Office Add-ins using the sideload command.

This article applies only to testing a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint add-ins on Windows. If you want to test on another platform or want to test an Outlook add-in, see one of the following topics to sideload your add-in:

The following video walks you through the process of sideloading your add-in on Office desktop or Office Online using a shared folder catalog.

Share a folder

  1. On the Windows computer where you want to host your add-in, go to the parent folder, or drive letter, of the folder you want to use as your shared folder catalog.

  2. Open the context menu for the folder (right-click) and choose Properties.

  3. Open the Sharing tab.

  4. On the Choose people ... page, add yourself and and anyone else with whom you want to share your add-in. If they are all members of a security group, you can add the group. You will need at least Read/Write permission to the folder.

  5. Choose Share > Done > Close.

Specify the shared folder as a trusted catalog

  1. Open a new document in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint.

  2. Choose the File tab, and then choose Options.

  3. Choose Trust Center, and then choose the Trust Center Settings button.

  4. Choose Trusted Add-in Catalogs.

  5. In the Catalog Url box, enter the full network path to the shared folder catalog, and then choose Add Catalog.

  6. Select the Show in Menu check box, and then choose OK.

  7. Close the Office application so your changes will take effect.

Sideload your add-in

  1. Put the manifest XML file of any add-in that you are testing in the shared folder catalog. Note that you deploy the web application itself to a web server. Be sure to specify the URL in the SourceLocation element of the manifest file.


    While not strictly required in all add-in scenarios, using an HTTPS endpoint for your add-in is strongly recommended. Add-ins that are not SSL-secured (HTTPS) generate unsecure content warnings and errors during use. If you plan to run your add-in in Office Online or publish your add-in to AppSource, it must be SSL-secured. If your add-in accesses external data and services, it should be SSL-secured to protect data in transit. Self-signed certificates can be used for development and testing, so long as the certificate is trusted on the local machine.

  2. In Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, select My Add-ins on the Insert tab of the ribbon.

  3. Choose SHARED FOLDER at the top of the Office Add-ins dialog box.

  4. Select the name of the add-in and choose OK to insert the add-in.

See also