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<firstimage=””>office add-insYes, MS Office has a quite a few add-ins (plugins) of its own. They do a lot to enhance work productivity when it comes to extending the way we work with documents and presentations.

Do you use any of the 3 Microsoft Word Plugins to Boost Your MS Word Experience 3 Microsoft Word Plugins To Boost Your MS Word Experience 3 Microsoft Word Plugins To Boost Your MS Word Experience Read More ? Then there was the one Office add-in called UBitMenu How To Make Microsoft Office 2007 Look Like Office 2003 How To Make Microsoft Office 2007 Look Like Office 2003 Read More that made MS Office 2007 look like its 2003 predecessor or even give it Firefox like tabs Use OfficeTab To Give Microsoft Office Firefox-Like Tabs Use OfficeTab To Give Microsoft Office Firefox-Like Tabs Read More .

But add-ins are not only what you install yourself, many add-ins are, by default, part of the MS Office suite. It doesn’t take long to figure out the advantages of using add-ins. But just like anything extra that piggybacks on a default installation, there are some disadvantages to the use and abuse of Office add-ins.  Two of the more clear ones are slowdown of the MS Office program, and program crashes.

A bunch of add-ins can cause a startup delay. As an example, MS Outlook probably has the largest number of add-ins and a startup delay is especially irksome in a program which you use often. A malfunctioning add-in can also cause program crashes. Troubleshooting the cause of a crash involves disabling an add-in to check if it’s the culprit.

It’s during times like these that you need to tackle add-ins and manage them effortlessly. Thankfully, it is.

Going To MS Office Options To View & Manage Add-Ins

MS Office has an in-built add-in manager that is accessible from the Options of each program. Let’s take a look at MS Word and its installed add-ins as an example.


Click the Microsoft Office Button – then click Word Options, and then click Add-Ins. The add-ins are listed in the box and arranged according to Type (COM Add-ins, Word Add-ins, Templates etc) and status like Active Application Add-ins, Inactive Application Add-ins, Document Related Add-ins, and Disabled Add-ins.

office add-ins

Just below the box, you can note some extra information like Publisher and a Description on the add-ins function.

office add-ins

To manage your add-ins specific to the MS Office program, select the add-in Type in the Manage box and then click Go.

office add-ons

Select or deselect the check box for the Add-in that you want to enable or disable and then click OK. From the same view, you can choose to remove the add-in or install a new one.

Going To Third Party Free Software For Help

Managing your add-ins from within each program is adequate in itself. Third party free software exist though, that can tell you all the add-ins installed across the MS Office suite. Think of these two programs as a centralized console for your add-in management tasks.

OfficeIns (v1.05)

office add-ons

OfficeIns is a simple 49KB sized Office Add-ins manager that lists all installed Microsoft Office add-ins on your computer, and allows you to disable or enable them. The free software does not need an installation and the add-in information gets saved in the program folder itself. You can select an add-in and opt for any of the four options available – Disabled, Load at Startup, Load on Demand, and Load at First Time.

EnableDisable (v1.1)

office add-ons

EnableDisable is another free download for managing your installed Microsoft Office add-ins. The software is a 567KB download and presents a simple tabbed interface for each of the installed Microsoft Office products. Enabling or disabling add-ins is a simple matter of selecting or unselecting the checkbox next to the add-in.

Add-ins as external programs also represents a loophole for malicious attacks. Therefore it is important that you install add-ins from trusted sources. As a safeguard you can set permissions in the MS Office Trust Center that Require Application Add-ins to be signed by Trusted Publisher. All unsigned and unverified add-ins will stand disabled.

troubleshooting office

A message bar alerts you when you restart the application with a security warning if there is an unsafe Office add-in. Clicking on Options on the message bar gives you the choice of re-enabling the add-on. MS Office has a Help page where these features are explained in detail for all of the programs under the suite.

Check in and tell us about your add-in problems and how you manage them.

  1. anticafe
    August 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks. At first my MS Word 2007 is too slow. But after disable its addons, now Word starts up faster.

    • Saikat Basu
      August 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      If you have managed to notice and appreciable difference, you must have quite a few add-ons installed.

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