Macabacus and Microsoft (for the most part) no longer support Internet Explorer 10 and prior versions. Please consider upgrading your browser.


Loading & Installation

Understanding whether Macabacus simply failed to load in Office applications, or failed to install in Windows at all, is important. The latter scenario is very uncommon, but can be confirmed by inspecting your list of installed programs under the Windows Control Panel. If Macabacus appears in that list, then installation was likely successful and Macabacus simply failed to load properly. Follow the troubleshooting steps applicable to your situation below.

Over-the-Shoulder Installations

If an administrator performs an "over-the-shoulder" installation for you, you may need to log out of Windows and log back in for the installation to finish.

For help with Macabacus Lite loading or installation, please see these installation instructions.


There are two Macabacus add-ins for Excel. The VBA add-in named Macabacus.xlam is a helper add-in, and is generally of no concern in troubleshooting unless an error message specifically references this file. The Macabacus VSTO add-in, which appears in Excel's COM Add-Ins dialog, implements most Macabacus functionality, including display of the Macabacus tab in the ribbon.

Do not open .vsto files manually

Do not attempt to open the Macabacus .vsto files located under the Program Files folder in an effort to force the Macabacus tab to appear in Office applications. This will not solve your problem, and may create other issues.

VSTO Add-in

The Macabacus tab disappeared or is not visible

If Macabacus appears to be properly installed, but the Macabacus tab is not visible in the ribbon of one or more of your Office applications, then it is probable that Macabacus failed to load in your Office application(s). The following steps will normally resolve this problem. PERFORM EVERY STEP EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED HERE AND DO NOT SUBMIT A SUPPORT REQUEST WITHOUT THE INFORMATION REQUESTED IN STEP 11.

  1. Note that the Macabacus tabs in PowerPoint and Word should be visible only if you have a Suite subscription or an active trial.
  2. Check the Office application's Disabled Items dialog and re-enable Macabacus if disabled.
  3. Check the Office application's COM Add-Ins dialog and check the Macabacus 20XX box if unchecked.
  4. Confirm that only a single instance of the Office application is running in Task Manager. If multiple instances are running, quit them and restart the application.
  5. Confirm that you followed the installation instructions, including signing out of and back into Windows if necessary.
  6. Confirm that Macabacus is installed in Windows' Programs and Features dialog. If so, repair the Macabacus installation. If not, then follow the troubleshooting steps in the next section.
  7. Open Registry Editor and navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\Macabacus20XX or the key corresponding to the Office application in which the Macabacus tab is missing, if not Excel. If the LoadBehavior value is 0 (zero) here, change it to 2 or 3.
  8. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX, or its equivalent on your PC. Confirm that the folder contains at least ten or so files.
  9. Confirm that you are running the full version of Office—not Office on Demand—and that all available Office updates are installed.
  10. If the steps above did not resolve your problem, consult your IT staff, if applicable, and have them confirm that the steps above do not resolve the problem.
  11. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request and include screen shots of (a) the Disabled Items dialog from step #2, (b) the COM Add-Ins dialog from step #3 with Macabacus 20XX selected, (c) the Task Manager from step #4, and (d) the Windows Explorer window from step #8. Additionally, include the outcome of each step above not addressed through the aforementioned screen shots. TROUBLESHOOTING IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOU PERFORM THIS STEP.

Macabacus will not install, or does not install properly

If Macabacus failed to install properly in Windows, perform the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Ensure that you have the necessary Windows Administrator privileges to perform the installation.
  2. Confirm that you followed the installation instructions.
  3. Check your list of installed programs under the Windows Control Panel to confirm that Macabacus appears in the list. If Macabacus does appear, then confirm whether Macabacus has installed properly, but has simply failed to load in your Office application(s), by opening Excel and navigating to File > Options > Add-Ins. In this dialog, select COM Add-Ins from the dropdown menu and click Go. If Macabacus appears in the list of COM add-ins shown here (but is presumably unchecked), then your problem is more likely that Macabacus failed to load. In this case, perform the troubleshooting steps above for "The Macabacus tab disappeared or is not visible."
  4. Run a repair of the Macabacus installation.
  5. If Macabacus is still not installing properly, enlist help from your IT department, if applicable. The problem is likely an issue with your computing environment that only you or your IT professional can resolve.
  6. Uninstall Macabacus and perform the following steps to generate an installation log to send to
    • Go to and select "Fix it for me" to enable Windows installer logging.
    • Delete files beginning with "Msi" in your Temp folder. To determine the Temp folder location, type the following line at the command prompt: cd %temp%.
    • Reinstall Macabacus using the installer downloaded from
    • Send the file named MsiFFFFF.log (or something similar) located in the Temp folder to Check the Date Added property of the log file to be sure you have the correct log file.
  7. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request.

The installer says that it requires Office 20XX, which is already installed

Be sure that you have installed the full version of Office 20XX, and not the Office on Demand version. Office on Demand does not support VSTO add-ins like Macabacus, and should not be used in professional computing environments.

I receive the following error when Excel starts

VSTO installation error

If uninstalling Macabacus from within Windows' Control Panel and then reinstalling does not resolve this issue, see this link.

Excel (VBA) Add-in

In general, most problems involving the Macabacus.xlam add-in can be resolved by pointing Excel to the correct location of this file. Normally, you can do this using Excel's Add-Ins dialog. If this approach fails, you may need to manually set the correct path to Macabacus.xlam in the registry.

An error message when starting Excel reads "The Macabacus.xlam add-in is in the wrong location on your computer. Reload this file from the following location to use Macabacus shortcuts: C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam."

Perform the following steps to resolve this issue:

  1. Verify that the Macabacus.xlam file exists at the path shown in the error message. If it does not, reinstall Macabacus.
  2. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I), uncheck Macabacus if already checked, and click OK to close the dialog. Then, open the dialog again and click the Browse button to find Macabacus.xlam at the path shown in the error message. Be sure Macabacus is now checked, and click OK to close the dialog. Office can be finicky about changing the paths of add-ins, so you may need to try this, and restart Excel a few times for it to stick.
  3. If you continue to receive this error message, then you must manually update the registry entry that is pointing Excel to the wrong location for Macabacus.xlam using the Registry Editor. The registry key should be HKEY_USERS\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Excel\Options, or something similar, depending on your version of Office.
  4. If you continue to receive this error message, try repairing the Macabacus installation from the Windows Control Panel.

An error message when starting Excel reads "Unable to load Macabacus.xlam from C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam. Some features will not work properly..."

This may occur if you have recently upgraded (or downgraded) Microsoft Office. Macabacus for Office 20XX looks for the XLAM add-in referenced above in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX. For example, if you upgraded from Office 2013 to Office 2016, but still have Macabacus for Office 2013 installed, Macabacus looks in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 2016 for the XLAM but cannot find it, producing this error. In addition, Excel stores the path to the XLAM in the registry. When you upgrade from Office 2013 to 2016, Excel might still look in C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 2013 for the XLAM add-in. Sometimes, the only way to tell Excel the correct place to look is by editing the registry manually.

  1. Close Excel.
  2. Completely uninstall all copies of Macabacus (back up settings and shortcuts, if desired).
  3. Start Excel.
  4. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I) and select the Macabacus add-in. You may receive a prompt asking you to delete it. If so, click OK and then exit the dialog by clicking OK.
  5. Restart Excel.
  6. Close Excel.
  7. Re-install the correct version of Macabacus that corresponds with your current version of Office.
  8. Start Excel.

An error message in Excel reads "Cannot run the macro C:\ProgramData\Macabacus\Macabacus 20XX\Macabacus.xlam'![%macro name%]'. The macro may not be available in this workbook or all macros may be disabled."

Perform the following steps to resolve this issue:

  1. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog (Alt>T>I), uncheck the Macabacus add-in, and click OK.
  2. Restart Excel.
  3. Open Excel's Add-Ins dialog, click the Browse button, and select the Macabacus.xlam file in the location shown in your error message. You may receive a Yes/No/Cancel prompt from Excel asking you to replace the Macabacus.xlam file. If so, click Yes.
  4. Verify that Macabacus is checked and click OK to close the Add-Ins manager.
  5. Restart Excel. This may not be required, but we do it for good measure.
  6. In the ribbon, navigate to Macabacus > Settings > Keyboard and click the Override button. Your Macabacus shortcuts should now be working correctly.
  7. If you are still experiencing difficulty, submit a support request.

An error message in Excel reads "Microsoft Excel cannot access the file [path to Macabacus.xlam]. There are several possible reasons: The file name or path does not exist. The file is being used by another program..."

If this error occurs upon starting Excel, or when trying to manually load Macabacus.xlam from Excel's Add-Ins dialog, then Excel may be installed incorrectly. Ensure that Excel is installed with Microsoft Office Tools. Try loading other add-ins to confirm this problem, if necessary.

Windows XP

Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft or Macabacus. Update your software immediately if you are still running Windows XP.

Nothing happens when trying to install in Windows XP

Confirm that you have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed. Macabacus signs its installer with a SHA-2 certificate, and Windows XP did not support SHA-2 until Service Pack 3. Prior to Service Pack 3, Windows XP only supported SHA-1, which has been deprecated in favor of more secure SHA-2. Note that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and, therefore, is not supported by Macabacus.

Macabacus for Excel 2007 installs successfully, but does not appear upon opening Excel

You may need to install either (a) the hotfix described at and related prerequisites or (b) Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. You will most likely encounter this problem when running Office 2007 in Windows XP.

Macabacus Lite

An error message says that your copy of Macabacus Lite is not authorized for your computer

Your Macabacus Lite installation is valid for a single computer. If you switch computers, download another copy of Macabacus Lite for the new computer.

An error message says "Can't find project or library" after installing Macabacus Lite

Make sure that you have Microsoft XML, v6.0 installed. A typical Office installation will include Microsoft XML, v6.0, however, some versions (e.g., student editions) may not. To install Microsoft XML, use your Office installation CD, DVD, or file.

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.6.5, and may differ from the PDF documentation
on your computer that installed with your version of Macabacus.