How to Reset Excel Settings: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restore Defaults

Resetting Excel settings can help you fix issues or restore default configurations. To reset Excel settings, open Excel in safe mode, delete customizations, and reset registry entries. This guide will walk you through each step, ensuring your Excel is back to its default state.

How to Reset Excel Settings

Resetting your Excel settings will return everything to its default state. This means all your custom settings, including add-ins, will be removed. Follow these steps to perform a reset.

Step 1: Open Excel in Safe Mode

To open Excel in safe mode, press and hold the "Ctrl" key and click on the Excel icon. This will prompt a message asking if you want to start Excel in safe mode. Click "Yes".

When you open Excel in safe mode, it bypasses all custom settings and add-ins, launching Excel in its default state. This helps ensure that any issues caused by these extras don’t interfere with the reset process.

Step 2: Delete Customizations

Go to "File" > "Options" > "Add-ins". At the bottom, select "Manage: COM Add-ins" and click "Go". Uncheck all add-ins and click "OK".

Disabling add-ins can solve many issues. These third-party enhancements can sometimes conflict with Excel. By unchecking them, you ensure they won’t interfere during the reset process.

Step 3: Reset Registry Entries

Press "Win + R" to open the Run dialogue box. Type "regedit" and press "Enter". Navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice16.0Excel". Right-click the "Excel" folder, select "Export" to back it up, then delete the folder.

Editing the registry can seem daunting, but it’s a necessary step. By removing the Excel registry entry, you erase all custom settings. Remember to back up the registry before making changes, as this allows you to restore it if needed.

Step 4: Restart Excel

Close any open Excel windows and restart the application normally.

Restarting Excel finalizes the reset process. When you reopen Excel, it should launch with all default settings restored, free from any previous customizations or issues.

After completing these steps, Excel will start with its default settings. Any custom configurations or add-ins will be removed, and the software will function as if it was freshly installed.

Tips for Resetting Excel Settings

  • Before making changes, always back up your registry to avoid any data loss.
  • Consider which customizations you might need to reinstall after the reset.
  • Use Excel’s built-in help function for additional support and troubleshooting tips.
  • If issues persist, reinstalling Excel might be necessary.
  • Keep your software and add-ins updated to prevent future problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I disable add-ins?

Disabling add-ins prevents third-party tools from loading with Excel, which can fix performance issues and conflicts.

Will resetting Excel delete my files?

No, resetting Excel settings will not delete your documents or data files.

Can I restore my custom settings after resetting?

You can manually reconfigure your settings or restore the registry backup you created.

Do I need to be an administrator to reset Excel settings?

Yes, administrative rights are typically required to make registry changes on your computer.

What if resetting doesn’t solve my problem?

If resetting Excel settings doesn’t resolve issues, consider reinstalling Excel or seeking additional technical support.


  1. Open Excel in Safe Mode.
  2. Delete customizations.
  3. Reset registry entries.
  4. Restart Excel.


Resetting Excel settings can be a lifesaver when you’re facing persistent issues or odd behaviors within the program. By following the steps outlined—opening Excel in safe mode, disabling add-ins, resetting registry entries, and restarting the application—you can bring Excel back to its default state without losing your valuable data.

Remember, while these steps are usually effective, they should be performed carefully. Always back up your registry before making changes to avoid any potential mishaps. If you’re still experiencing problems after resetting, a full reinstall might be necessary. Keeping your software updated and being cautious with add-ins can help maintain Excel’s performance over time.

For more advanced troubleshooting, Microsoft’s support resources and community forums are valuable places to find additional help. Dive in, reset those settings, and get back to seamless spreadsheet management!

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