How to fix Office error "We can’t start this add-in because it isn’t set up properly" in Windows?

Question

Issue: How to fix Office error "We can’t start this add-in because it isn’t set up properly" in Windows?

I've installed a new Add-in on Excel I'd like to use for my project but every time I want to insert it, I receive an error  “We can’t start this add-in because it isn’t set up properly.” Any tips would be helpful.

Solved Answer

Microsoft Office, a suite of productivity tools widely used in professional, educational, and personal environments, offers a range of applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and others. Central to its functionality are Office Add-ins, which are extensions that enhance and personalize the user experience, offering additional features and integrations with other software. These add-ins, ranging from productivity tools to advanced data analysis features, can be integral for users who rely on Office for specific, often complex tasks.

However, some users encounter a roadblock when an error message appears stating, “We can’t start this add-in because it isn’t set up properly.” This issue typically arises when attempting to use an add-in in various Office applications. It is a significant hindrance as it prevents access to the enhanced functionalities that add-ins provide, impacting productivity and workflow.

The root cause of this error can be multifaceted. It may result from an incomplete or corrupted add-in installation, conflicts with other software, outdated Office applications, or even issues within the Windows operating system itself. Additionally, incorrect settings or permissions can also lead to this error, particularly in environments with strict IT policies.

To address this issue, you might consider several approaches. Firstly, ensuring that your Office applications are up to date is crucial, as updates often include fixes for such errors. Additionally, checking the add-in's installation and settings could provide insights into any misconfigurations or errors.

How to fix Office error "We can’t start this add-in because it isn’t set up properly" in Windows?

If the problem persists, exploring the compatibility of the add-in with your current version of Office and Windows might uncover compatibility issues. Moreover, verifying the integrity of your Office installation could also be a key step in resolving this error.

For those seeking a more comprehensive solution, the use of a PC repair tool can be beneficial. Such a tool can automatically diagnose and fix underlying Windows issues that might be contributing to this problem, streamlining the resolution process.

Fix 1. Update Office applications

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Updating Office applications can resolve compatibility issues and bugs that may be causing the add-in error. Microsoft frequently releases updates to improve functionality and fix known issues. By ensuring your Office suite is up to date, you can eliminate the possibility that the problem is due to outdated software.

  • Open any Office application, such as Word or Excel.
  • Click on the File tab in the top-left corner.
  • Select Account from the menu.
  • Under the Product Information section, click on Update Options.
  • Choose Update Now to check for and install any available updates.
  • Restart the Office application after the update is complete to see if the issue is resolved.

Update Office

Fix 2. Reinstall the Add-in

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Reinstalling the problematic add-in can often rectify issues caused by an incomplete or corrupt installation. This process involves removing the current installation of the add-in and then downloading and installing it afresh, which can clear up any errors that occurred during the initial installation.

  • Open the Office application where you use the add-in.
  • Go to the Insert tab and click on My Add-ins.
  • Find the add-in that is causing the issue and select it.
  • Click on the three-dot menu next to the add-in and select Remove, then confirm with Remove.
  • Restart the Office application.
  • Go back to the Insert tab and click on My Add-ins.
  • Search for the add-in in the Office Add-ins store and click Add to reinstall it.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • Restart the Office application again and check if the add-in works properly.

Reinstall add-in

Fix 3. Update Windows

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Outdated Windows operating systems can lead to compatibility issues with Office add-ins. Ensuring that your Windows is updated to the latest version can resolve these compatibility issues.

  • Type Updates and press Enter.
  • In the new window, click Check for updates.
  • Wait till all the files are downloaded and installed.
  • If optional updates are available, install them as well.
  • After the updates are installed, restart your computer.
  • Open the Office application and check if the add-in issue has been resolved.

Install Windows updates

Fix 4. Check Add-in settings and permissions

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Sometimes, the error can be due to incorrect settings or restricted permissions for the add-in. Ensuring that the add-in is correctly configured and has the necessary permissions to run can often resolve the issue.

  • Open the Office application where you're experiencing the issue.
  • Click on the File tab, then choose Options.
  • In the Options window, select Add-ins.
  • At the bottom of the window, beside Manage, ensure COM Add-ins is selected and click Go.
  • In the COM Add-ins dialog, check if the problematic add-in is listed and ticked.
  • If the add-in is unticked, tick it to enable it and click OK.
  • If the add-in is not listed, you may need to add it by clicking on Add and browsing for the add-in file.
  • Restart the Office application to see if the issue is resolved.

Enable add-ins

Fix 5. Run Office Repair

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Running a repair on your Office installation can fix underlying issues with the Office suite itself, which might be causing the add-in error. This process checks and replaces any corrupted Office files without affecting your personal data or settings.

  • Press the Windows key and type Control Panel, then press Enter.
  • Select Programs > Programs and Features.
  • Select Microsoft Office and click on Change.
  • Choose the option for Online Repair and click Repair.
  • Follow the prompts to finish the process.

Repair Office

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Gabriel E. Hall
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Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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