Developer Tab in Excel: Add, Use and Remove

You want to utilize one of advanced features of Microsoft Excel but are stuck at the initial stage: where’s the Developer tab? The good news is that the Developer tab is available in every version of Excel from 2007 to 2019, though it is hidden by default.

This article helps you to activate this hidden features and understand all the options available in Developer Tab.

What is the Developer Tab?

Developer Tab in Microsoft Excel is a built-in tab which provides the features needed to use Visual Basic for Application (VBA) and perform an automated operation to make our Excel related job easy and quickly.

Developer Tab is hidden by default. It must be visible in the Ribbon section of Excel so that you can leverage the power of all the advanced options.

Developer Tab

How to Add the Developer Tab in the Excel Ribbon?

The Developer Tab is not available in ribbon section of Excel. It’s usually hidden by default, and the user needs to activate it from the Option section of File menu in Excel Window.

Following are the steps to make the Developer tab visible in the main ribbon in Excel window:

1. Click on the File menu on the top left-hand corner of the Excel window and then click on the Options button from the drop-down menu to open the Excel Options window as follows.

Option Window


Alternatively, you can Right-click anywhere on the Excel ribbon and then click Customize the Ribbon to open the Excel Options window.

Option Tab Alternative

2. ‘Excel Options’ window appears on the screen. Click on the ‘Customize Ribbon’ button available in the list of options.

3. Now you can find ‘Developer’ option under ‘Main Tabs’ in ‘Customize the Ribbon’ list box available on the right side of screen.  Click on the Developer checkbox to select the box. Once it is done, click on the ‘OK’ button to add the Developer Tab in Ribbon section and close the Excel Options window.

Enable Developer Tab

4.The Developer tab will be visible on the main tab in the Ribbon section of Excel window. The tab contains four different groups having several important features which are required to automate the tedious and repetitive task in Excel. Developer Tab will remain visible unless you uncheck the Developer option or uninstall the Microsoft Office suite.

Developer Tab Details

Developer Tab Sections & its usage

Below mentioned are Tab groups available in the Microsoft Excel Developer Tab:


Excel has an inbuilt programming language named Visual Basic for Application (VBA). Under code group, you can find all the controls and options which are required for automation. It has dedicated buttons to record new macros, run macros, and even manage existing recorded macros. You can also find a button to open the Visual Basic for Application (VBA) Editor to create and edit the automated Excel based application.

This option also allows users to set the Macro security e.g. disabling or enabling macros settings.

Code Group
Code group


Add-ins are additional pre-developed small programs that users can install to use the additional features, functionalities, and commands which are generally not available in MS Excel. Once you install Excel for the first time, add-ins are not immediately available. You need to install and activate the required add-ins first.

Some of the Excel add-ins available in Excel are: Solver, Analysis Tool pack, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map, etc.

Add Ins 1


Controls group provide several options to switch to design mode, insert controls, set the properties and available controls and view the code.

In Excel, there are two types of controls which can be used on worksheet forms. They include Form Controls and ActiveX Controls. Form Controls are simple to use with limited options. On the other hand, ActiveX is more advanced, and it provides flexibility to design the User Interface (UI) in Excel.

Control groups


The Developer tab also provides option to import & export Extensible Markup Language (XML) data that is created from other databases and application.

It also enables you to exchange data between different applications.

XML group

Please watch our YouTube tutorial.


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