Disabling the Excel Compatibility Checker

Due to several comments about how much people hate this thing, I've pulled together a very rough, very simple add-in.  It's goal is to disable the Compatibility Checker as much as possible.

I'm being quite up front that this was a VERY quick job, not well tested, and it can certainly be improved.  But it's a start.  🙂

It will disable the Compatibility Checker on all files that have already been saved at least once in Excel 97-2003 format.  New files are a little more problematic, though, as they seem to kick off the check even if you tell it not too.

You can find the add-in on my main site.

Oh.. and comments/improvements are welcome.  Please post them here.  🙂

10 thoughts on “Disabling the Excel Compatibility Checker

  1. Hi Ken,

    I tried the add-on and its not working for me.

    I am using perl script (Win32::OLE) to create an excel sheet and specifying some background color and font colors in it.
    This compatibility checker is popping up before I could save the file.
    If possible please fix it.


  2. Hi Frank,

    A Perl script? Honestly, I have no idea how to do this, and I'm not sure how the Add-in would react to it either. Sorry, don't really know what you tell you here...


  3. I have no idea why could Microsoft not have allowed Application.DisplayAlerts to bypass this when saving in code. It's just another example of how they do not grok how Excel is used in the real world.

  4. Hi,

    I like the idea about this but I got problem using it. I download your componant and I open excel and did all things which you explain like

    1. Open Excel
    2. Excel Options
    3. Add-Ins
    4. Go...
    5. I select your componant and when I click on Ok button here than it gives me error and its not saving it.

    Microsoft Office Excel cannot access the file 'C:\DisableCompatChecker.xlam'. There are several possible reasons:

    1. The fine name or path does not exist.
    2. The file is being used by another program.
    3. The workbook you are trying to save has the same name as a currently open workbook.

    I download this file from your site and put in C:\ and also I restart my machine but still it gives me saem error. I also try with closing all workbook but same error.

    Please let me know what to do and also let me know how do I stop for first time also because I am converting old fiels with new using batch process.

    Chandresh Patel

  5. I would suggest that Excel doesn't see C:\ as a Trusted Location. Try putting it in a subirectory like C:\MyAddins and see if that works better.

  6. I use SAS to auto-open excel and update pivot tables. Your fix worked like a charm! Many thanks!

  7. Ken,
    The plug-in seems to work for .xls, but what about .xlt? I've saved some files as .xls and it doesn't ask me, but when I save anything as a .xlt it does. Anyway around this? Thanks, great idea making this by the way...this checker annoys me!

  8. Great!

    Only suggestion is a change in the installation steps, maybe place in the following folder "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12\ADDINS", as Excel doesn't copy the addin, and most people will delete the file after install.

  9. Hi Travis,

    Thanks for the comment. You could, certainly, although I'd never place an addin in the program files directory. If I were going to do something like this, the most appropriate place would be to put it in C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\AddIns as this will show it in the Addins list without browsing. Regardless, that's always been too buried for my taste. I actually set up a file on my data drive for my addins. This way they are all in one place, I can find it easily, and I know it gets backed up when I backup my data directory.

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