Automatically Load/Unload Excel Addins for specific users – XenApp/XenDesktop

Hello There,

Time for another quick write-up. I was asked by one of my customers to enable Excel add ins for a selected bunch of users. These users need access to TM1 and SUN Financial plugins which are a bit slow to load so it doesn’t make sense to have this plugin available to all the users.

The environment is based on  XenApp 7.5 site with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hosted Shared desktops and apps. Microsoft Excel 2010 is the where the add in needs to be integrated.


  • Step 1 is to find out the location of the Excel Add in – they are of 2 types, COM Add ins and Excel Add ins
  • Create a user policy via preferences to add a registry entry to the user’s HKCU hive

create a REG_SZ value and name it OPEN. The value is the path of the Excel Add in in quotes. if you have multiple add ins, call it OPEN1, OPEN2 and so on


Please note that if the Office software is 64 bit, the above must be done on the WOW6432Node  and also the version # of Excel/Office changes with a different Ms Office suite. I used Excel 2010 which is 14

There might also be cases where the plugins need to be selectively removed from automatic launch in Excel and for that, the relevant registry keys could be removed via group policy preferences.

This methodology can also be applied to non-Citrix environments and VDI solutions


2 thoughts on “Automatically Load/Unload Excel Addins for specific users – XenApp/XenDesktop

  1. Quick question. I have the opposite scenario where I want all users to have the plugin. However, when I install the plugin, only my admin account gets it…I’m in the same environment as you mentioned (7.5, Servero 2008). Any thoughts on this?

    • Are the users able to see the plugin when they open Manage COM Add-ins in Excel/Office? Also ensure that the applications are installed after changing the RDS host to install mode.

      If the users can see the plugin but just not enabled, then there are ways to get it enabled by tweaking the appropriate registry values.

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