2 Ways to Add the Developer Tab in Microsoft Excel

This post is going to show you how to add the Developer tab to your ribbon in Microsoft Excel.

If you’re going to be using VBA or recording macros in Excel then you’re going to want to add the Developer tab to your ribbon.

Excel’s Developer tab is hidden by default and you will need to go into the options to enable it.

The Developer tab will allow easy access to various features not otherwise accessible.

  • Open the visual basic editor (VBE).
  • Record macros.
  • Run your recorded macros and VBA modules.
  • Add in form controls such as combo boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, etc.
  • Manage your Excel Add-Ins.

Follow these instructions to get the Developer tab to your Excel ribbon.

Add the Developer Tab from the File Menu

When you first install the Excel desktop app, you will notice the Developer tab is absent from the ribbon.

But this tab can be easily added to your Excel desktop app.

Follow these steps to show the Developer tab to your Excel ribbon menu.

  1. Go to the File tab.
  1. Select the Options menu.

This will open up the Excel Options menu where you will be able to customize the tabs and commands you see in your Excel ribbon.

  1. Go to the Customize Ribbon section.
  2. Check the Developer option in the Main Tabs list.
  3. Press the OK button.

💡 Tip: Use the Up and Down arrow buttons to the right of the Main Tabs list to move the Developer tab location.

The Developer tab will now be enabled and you should see it as an option in your ribbon tabs.

📝 Note: The Developer tab is not available in Excel online or the Excel mobile app! VBA is only supported in the desktop version of Excel.

Add the Developer Tab with a Right Click

There is a slightly quicker way to insert the Developer tab into your ribbon rather than going into the File menu.

Right-click anywhere on the Excel ribbon then select Customize the Ribbon from the right-click menu.

This will open the Excel Options menu on the Customize Ribbon section and you will be able to enable the Developer tab from there!


Excel has a hidden ribbon tab that allows you to access many VBA commands.

If you want to use VBA macros in Excel, then you will need to enable this ribbon tab in your Excel app.

Did you know about the Developer tab? Are you already using it to automate your Excel tasks with VBA? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and qualified actuary with over 15 years of experience. He has worked in a variety of industries, including insurance, ad tech, and most recently Power Platform consulting. He is a keen problem solver and has a passion for using technology to make businesses more efficient.


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John MacDougall

I’m John, and my goal is to help you Excel!

You’ll find a ton of awesome tips, tricks, tutorials, and templates here to help you save time and effort in your work.

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