2 Ways to Install Solver in Microsoft Excel

Do you want to install the Solver add-in for Excel?

Solver is an Excel add-in that helps you perform what-if type analysis. You can find optimal outcomes subject to given constraints. For example, you could use Solver to find the maximum profit based on your financial models.

The Solver add-in works by iterating through many scenarios until it finds the most optimal outcome.

Solver is an indispensable tool for any sort of optimization problem in Excel.

This post is going to show you how to get the Solver add-in for Excel.

Install Solver Add-in from the Excel Options Menu

The Solver add-in is available for all versions of Excel after 2007.

You don’t need to download it, but you will need to install it on your Excel desktop app before it can be used.

The Solver Add-in can be installed from the Excel Options menu.

  1. Go to the File tab in the Excel ribbon. This will take you to the Excel backstage area.
  1. Select the Options menu from the backstage area.
  1. Go to the Add-ins tab of the Excel Options menu.
  2. Select Excel Add-ins from the Manage dropdown list.
  3. Click on the Go button.

This opens up the Add-ins menu that lists out all the available add-ins you can install.

  • Check the Solver Add-in option in the Add-ins available section.
  • Press the OK button.

That’s it! The Solver add-in will be added to your Excel ribbon and can be found in the Data tab.

Install Solver Add-in from the Developer Tab

There is another place you can install the add-in from. The Developer will also give you access to the add-ins.

📝 Note: You might first need to enable the Developer tab. This is hidden by default.

  • Go to the Developer tab.
  • Click on the Excel Add-ins command in the Add-ins section of the ribbon.

This will open up the same Add-ins menu seen before.

  • Check the Solver Add-in option.
  • Click on the OK button.

This gets you the same result and the Solver add-in is installed and available in your Data tab.

If you already have the Developer tab enabled, then this method is a bit faster and you don’t need to navigate around the Excel Options.


Excel has many very useful but hidden features. The Solver add-in is one such tool.

Now that you know how to install the Solver add-in for excel, you can use it to solve complex optimization problems quickly and easily.

With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to find optimal solutions based on your custom Excel calculations.

Give the solver add-in a try and see how it can help you get the job done fast.

Have you used the Solver add-in yet? 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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