How to Add Developer Tab in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding the Developer tab in Excel is a simple process that can be completed in just a few clicks. By customizing the ribbon, users can make the Developer tab visible and access its features which will come in handy for more advanced Excel tasks such as working with macros and forms.

After completing this action, you’ll gain access to a host of advanced features that are not visible by default in Excel. These features include the ability to work with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), create and manage macros, and insert various controls like buttons and checkboxes into your spreadsheets.


Excel is a powerhouse when it comes to data management and analysis. However, to unlock its full potential, you need to delve a little deeper into its set of features. One such feature is the Developer tab, a treasure trove of tools that is hidden by default. But why would you need the Developer tab, you ask? Well, it’s all about taking your Excel skills to the next level—creating macros, accessing VBA editor, and using form controls to make your spreadsheets more interactive.

Whether you’re a data analyst, an accountant, a student, or someone who relies on Excel for various tasks, knowing how to add the Developer tab can significantly improve your productivity. Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to make this powerful tool part of your Excel arsenal.

Step by Step Tutorial to Add Developer Tab in Excel

The steps listed below will guide you through the process of making the Developer tab visible in the Excel ribbon.

Step 1: Open Excel Options

Click on the ‘File’ tab on the ribbon and then select ‘Options’ at the bottom.

Step 2: Customize the Ribbon

In the Excel Options dialog box, click on ‘Customize Ribbon’ on the left-hand side.

Step 3: Check the Developer option

On the right-hand side, under the ‘Customize the Ribbon’ section, locate and check the ‘Developer’ checkbox.

Step 4: Save Changes

Click ‘OK’ at the bottom of the Excel Options dialog box to save the changes and close the dialog box.


Access to VBA EditorHaving the Developer tab enables users to access the Visual Basic for Applications editor, a powerful tool for creating custom functions and automating repetitive tasks.
Ability to Create MacrosThe Developer tab allows users to record, write, and manage macros, which can significantly increase efficiency by automating routine procedures.
Use of Form ControlsThe Developer tab provides access to form controls like buttons, checkboxes, and drop-down lists, which can make data entry easier and your spreadsheets more interactive.


Initial ComplexityFor beginners, the Developer tab might be overwhelming and lead to confusion with its advanced options and settings.
Possibility of ErrorsWorking with VBA and macros can be error-prone if not done correctly, potentially leading to data corruption.
Need for Programming KnowledgeUtilizing the Developer tab to its fullest requires some knowledge of programming, which may be a hurdle for non-technical users.

Additional Information

While the Developer tab opens up a wealth of possibilities, it’s important to use it responsibly. Creating and running macros or dabbling in VBA can lead to unintended consequences if not done carefully. Always make sure to save a backup of your work before experimenting with these advanced features. Additionally, familiarize yourself with Excel’s security settings to prevent unauthorized code from running on your machine.

Remember, with great power comes great responsibility! The Developer tab is a tool meant to make your life easier, not harder, so take the time to learn and understand its capabilities. Don’t be afraid to explore the extensive online resources and tutorials available—it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.


  1. Open Excel Options by clicking on ‘File’ and then ‘Options’.
  2. Click on ‘Customize Ribbon’ in the Excel Options dialog box.
  3. Check the ‘Developer’ checkbox under ‘Customize the Ribbon’.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to save changes and close the dialog box.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Developer tab used for in Excel?

The Developer tab is used for accessing advanced Excel features like the VBA editor, creating and managing macros, and inserting form controls.

Do I need to be a programmer to use the Developer tab?

While programming knowledge is beneficial, basic tasks like recording macros can be done without prior programming experience.

Can adding the Developer tab harm my computer?

Adding the Developer tab itself is harmless, but running macros or code from untrusted sources can be risky.

Is it possible to hide the Developer tab after adding it?

Yes, you can easily hide the Developer tab by unchecking it in the Excel Options.

What should I do if I don’t see the Developer tab after following the steps?

Ensure that you have saved the changes in the Excel Options dialog box and restart Excel if necessary.


In conclusion, adding the Developer tab in Excel is a straightforward process that can significantly expand the functionality of this already powerful software. Whether you’re automating tasks through macros, developing complex forms, or dipping your toes into the world of VBA, the Developer tab is your gateway to a more efficient and dynamic use of Excel.

Remember to proceed with caution and continuously educate yourself on best practices and security measures. With the Developer tab at your disposal, the possibilities are virtually endless—happy developing!