How To Fix Broken ActiveX Controls In Excel?

While using MS Excel are you getting error messages “Can’t insert object”?

 Are you unable to access or change the properties of any active controls on worksheets?

Or while you are trying to refer to ActiveX Control as a member of a worksheet, you are getting error 438? Then this article is for you.

Undoubtedly Excel is a very important and highly used application of the Microsoft Office suite. But in many cases, this starts showing various errors or gets easily corrupted.

Today in this article I am going to describe how to fix Microsoft Excel ActiveX controls issues or repair broken ActiveX controls in Excel.

This is commonly faced due to the issue with the update of the ActiveX Control patch in Excel. You may be thinking if your Excel file is working properly, and then what is the need for this update.

These updates are necessary because it keeps your Excel file updated and help in performing better. If after installing the updated patch, you are facing a problem, then it can be fixed by following the steps mentioned in this article.

Why Is My ActiveX Control Not Working In Excel?

Usually, ActiveX control not working in Excel issue occurs when ActiveX controls are disabled. When the file that has the ActiveX controls is opened, along with that a yellow message bar appears with the shield icon and an enable content button.

Follow down the instructions, if you are completely sure that the controls are from a reliable source. Go to the Message Bar, and hit the Enable Content.

Other responsible reasons behind ActiveX Control Not Working In Excel are:

  • Virus Infection: One of the most common reasons for the corruption of Excel files is virus infection. A computer virus is a malicious program that is designed in a way that corrupts the file system of your computer or it may damage some saved files as well. If your computer is infected with any such kind of virus then the chances of corruption become higher.
  • Improper System Shutdown: Sometimes, your excel file may also become corrupted due to improper system shutdown. However, sometimes reasons like a sudden power cut or due to any other reason your computer turns off suddenly, and the chances to open MS Excel sheet Closes all the opened files improperly during the shutdown.
  • Large Size of Excel File: MS Excel file is not a database that can handle and manage a large amount of information. So, if your Excel file is too large in size then the chances of corruption is possible.
  • ­­Generation of bad sectors on your data storage device: Some of the data storage devices like external hard drive, local hard drive, pen drive, etc can develop bad sectors. If you have saved your Excel sheet in the bad sector then it may get corrupted.
  • MS Excel application issues: MS Excel application issues like an unexpected closing of an open Excel sheet or improper closing of an opened file can corrupt MS Excel files.

How To Repair Broken ActiveX Controls In Microsoft Excel?

Try out the following fixes to resolve to repair broken ActiveX controls in Excel.

1# Search EMD Files
2# Recover Data From Temp Files
3# Repair Corrupt Excel File

Fix 1#  Search The EMD Files

  1. Close all the Office applications.
  2. In Windows Explorer, you have to search for all *.emd files, while doing so, make sure that you have included all hidden system files and folders, and erase the *.emd files.
    This file would generally be displayed in the following ways:
  3. After erasing the file restart your PC.
  4. Now open the Office apps and test its controls.

You must remember that when you would open your workbook with embedded active control, the .exd files be recreated created again, but it would not cause any issues. In this way, the Excel VBA ActiveX controls problem would be resolved. If still, the problem exists, then it can be fixed with the help of third-party application software.

Fix 2# Recover Data From Temp Files

It is recommended that apply a manual repair method to fix Excel corruption and if you get unsuccessful then go with any other repair tool. Apply the below-given carefully to recover data from corrupted Excel files.

  • At the very first close the MS Excel application and re-open it. Try to open the affected file.

Recover Data From Temp Files

  • If you are unable to open the affected file then, reboot your computer and open MS Excel. Try to open the file again.
  • If you are still unable to open the file then, delete the contents of your C:\windows\temp directory then restart your computer. Try to open the affected file.

Recover Data From Temp Files 1

  • If the affected file is still inaccessible then apply the below-given trick:
  • Click on the Start button > Open run dialogue box and type-

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\excel.exe” /s

Recover Data From Temp Files 2

  • After it, try to open the file again.

Are you unable to open the file again? if YES, then it is suggested to scan the file for possible virus infection. Make sure that your macro heuristics scanning option is set to ON.

After completion of the scan if no virus has been found then, rename the file name and replace the .xls extension with the .doc extension. After it, try to open the file with Word.

If all the above-given tricks failed to open the corrupt excel file or resolve ActiveX control Excel issues then try another trick:

Try to copy the damaged Excel file to another location

  • If the file you are unable to copy to another location, then in actual there is a chance that the sectors on the disk may be damaged
  • If the data is very important, then it is suggested to go for any professional service

Fix 3# Repair Corrupt Excel File

Microsoft Excel Repair Tool is a special tool that is specifically designed to repair such kinds of files so that one can easily continue to work on that file. This repair tool searches for .xls files in the folder specified by the user. The file which is found to be corrupted will create a preview in the Excel Repair window. The interface is very simple, with a large toolbar of buttons to add files or folders to the application.

With this software, you can repair your corrupted Excel file. It can easily restore all corrupt Excel files and also recover everything which includes cell comments, charts, worksheet properties, and other related data. The corrupted excel file can be restored to a new blank Excel file. It has the ability to recover the complete data from the file and restore them even without modifying original formatting.

* Free version of the product only previews recoverable data.

Steps to Utilize MS Excel Repair Tool:



Can't Click Activex Button Excel?

At first, check out the type of control which you need to select. Mainly there are 3 different types of objects and control that you can change uniquely. You can easily get an idea of control just by looking at it.

Check the control type in which you are working make a right tap on the control and then do the following procedure:

  • If this shortcut menu is having the command Assign Macro then it’s a form control.


Show the right shortcut menus for group box form control add then ensure that you choose the perimeter of the group box. Not the interior of the group box.

  • If your shortcut menu is having the command Properties, that control is ActiveX control and your Excel is in the design mode.
  • If your shortcut menu is having the command Edit Text, then that object is known as “Drawing Tools”

After that perform this step|:

For the form control, tap to the control and ensure that the control border is being displayed.

  • For the ActiveX control:
  1. If the case Developer tab is not available, then display it.
  2. Tap to the FileOptions tab.
  3. Within the list of “Customize the Ribbon” drop-down, choose the Main Tabs.
  4. Choose the check-box of Developer.
  5. Ensure that Excel is in Design mode. After that go to the Developer tab> Controls group> enable the Design Mode option.

While you are working with so many control which is positioned beside each other. Zoom to the larger size for magnification of the view.

What Is An Activex Control And What Are The Risks?

ActiveX controls are mainly used to make applications that work on the internet through browsers. For example, include a customized app for collecting the data view to view some type of files and to display the animation.

ActiveX controls are generally used as command buttons, dialog boxes, and list boxes. MS Office programs allow you to make use of ActiveX controls for the improvement of some documents.


So, this is all about the Microsoft Excel ActiveX controls issues and how to repair the broken ActiveX controls issues in Microsoft Excel.

Hope after following the given solution you are able to fix ActiveX Controls in Microsoft Excel.

Make use of the given solution to fix the error and start using the Excel file without any hassle.

Good Luck!!!

How To Fix Broken ActiveX Controls In Excel?
Article Name
How To Fix Broken ActiveX Controls In Excel?
If you are facing issues after installing the ActiveX Control in Microsoft Excel, here follow the complete solution to fix broken ActiveX controls in Excel.
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Repair MS Excel Blogs
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Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.