How to Find Hidden Macros in an Excel Spreadsheet

By Ken Burnside

Macros are a powerful feature in Microsoft Excel, and they allow programmatic control over several Excel functions. Applications that can take hundreds of cells of calculations can be done with a few lines of Macro code. However, Macros are also a serious security risk-- Macro viruses still circulate with infected Excel workbooks, and most Excel users don't know enough about Macros to find them and delete them.

Finding Macros with the Macro Tools in Excel

Step 1

Open Excel normally.

Step 2

Click on the "Developer Tab."

Step 3

Click on the button labeled "Macros." A dialog box will pop up. The dialog box will have all the Macros available on all open workbooks. You can select "Macros" there and delete them.

Finding Macros with the Visual Basic Editor

Step 1

Open Excel normally.

Step 2

Click on the "Developer Tab."

Step 3

Click on the button labeled "Visual Basic." The Visual Basic editor will pop up. On the left hand pane, there will be a list of every single Macro that Excel has loaded; this will include Macros that are hidden from the Macros dialog box. You can select "Macros" here and delete them individually, or look over their code.