Recent Update of Office causes problems with ActiveX controls


Yesterday, I installed a host of updates, including some of Office.
As it happens, I tried to add an ActiveX control to a worksheet and received an error.
After some research I discovered the cause of the error to be two-fold:

1. The controls were updated by the update
2. Excel did not clean up after itself properly and left some temporary files behind.

The solution is to:
– Quit Excel
– Open Explorer
– Select C: drive
– Search for *.exd
– Remove all files found.

Hope this helps other people who might be suffering from the same problem.


Jan Karel Pieterse

#####UPDATE Dec 22, 2014#####
Microsoft has published a so-called Fixit to make resolving this matter easier:

54 thoughts on “Recent Update of Office causes problems with ActiveX controls

  1. Didn’t work for me :(

    How many of this exd files have you found? I only found one: RefEdit.exd

    And when I restart Excel it generates the file again.

  2. Where did they turn up? The only .exd files I’ve seen are in the local user temp folders:

    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Local\Temp\Excel8.0\
    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Local\Temp\VBE\

    Meanwhile, ActiveX controls are getting flakier: the font-rendering glitches for controls with captions have been replaced by an intermittent bug in which ActiveX command buttons resize themselves on click.

    We should probably keep an ‘oddities’ discussion page to collect these reports: their intermittent nature means that you won’t see them unless you work with hundreds of different sheets in the course of a year.

  3. Removing the exd files did not work. I was able to fix the problem by uninstalling the windows update patch KB2596927.

  4. Works great , thank you very much!!

    Run the following batch file as administrator

    cd c:\users
    del /S /A:H /A:-H *.EXD

  5. Thank you very much, totally worked for me too! A lot of frustration went into this, so thanks!

  6. Thanks, After I ran the following batch file as administrator
    cd c:\users
    del /S /A:H /A:-H *.EXD Two *.exd file were deleted. I was then able to replace the existing controls with new ones.

  7. I self-diagnosed this problem a couple of days ago and removed/hid-from-future update 2596927 (apparently this is the Office 2007 one). Plan A.

    After reading above, I was wondering whether I should let the update install and do the delete{MSForms.exd} solution instead. PLan B, as it were. Then I read that Excel1948, who did that, had to replace his existing controls with new ones.

    Is all that replacing necessary with Plan B?
    My goal is NOT to have to re-build all the controls on my large, multi-page spreadsheet.


  8. Answering myself:

    1. Un-hid 2596927 (the Office 2007 patch) and let Microsoft install it (since it may fix other security issues than the danger of neutralizing my own spinner buttons!) No reboot necessary.

    2. Controls not working again,
    so I deleted “*.exd” files in:
    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Local\Temp\Excel8.0\
    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Local\Temp\VBE\
    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Local\Temp\Word8.0\

    Other people may have “*.exd” files in:
    C:\Documents and Settings\[User ID]\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms\
    C:\Users\[User ID]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\For ms\

    3. Again, without rebooting, opened Excel and my control-laden spreadsheet, and
    everything worked fine, just like before the update!

    Problem solved!

  9. Thank you Jan, for resolving a (very) frustrating problem, and also thanks to Debra Dalgleish at Contextures for pointing me to this solution.


  10. A client of the company I work for had this update break selectable radio buttons in the Word forms that they have built. Initially, to get them up and running quickly, we had to use Windows System Restore(I’m not proud of it) to bring them back to the point prior to when the updates were installed and then disable the Windows Update service until we came up with a solution going forward. Your fix with removing the *.exd files seems to work with their Word issue as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. I work with windows 8.1 and removed the *.exd files. This did not work. After that I removed two security updates KB 3013126 and KB 3008923. This didn’t work either.
    Any clue what to do next? Is Windows System Restore okay or should I wait for a windows fix? When will this fix be there? Has somebody any experience how quick a new update fix arrive?


  12. Thank You! >>> Solved!

    As a nube I learned much this past summer using XL/VBA to track blood pressure.
    The product helped isolate issues..eventually lowering BP by 3-5% (it’s a start).

    The past six weeks have been a wash-out in terms of time for tracking.
    With a “breather” tonight I loaded the template from last month and…..

    All good but no buttons.
    The buttons control everything.

    Dumping the EXDs solved the issue – No reboot.

    Many Thanks,


    Win7/64 SP1
    XL V14.0.7140.5002/64

  13. I tried all off the above and i still can’t use activex controls.
    Even after deleting and rebooting he keeps on creating this exd-files.
    I removed the update microsoft gives up to be the problem. I tried the fix file they give on
    Nothing works. Only reînstalling office will work i think.
    Or any other suggestions anyone?

  14. I have several clients, and have had some success with some and not with others. The most difficult of these is a client running Office 2103. (I am working on 2007.) Not only are Active X control not working, but no code is working. For example, I have a routine that protects a sheet and has a shortcut key combination attached to it. Upon pressing the key combination an error pops up. One other note: I send this client new files each day. Any file that I sent prior to December 10 works fine, even Active X controls.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

  15. Hi,

    Jan Karel,

    Thanks a lot for your solution …

    Everything is almost back to normal … Inserting a new CommandButton defaults to 21 instead of 1 … why a 2 gets inserted ???

  16. I hope my post is not too long.

    I’ve been watching this since the post went up.

    i’m running office h&s 2007 and have seen no probs.

    i’m not very smart, but tried following JKP’s MS fixit link. It talks about security update described in ms14-082.

    followed that link, it says for more info goto MKB 3017349. went there, it says “Microsoft has released security bulletin MS14-082” which is where I came from.

    so, if i’m not seeing any probs yet, and per ms14082 “all supported editions of Microsoft Office 2007” are affected, maybe I didn’t get the update.

    I can’t figure out how to tell, or what to do, or if i need to do anything.

    any thoughts ?

  17. Since it seems to be an Office problem VBA should be able to repair it:

    Sub M_snb()
    CreateObject(“”).Run “cmd /c del “”” & Split(Environ(27), “=”)(1) & “\*.exd”” /s”
    end sub

  18. Nice Article!

    I faced this problem a week back. Fortunately I knew about deleting the “*.Exd” files so I managed to get my workbook up and running in few minutes.

    Now I know the reason why this happened!


  19. Thanks to Jan Karel for the advice.

    I deleted my exd files about a week ago when I read the original post, then yesterday after a full shut down (with no warning of any “upgrade” installation activity), all my Excel buttons stopped working.

    I scanned and found two exd files, which were deleted, and buttons are working again.

    Why the problem recurred I don’t know, but if the same thing happens to anyone else, don’t panic! (But feel free to curse Microsoft for being so lax with “upgrade” testing).

  20. dDan: If you’re not sure about the Fixit, just removing the exd files should do the trick.
    Michael: It is quite likely your users still have some exd files on their system causing havoc.

  21. Thanks to all of you !
    I am using Excel 2010. Since the last week an Excel file I am using since 2009 is giving one Message.
    “can’t exit Design Mode because Control ‘SubmitCh’ can not be created.
    If I insert a Button(Form Control) that is working but If I try to insert ‘ActiveX Controls’, the above appears.
    I have deleted all the .exd files as said above. Update 2596927 does not seems to be installed on the system, as I could not find it.
    Any suggestions ! Badly stuck there.

  22. Hi, I have many users using my excel based tools and the deleting of exd files don’t work for everybody. Issues occurs in pockets and for individuals for absolutely no reasons. Any other fix found? Will reinstalling office work for those affected users?

  23. We have multiple users where deleting the .exd files has not resolved the issue. Running office 2010 but we also recently installed Lync 2013. I am curious to see if anyone still experiencing the issue even after deleting the .exd files is also running any versions of Lync?

  24. There is microsoft fix .MSI

    I dont remeber where i download it, but I can send by email to you.

    He works for me where remove .exd doesnt works.

  25. Yesterday I removed the .exd files and everything worked great. Today Lync 2013 was installed on my machine. Now activex controls do not work. Deleting the .exd files does not help. Running Office 2010.

  26. Here’s an interesting read

    I’m working with a place with dozens of installs and thousands of files. Deleting the exd files worked for all but two files on two machines. I finally gave up and was simply going to rebuild them from scratch. But if I’m reading this right, someone could have the update installed but not have the symptoms, and be causing someone who doesn’t have the update installed to have the problems.

  27. Good news!

    Microsoft has released an update on March 10, 2015 that should correct the problem with ActiveX controls.

    Word 2007:
    Excel 2007:
    PowerPoint 2007:
    Word 2010:
    Excel 2010:
    PowerPoint 2010:
    Office 2013:
    Word 2013:
    PowerPoint 2013:

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