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How to insert ActiveX controls after CANNOT INSERT OBJECT message
When using Excel, we owls have had problems inserting ActiveX objects after recent security updates. Here's a solution which worked for us!

Posted by Andy Brown on 29 January 2015

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"Cannot insert object" when adding ActiveX Control in Excel

A short blog to help others suffering from the same affliction!  So you're using Excel (perhaps running a training course ...), and you try to insert an ActiveX command button:

Inserting ActiveX button

Whether you should be using Form controls instead is another question!


Excel then greets you with this error message:

Cannot insert object

A not-that-helpful error message!


The reason this happens is because of a Microsoft security update - you can find more details here.

I suspect that this happens only when you're running different versions of Excel on the same computer.

The web page given above lists various solutions.  One that worked for one Wise Owl is to run a disk clean up:

Disk cleanup

How to find the disk cleanup utility in Windows 7, for example.

However, this didn't work for me - and nor did repairing Office 2010, or running any of the automatic Microsoft fixes listed on the webpage linked to above.

What worked for me

As so often it was StackOverflow which provided the answer (specifically this page), which was to delete this file in the folder:

C: \ Users \ [your user name here] \ AppData \ Local \ Temp \ Excel8.0

as shown here:

The .exd file to delete

Find and delete this file in your user profile folder.

This finally did the trick!

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