Using Excel 2013 PI add-in in a domain environment

Idea created by jtravis@havchem.com on Jun 8, 2015
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    I wanted to write a simple tutorial on a problem with using Excel 2013, PI add-in in a domain environment. Hope these steps will help relieve some headaches.

     

    Scenario:

    I’m sitting at my desk when a ticket appears in my queue, “PI not working in Excel”. After viewing the Excel document, all PI links says “Key Not Found”.

    This is due when PI add-in doesn’t have permission to create the required registry keys. Running Excel as an administrator will create the key or giving “Everyone –Full Control” to the following key will work.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\PISystem

     

    The problem arises when user’s computers is on a company’s domain. I first have to run Excel as administrator to create the registry keys, then exit Excel and reopen as current login user to properly work. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it almost happens monthly as Microsoft pushes office updates. Which causes the whole office registry key to be deleted and recreated. Then I have to repeat this process for each users.

     

    The above fix seems to be a temporary fix.

     

    The solution:

    I was able to create a workaround by using GPO (Group Polices Object). This will set the registry key to allow full control for everyone, which allow PI add-in to create the required key and save me some headache.

    Create a new GPO and link to desire OU. (I edited the Default Domain Policy, not recommended)

    Browse to ‘Computer Configuration/Policies/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Registry’

    Right-click -> Add Key…

    Paste the following:

    MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\ClickToRun\REGISTRY\MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node

    Select “Configure this key then”

    Select “Propagate inheritable permissions on all subkeys
    with inheritable permissions

    Click “Edit Security…” button

    Add “Everyone”

    Select “Full Control”

     

    PI registry GPO.png

     

    Since I added this GPO, I haven’t once needed to run Excel as administrator.

    Hope this helps,