How to compile workbook to EXE for Excel 32, 64 bit or Universal with XLS Padlock

It is quite easy to compile a workbook to EXE. In fact, the Excel compiler XLS Padlock compiles your Excel spreadsheet into an executable application (EXE file) where your formulas, VBA code and workbook file are protected. No complex coding is required.

   Microsoft Office 2019 down to 2010 offers native Excel 64-bit versions.

If your customers have Excel 64-bit, you must provide them with a 64-bit executable file. Your Excel protection software XLS Padlock can fortunately generate 64-bit .exe files.

compile workbook to exe

  Indeed, it is quite easy to do. In XLS Padlock, use the “Build EXE for Excel” list (4th point):


Note that it is the bitness of Excel itself that matters, not Windows.

If you choose:

  • the “64-bit only” option, then the compiled EXE can only run on a 64-bit Excel machine.
  • the “32-bit only” option, then the compiled EXE can only run on a 32-bit Excel machine.

   If end users run a 64-bit .EXE file with a 32-bit Excel (and vice-versa), an error message will be displayed.

As you may not know what Excel bitness your customers have, XLS Padlock lets you build Universal EXE files that will work for any Excel bitness (both integrating 32-bit and 64-bit code). The counterpart is that your EXE files will be at least twice as large. For this solution, just select the “Universal” option in the list.

How to find the bitness of Excel

In this article, Microsoft explains how to find the version and bitness of your installed Excel.

For instance, for Office 2016: start Excel. Open the File menu, and then select Account and click About Excel.

Is there any restriction for compiling 64-bit and 32-bit EXE files for Excel?

Note that XLS Padlock can compile a 64-bit EXE file from a 32-bit Excel and so on.


Building 64-bit EXE files requires a Windows x64 edition.

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