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Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint

Learn how to reset customizations from PowerPoint's PCB files in PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013
OS: Windows Vista, 7 and 8

Have you wondered where PowerPoint stores all the customizations you make? Or all the customizations that third party add-ins do? All these are saved within a PCB (PowerPoint Settings) file. Whenever PowerPoint launches, it peeps inside the PCB file and sets up the customizations to make you happy! That’s such a great idea.

Unfortunately, sometimes customizations may go haywire, or add-ins you have uninstalled may have left their Ribbon tabs or other customizations intact! In another scenario, you may want to restore menu customizations to a pristine state -- almost like how the interface looked when you first installed PowerPoint. What do you do then? It’s easy – just look for the PCB files. The PCB file contains the database of menu customizations that took place within your earlier sessions using PowerPoint.

So to counter this issue, we need to rename to delete the PCB file:

  1. Make sure PowerPoint is closed. Then navigate to the path mentioned below:


    Substutitute <UserName> with the user name set for your computer.

    Note: You can also find these files by performing a Windows file search using "*.pcb" as the search term.

  2. Within this folder, you will find one or more PCB files, as shown in Figure 2 below. Why would you find more than one PCB file? That’s because each version of PowerPoint has its own PCB file.

    PCB file location
    Figure 2: PCB file location

    The table below shows PCB file names that correspond to each PowerPoint version:

    Version PCB file name
    PowerPoint 2007 PPT12.pcb
    PowerPoint 2010 PPT14.pcb
    PowerPoint 2013 PPT15.pcb

    Note: Cannot see file extensions such as PCB in your folder? Your file extensions may not be displaying – explore our Show File Extensions tutorial to learn more.

  3. Now you can either delete the PCB file or you can rename it with a .bak or another extension as shown in Figure 3 below. Either way, if PowerPoint cannot find a PCB file while loading, it will generate a new PCB file thus rolling back all PowerPoint's customizations to an earlier stage.

    PCB file renamed
    Figure 3: PCB file renamed

    Tip: Always keep a backup copy of your PCB file -- this may come handy when you want to reinstate PowerPoint's customizations.

    Note: Don't try this process while PowerPoint is still open.

  4. After the renaming is done, launch PowerPoint. You will notice the add-in customizations are now missing from the program.

  5. Also get back to the original folder that contained the PCB file -- you'll notice that a new PCB file was created as shown in Figure 4 below (compare with Figure 3).

    PCB file renamed

See Also: Removing Customizations from PCB Files in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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