Macro Security Settings

How to use the macro security settings in Excel and check for malicious macros. Watch the video below:

Macro security Settings

Let’s start Excel. Once Excel fires up we can also open the Visual Basic Editor (VBE). Now we can close the open workbook without closing the VBE. Next we open a macro enabled file. A new window with the title Microsoft Excel Security Notice pops up. It has the following message:

Microsoft Office has identified a potential security concern.
Warning: It is not possible to determine that this content came from a trustworthy source. You should leave this content disabled unless the content provides critical functionality and you trust its source.
File Path: C:\Users\takyar\Desktop\My First Macro.xlsm
Macros have been disabled. Macros might contain viruses or other security hazards. Do not enable content unless you trust the source of this file.
Microsoft Excel Security Notice

We click ‘Disable Macros’ or the red cross on the right top of the window. The file opens but if we try to run the macro by going from the Developer tab to the Code group and select Macros, we get the following message:

Because of your security settings, macros have been disabled. To run macros, you need to reopen this workbook, and then choose to enable macros. For more information about enabling macros, click Help.
Microsoft Excel window

If we click OK, we can view the macro.

Next we close the file and open it again. This time we do not see the Microsoft Excel Security Notice window. Instead we see a highlighted ‘SECURITY WARNING Macros have been disabled’ with a button next to this message having the title ‘Enable Content’. We can click on ‘Enable Content’ if we wish to run the macros.

Let’s click on the developer tab and select Macro Security from the Code group. A new window pops up with the title ‘Trust Center’, Macro Settings is selected and the option button ‘Disable VBA macros with notification’. This is the reason why we are always warned by Excel whenever we open a macro enabled file.

Therefore if we are not sure about the source of the macro enabled file, we should disable it and check the macros carefully.

We can also add a new folder to the ‘Trusted Locations’ and place all our macro enabled files in this folder as shown in the video. In this manner we can protect our computer from malicious macros.

Macro security Settings
Macro security Settings