Enabling Macros for Microsoft Office


  • How do I enable unsigned macros in MS Office?


  • Oregon State University
  • Community Network
  • Microsoft Office 


You may require the use of legitimate macros (often unsigned) when working with Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, or other office applications. Macros are automatically disabled on some university machines, due to exploitative ransomware such as "Locky", but they can still be manually enabled. The following steps will show you how to create a trusted location to run macros from.


Method 1

  1. Launch the Office application (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, etc.)
  2. Go to: File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Trusted Locations
    1. Check “Allow Trusted Locations on my network”
    2. Click on “Add new location...”
  3. Select "Browse..."
    1. Choose a folder where you needs to run your macros from.
      You will want to choose a safe and isolated folder so that malicious macros won't be accidently moved into the folder.  

      Note: You need to trust the location where the file containing the macros is located. This may not be the same location that your document is located in when using supplemental macro enabled files such as templates.

    2. Check “Subfolders of this location are also trusted”
      Be careful with this step as you don't want to have this option checked and accidentally allow an entire shared drive or user profile.
  4. Restart the office application and test your macro.

Warning: When you set a directory as a trusted location, it removes all security checks from files in that location for all of Office. Be careful which locations you set as trusted. It is not a good idea to trust the entire C: drive or the Downloads folder, for example.

NOTE: If the user doesn't have a shortcut for running the macros on Excel or something like that, You might have to enable the Developer tab on Customize the Ribbon. Go to File, click on Options and Click on Customize Ribbon. You should see a list of tabs on the right side, Enable the Developer option


For assistance, contact the IS Service Desk.


Article ID: 28046
Thu 3/23/17 8:27 AM
Thu 6/11/20 2:33 PM