4. Macros and Security Settings

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By default, Macros are disabled when you open an external macro-enabled file. In this lesson, I'll tell you why this is the case and how to configure your security settings in Excel.

Lesson Notes

Macro security settings

- By default, Excel will disable Macros but notify you when a Macro has been blocked.
- It does this for a good reason, malicious code can be transmitted in macro-enabled workbooks
- Only enable macros if you trust the source of the macro-enabled file


If you've tried to open a Macro enabled file before with an XLSM extension, you might have noticed that Excel disables Macros by default and leaves a security warning above the Excel Sheet. Excel does this for a very good reason, it's easy for hackers to add malicious code to Macros that can damage your computer. As a result when you open a Macro enabled workbook in Excel this warning will appear.

Let's go to the Macro security settings in the developer tab to learn a bit more.

And in this section we see that there are four options available for Macro security.

The first option disables all Macros as a rule and doesn't tell you when it has done so.

This can be considered the maximum security option.

The second option, which is almost always the default, disables Macros but tells you when this happens, so you can enable the Macro if you trust the source. The third option disables Macros unless the author has added a digital signature to the Macro lastly we have the option to enable all Macros. I highly recommend you do not choose this option, as you leave your computer very exposed to malicious code.

I tend to stick with option two which is the default, allowing you to choose whether to enable the Macro depending on whether you trust the source. If you do trust the source, all you need to do is hit enable content and now you can access the Macro.