Edit Macro Security Settings for Microsoft Office Word

Tighten these settings to protect your computer from malware

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Macros for Microsoft Word are one of the best ways to boost your productivity but they're not without risk. Macros are customized recordings of custom commands and actions to be performed in Word that streamline frequently performed tasks. When recording a macro, you can either assign the macro to a keyboard shortcut combination or to a button above the ribbon. 

These instructions apply to Microsoft Word 2019, 2016, 2013, Word for Microsoft 365 and Word for Mac.

Security Risks and Precautions

Macros from unknown or unreliable sources may contain malicious code that compromise your security and privacy.

The default Macro security level in Word is set to high. This setting means that if a macro does not meet one of the following two requirements, Microsoft Office Word will not allow it to run.

  • The macro you are trying to run must have been created using the copy of Microsoft Office Word that is installed on your computer.
  • The Macro you are trying to run must have a digital signature from a verified and trustworthy source.

The reason that these security measures have been put in place is that people reported malicious code implanted in macros to Microsoft in the past. While this default setting is ideal for protecting most people, it will make it a bit more difficult for you to use macros from other sources that may not have digital certificates. There is, however, a workaround for those of us who need more lax security.

Word 2010 and Later

To edit your macro security settings in Word 2010, 2013, and Microsoft 365, you have several options.

Option 1

  • If you open a document that has macros enabled, you will see a yellow bar at the top of your screen with a button that says Enable Content, which you can use to enable the macros for that document for single use.

Option 2 

  • If you see the yellow Enable Content bar, you can also make the document a “Trusted document” so that the macros in that document will always be allowed. If you want to make allow macros in the document follow these steps:
  1. Press the File button when you see the warning bar.

  2. Select Enable Content in the Security Warning area.

  3. Select Always in the Enable All Content section to mark the document as trusted.

Option 3 

  • You can also change the macro security settings in the Trust Center similarly to the Word 2007 method.
  1. Press File on the top left corner.

  2. Press the Options button.

  3. Select Trust Center then Trust Center Settings.

  4. On the resulting page, click Macro Settings.

  5. Select the Disable all macros with notification option so that the macros will be disabled but you will receive a popup window asking if you want to enable macros individually.

  6. Select the OK button twice to make the changes.

  7. Restart Word to finalize your changes.