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How to Enable Macros in Excel

Enabling macros is dangerous since there is a chance of encountering issues when accessing a macro-enabled spreadsheet. As a result, Excel blocks macros from foreign sources for security considerations. This article teaches how to activate macros in Excel and the hazards associated with doing so.

What Are Macros?

Microsoft Excel macros are often used to automate specific procedures. A macro is a set of activities executed on a spreadsheet that often saves a good deal of time. However, macros may be abused, and there is a danger in activating macros on a document you acquired from an unknown source. Excel has macros disabled by default due to this danger. If you have a document with macros and trust the source or know it’s a secure file, you can enable macros on Microsoft Office programs.

Be Cautious

When enabling macros, keep the following factors in mind:

  • The VBA code file must be stored as a “Macro-enabled workbook.” The VBA code is not saved when the file is saved with another extension, so the macros are not enabled.
  • The “Enable all macros” option executes all macros without additional notice or authorization. It may become problematic if macros from both trustworthy and untrusted sources are enabled simultaneously.
  • The option “Disable all macros without notification” does not explain why macros are not functioning. To read the warnings, select “Disable all macros with notification.”

How to Enable Macros in Excel on a Windows PC

First and foremost, when allowing macros to work, decide the permission scope you want to enable. The consent might be limited, total, or non-existent (no permission). Follow this step-by-step tutorial to enable macros in Excel on your Windows PC.

  1. Open your Excel version on your PC.
  2. Click on the “File” tab at the upper-left corner, and choose the “Options” menu.
  3. Navigate to “Trust Center Settings” in “Microsoft ExcelTrust Center,” located in the dialog box.
  4. Select the access level you want to enable from the “macro settings” menu.
    • No macros with no notifications about them.
    • No macros, but still receive notifications about them.
    • Disable macros, but still let digitally signed ones through.
    • Give blanket permission to run all macros.
  5. Press “Ok.”
  6. Select “Enable all controls without restrictions and prompting” in the “ActiveX settings” option.
  7. Go to “Ok” to confirm the macro setting changes.

Quick note: Only ever enable all macro settings if the source is trusted.

How to Enable Macros in Excel on a Mac

Excel on Mac might work differently than it does on Windows PC. Depending on which version of Office you are using, you need to read through two tutorials.

Excel 2016 or Newer

  1. Open your Excel and click on “Preferences.”
  2. Choose the “Security and Privacy” option.
  3. You will have the same choices as the step-by-step tutorial mentioned above. You can select the “Enable all macros” option.

This option will allow every macro, good and bad, to execute without further notification. Choose this option only if you are confident that you will not open any harmful or hazardous files.

Office 2011

  1. Select “Preferences” from the Excel menu.
  2. Click the “Security” and then “Security Preferences” button under the “Sharing and Privacy” option.
  3. Choose one of the following options:
    • Uncheck the box labeled “Warn before opening a file” containing macros. Do this if you want to enable the file when you open it.
    • Ensure the “Warn before opening a file” with the macros check box is checked. Do this if you want to see a warning message when you open a file that has macros.

How to Enable Macros in Excel 365 Online

Some scripts may be launched on Microsoft Excel files utilizing a feature known as Macros. These could be incredibly beneficial, but they can sometimes be hazardous. If you want macros for a file, you may be asking how to activate macros in Excel in 365 Online.

  1. Find your Excel program and open it.
  2. Locate “File” in the upper-left corner of the program.
  3. Click on the “Options” from this menu.
  4. Pick out “Trust Center.”
  5. Choose the “Trust Center Settings” option.
  6. Select “Macro Settings.”
  7. Click the “Ok” button after selecting the desired macro configuration choice. These choices are precisely the same as they are on Windows and Mac.

How to Enable Macros in Excel When Greyed Out

Sometimes when you want to operate a program using a specific feature, you get “Greyed out.” Your button for enabling or disabling is grey, and after clicking on it, nothing happens. This can occur in the Excel program as well. However, you will still be able to enable macros using this guide:

  1. Press the Windows key and the R key on your keypad simultaneously.
  2. The Run box will appear; type in: GPEDIT.MSC
  3. Click “Ok.”
  4. Under the “User Configuration,” click on Administrative Templates.
  5. Go to Microsoft Excel 2010 (depending on your version).
  6. Click on “Excel Options.” And pick the “Trust Center” option.
  7. Go to “Trust Center Settings” and click on it.
  8. Choose the “Trusted Locations” option.
  9. Make sure that the VBA Macro Notification Settings are disabled.

Now, you can follow the tutorials above to enable the macros to feature on Excel.

You may need to execute the “gpupdate” or force command to have this modification take effect. This command is used to update group policies that are applied to your programs by your company. Here is how you can execute this command:

  1. Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard, or just click on your start-up menu.
  2. From the menu, press “Windows PowerShell.”
  3. Type in “gpupdate/force” and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Restart your computer.

Additional FAQs

Why should macros be enabled in Excel?

Excel macros are a sequence of instructions or directions that automates the user’s repeated tasks. You must run a macro with or without user confirmation to enable macros.

Macros are used to execute tasks fast and save time spent on inputs. Formatting data, constructing pre-defined programs, implementing specifically created procedures, and so on are examples of macros features.

Is it a good idea to allow macros in Excel?

It is good to allow only macros that originate from reputable sources or those the user has self-recorded. All additional macros from unknown or untrusted sources represent a security risk. Running a harmful macro may cause hard drive damage, corrupt MS Office installations, or the deletion of critical data files. If that happens, you can disable macros by accessing the default setting in Excel and clicking on “Disable all macros with notification.”

Although activating macros might be advantageous to the user, activating unfamiliar macros can be dangerous too.

Enable Safely

Enabling macros won’t take up much of your time. Even though we have mentioned different devices in our article, it does not mean that it gets more complex depending on the operating systems. This process is generally more of the same for each device. The only thing you have to consider is where the file originated from. Make sure that the files you’re receiving are safe and not malware.

What other Microsoft Office programs do you use? Let us know in the comment section below!

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.


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