- Microsoft decides to block Office macros by default, again.
- The users will receive a security message when they open a file coming from the internet and containing macros.
- The change will not affect Mac, iOS, Android, and web versions of the software suite.
At the end of last month, Microsoft announced that it had put blocking Office macros by default on hold due to community feedback. The company reversed this decision and released a related update to block Office macros by default. The latest update from the company states that it is going to block Office macros by default from the 27th of July.
Not all customers will see the change
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it was blocking Office macros by default in various Office apps. With this change, it was planning to improve security against malicious files downloaded from the internet. The company had been testing this update since then and planned to roll it out to all Microsoft 365 users in June. But this plan was suddenly put on hold on June 30th. The company reversed this decision and will finally execute blocking Office macros by default. With this update, users will receive a security message when they open a file coming from the internet and containing macros.
An article page linked to the Learn More button describes risks related to opening files with VBA macros. Also, the article provides information about allowing macros in case the user trusts the file. As a preparation, Microsoft recommends users work with the business units in organizations that use macros in Office files. The files should be opened from locations such as intranet network shares or intranet websites. The macros should be identified to plan what steps to take to keep using those macros. The users also can work with independent software vendors (ISVs) that provide macros in Office files from those locations. However, those vendors should digitally sign their code and then they can be treated as a trusted publisher.
As Microsoft is going to roll out this change to the Current Channel over the next few weeks, not all customers will see the change right away. Also, the change doesn’t affect Office on a Mac, Office on Android or iOS devices, or Office on the web.