How to Enable Excel Macros

By Paul Higgins

Learn how to enable macros in Microsoft Excel, either for a single spreadsheet or for all documents.

As a security precaution, Excel disables macros by default in untrusted spreadsheets. Enable macros either for a single spreadsheet or for any spreadsheet by, respectively, labeling the file as a trusted document or by editing the Trust Center settings.

Enable Macros in a Specific File Permanently

When you open a spreadsheet that contains a macro in Excel, the program automatically displays a warning message stating that macros contained in that file have been disabled.

Clicking the Enable Content button next to the warning message designates the spreadsheet as a trusted document and enables its macros permanently -- even if you close and reopen the file.

Warning

Since Office macros can contain computer viruses, enable macros only for files that come from a source you trust. If in doubt, consider scanning the Excel file with a reputable anti-virus program before enabling the embedded macros.

Tip

Alternatively, open the File tab, click Enable Content and select Enable Content.

Enable Macros in a Specific File Temporarily

To load the spreadsheet's macros on a one-time basis, edit the file's security options:

Step 1

Open the File tab, click the Enable Content button and select Advanced Options.

Step 2

Select Enable Content for This Session and click OK to finish enabling the macros.

Microsoft Office Security Options screen.

Enable Macros for All Files

Prevent Excel from disabling macros in all spreadsheets by editing the program's Trust Center settings.

Tip

  • Editing Excel's Trust Center settings does not modify the macro settings of your other Office applications.

  • In a corporate environment, your system administrator may have disabled access to the Trust Center as a safety precaution.

Warning

To protect your computer from malware, consider enabling macros for all spreadsheets only if you are confident all Excel files you receive are free of malicious macros.

Step 1

Open the File tab and select Options.

Step 2

Select Trust Center from the sidebar and click the Trust Center Settings button.

The Trust Center contains Excel's security and privacy settings.

Step 3

Click Macro Settings, select Enable All Macros and click OK to confirm your settings. Alternatively, enable only macros that a developer signed digitally by selecting Disable all macros except digitally signed macros.

Excel Trust Center.