How to Set the Macro Security Level in Excel 2007

By Diane Koers

Security is an important issue when you’re working with Excel 2007 macros. If you open worksheets containing macros from outside sources, these macros could be harmful to your computer. By default, Excel protects you from running macros, but if you’re creating your own macros, you’ll probably want to change the protective security settings.

Follow these steps to view and set the macro security level in Excel 2007:

  1. On the Developer tab, click the Macro Security button in the Code group.

    The Trust Center dialog box appears with the Macro Settings tab selected.

    Change the security level in the Trust Center dialog box.
    Change the security level in the Trust Center dialog box.
  2. Set a security level:

    • Disable all macros without notification: Allows you to run only those macros stored in a trusted location. Click the Trusted Locations setting in the left pane to manage these trusted locations. Also, since the macros are automatically disabled, this option disables security alerts.

    • Disable all macros with notification: Displays a security alert when a workbook with macros opens. You can then decide whether to enable the macros associated with the workbook. This is the Excel default setting.

    • Disable all macros except digitally signed macros: You can run only those macros that are digitally signed.

    • Enable all macros: Allows macros to run without a notification. This can be helpful if you run a lot of macros, but be aware of the risk when using macros from unknown sources.

  3. Click OK.

    A list of trusted file locations.
    A list of trusted file locations.

A digital signature is an electronic, encrypted, secure stamp of authentication obtained from a commercial certification authority. Excel’s Visual Basic programming language contains a self-certifying digital signature tool, but because it doesn’t come from a third party, Excel still considers it unauthenticated and displays a warning box before running self-certified macros.