When opening a Word or Excel file, you may get the following security warning:
Filename.doc | xls contains macros.
Macros may contain viruses. It is usually safe to disable macros, but if the macros are legitimate, you might lose some functionality.
To fix this, you must first understand what a macro is. A macro is a little bit of (typically) user created code that runs within Excel \ Word. It can be triggered when you make changes to your document, open the document or perform some other action and can do anything that MS Office can do, from initiating a print job, changing some text in your Excel \ Word file to changing files on your computer.
Knowing what a macros is, you can see how macros might contain viruses, why it’s usually safer to disable macros and why doing so may cause loss of functionality if the marcos are legitimate. You are now in a position to know what to do with this security warning, so here are your options:
- You can choose to disable the macros by clicking the disable button. If you want to permanently disable macros (which is useful if your company doesn’t use them), you can do so by opening Microsoft Word, clicking Tools, Macro, Security… and select the Very High option.
- You can choose to enable macros by clicking the enable button. If you use Macros a lot and are comfortable with the risk of letting your antivirus software handle macros you can permanently enable macros. Do permanently enable macros, open Microsoft Word, click Tools, Macro, Security… and select the Low option.
Permanently disabling or enabling macros will prevent the Macros may contain viruses. It is usually safe to disable macros security warning from popping up each time you open a Word or Excel file containing macros.