Microsoft will block downloaded macros in Workplace variations going again to 2013

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Microsoft will block downloaded macros in Office versions going back to 2013

Within the curiosity of combating ransomware and different malware, Microsoft is planning a major change in how its Office software handles macros: when recordsdata that use macros are downloaded from the Web, these macros will now be disabled solely by default. Present variations of the software program supply an alert banner on these sorts of recordsdata that may be clicked by, however the brand new model of the banner provides no approach to allow the macros.

The change might be previewed beginning in April in Workplace model 2203, earlier than being rolled out to all customers of the repeatedly up to date Microsoft 365 model of Workplace starting in June. The change may also be enabled for all at the moment supported standalone variations of Workplace, together with variations 2021, 2019, 2016, and 2013. The Mac, iOS, Android, and net variations of Workplace will not be affected.

Workplace can observe which macros had been downloaded from the Web or from a networked share utilizing a “Zone.Identifier” tag, no less than when the file is saved to an NTFS quantity. This so-called “mark-of-the-web” (MOTW) is already utilized in Workplace—in the event you’ve ever downloaded a doc or spreadsheet and been knowledgeable that enhancing has been disabled by default, thank an MOTW. When Workplace sees a mark-of-the-web tag, this system opens that file in read-only Protected View mode simply in case the file is malicious.

Clicking the
Enlarge / Clicking the “unblock” button right here can take away the mark-of-the-web and re-enable VBA macros.

Andrew Cunningham

If customers actually wish to, they may nonetheless be capable of use these macros comparatively simply. Open the properties for any Web-downloaded file, and you’ll click on an “unblock” button that removes the mark-of-the-web tag. As with so many safety enhancements, the change just isn’t about making issues not possible to take action a lot as it’s about placing up ankle-height fences to guard customers from unintended clicks or easy errors.

Organizations that depend on macros may also be capable of change this setting through Group Coverage. The organizations can accomplish that by inserting recordsdata with macros in “Trusted Places” or by digitally signing their macros.

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