Microsoft recommits to blocking VBA macros in Office by default

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft’s take on blocking macros in Office for the sake of security has been a bit confusing, first announcing a plan to block security nightmare VBA macros by default, then backtracking on that plan, then backtracking on that, but now the company has confirmed its official stance. It now will indeed block macros in Office by default.

Microsoft now says that starting July 27, you should notice that default Office settings will block the problematic VBA macros. Microsoft originally stepped back from this choice based on user feedback, but it now updated documentation to explain why and how Office blocks these macros. You’ll basically have to take extra steps outside of Office to enable the macros, either through File Explorer or by moving the file to a trusted location.

According to a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson seen in TechCrunch, Microsoft detailed that it paused the blocking of VBA macros in Office while it “makes some additional changes to enhance usability.” This change impacts current channel versions of Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word. The change also doesn’t affect Office on a Mac, Office on Android or iOS devices, or Office on the web.