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Disabled Macros

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Disabled Macros.

If you recently upgraded to new version of Excel, you may have run into a situation where the macros you created in the earlier version no longer run because they are disabled. This can be disturbing, particularly if you absolutely need the macros to get your work done.

The reason this happens is that the more recent versions of Excel (beginning with Excel 2000) include a macro security feature which wasn't present in earlier versions. The default security setting, when first installing Excel, is "High." This setting automatically disables any macros in any workbook that are not digitally signed by a "trusted source" (for more info, search for Macro Security in Excel's online help).

This automatically presents a couple of possible solutions. The first possible solution is to get your macros "digitally signed." Such a process is beyond the scope of this tip, but you can find help on the process in the online help files or at the Microsoft Web site.

Finally, you can lower the default setting for the macro security used by Excel. For instance, you can set it to "Medium," which results in only a warning message about the macros rather than an outright disabling. To change the security setting, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Macro from the Tools menu, and then choose Security from the submenu. Excel displays the Security dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Security dialog box.

  3. Choose an available security setting.
  4. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3367) applies to Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Disabled Macros.

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