We recently wrote a post about the dangers of macros and the potential security risks they pose—specifically with Ransomware. As a follow up, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to disable macros for both Mac and Windows. Note, that the particulars will change based on your operating system. The screenshots below were taken on the most recent version of both. For more detailed instructions, go here.

Disabling Macros: Windows 10

Open a document or spreadsheet and click “File” at the top left of the screen.

You’ll see a list of options on the left. Select “Options”—second from the bottom.

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This will take you to another set of options. At the bottom, click “Trust Center”, then “Trust Center Settings”.

Welcome to the Trust Center. On the left, you’ll see “Macro Settings”. This is where you can disable (and enable) macros. Newer versions of Office should default to “Disable all macros with notification”, which is the recommended setting.

Disabling Macros: OS X (version 10.11.4)

The Apple version of Microsoft Office does not include the “Trust Center”. Instead, we’ll go to the “Security & Privacy” settings.

At the top left of the screen, click on “Excel” (or equivalent, depending on which program you are running), then select “Preferences”.

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You’ll see Sharing and Privacy options at the bottom; double-click “Security & Privacy”.

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This will take you to the Macro Security page. Be sure that the “Warn me before opening a file that contains macros” box is checked. This should be the default setting.

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You will now be warned anytime you open a document that contains macros. Yay security!

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Justin Bonnema

Lead Writer at SAC
Justin left the music business to focus on his true passion: writing. A talented writer and detailed researcher, he’s involved in every department here at SAC to make sure all content is fresh and up-to-date. In his spare time, Justin writes about fantasy football for FootballGuys.com and practices mixology (he makes a mean margarita).