How to Completely Disable Macros in MS Word

Macros embedded inside Microsoft Office files are a very common spot where bad actors love to hide malicious code. Allowing macro execution upon opening a malicious file can cause severe damage to your system and cause a wide range of malware payloads to download and deploy on your PC.

This article will show you how to completely disable macros in MS Word.

MS Word files are arguably the most common MS Office malicious macro vehicle used by bad actors. They can be particularly dangerous if you share your computer with other family members who are not as tech-savvy as you. When using the default MS Word settings, the software brings up a prompt and asks the user to manually allow macro execution, if they trust the source of the file.

However, if your computer is also used by people who might not fully understand the potential danger of this prompt and overlook it, while opening a malicious e-mail attachment, this can spell a lot of trouble for you as well.

This article will give you a few simple steps you can follow to completely disable the prompts and macros in MS Word, preventing any possible damage coming from malware-laced MS Word files.

To fully disable macro execution and prompts to allow macros in MS Word, do the following:

  1. Launch MS Word
  2. Click the "Options" menu item, located in the bottom-left corner of the window. If your instance of Word already has a file loaded in it, you can access the "Options" button by clicking "File" in the ribbon, then "Options" in the bottom-left.
  3. Once the new window pops up, click on "Trust center" in the left-hand panel.
  4. Click on the "Trust Center Settings" button.
  5. In the new window that comes up, click "Macro Settings" in the left-hand panel.
  6. In the right-hand panel, click on "Disable all macros without notification".
  7. Click "Ok", then "Ok" again in the window underneath.

This is all you need to do to completely secure your computer against MS Word macro-based malicious files. Even if someone attempts to open a Word file containing a malicious macro, the macro will be automatically denied execution, without the possibility of the user to accidentally or unwittingly allow it.

November 18, 2020

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