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Microsoft limits macros in Excel 4.0 to protect against malware attacks

Shaun M Jooste

Published

With malware and online security leading the headlines for 2022, Microsoft has decided to disable macros for Excel 4.0 by default. The action is in response to malicious code in sheet macros causing attacks to be executed from the documents. There’s a chance your macros won’t function until you enable them.

Usually, macros are excellent for when you want to create codes for repetitive tasks. You can develop pivot sheets or unleash a horde of executions with a simple function so you don’t need to spend hours doing it again. Well, hackers have found a way to hide malicious code in Excel that causes damage to your content and device.

Microsoft limits macros in Excel 4.0 to protect against malware attacks
Microsoft limits macros in Excel 4.0 to protect against malware attacks

To protect against these malevolent attacks, Microsoft moved to make the macro function disabled by default. Your coding or functions for them won’t work until you enable them again. You’ll also receive a stern warning if you try to turn them on, stating that there’s a significant risk to your online security.

Microsoft isn’t the only one taking action, as Google has also taken steps to defend against malware attacks. Google Drive issues warnings for unsecure files on any of the Google applications, such as Sheets and Docs. We get the feeling that both companies are simply covering themselves, ensuring that no one blames them for their devices becoming infected.

After all, you can still enable the functions they disabled, which makes you accountable for any security issues. It’s a smart move from Microsoft, but at least you know your Excel 4.0 app will remain safe. If you need to enable the macro function again, you can do so via the Trust Center Settings, when the warning banner appears, or temporarily in the Microsoft Office Security Options section.

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