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MC393185: Reminder: Microsoft Office default change – Blocking VBA macros in files from the internet

Updated July 20, 2022: We’re resuming the rollout of this change in Current Channel. Based on our review of customer feedback, we’ve made updates to both our end user and our admin documentation to make clearer what options you have for different scenarios. For example, what to do if your users have files on SharePoint or files on a network share. Please refer to the following documentation:

If you ever enabled or disabled the Block macros from running in Office files from the Internet policy, your organization will not be affected by this change.

Thank you.

Updated July 07, 2022: Based on feedback, we’re rolling back this change from Current Channel. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received so far, and we’re working to make improvements in this experience. We’ll provide another update when we’re ready to release again to Current Channel. Thank you.

VBA macros are a common way for malicious actors to gain access to deploy malware and ransomware. As a reminder (MC322553 Feb ’22), to help improve security, we are changing the behavior of Office applications to now block macros in files from the internet. Learn more in this blog post.

This change only affects Office on devices running Windows and only affects the following applications: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, and Word. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88883.

To help improve security, we are changing the behavior of Office applications to block macros in files from the internet.

MC393185: Reminder: Microsoft Office default change – Blocking VBA macros in files from the internet

Key points

  • Timing: We will communicate a new timeline via Message center.
  • Action: Review and assess impact

How this will affect your organization

Previously, it was possible for end users to enable these macros by simply clicking a button on the Trust bar.

Now, with this change, once a user opens an attachment or downloads from the internet an untrusted Office file containing macros, a message bar displays a Security Risk that the file contains VBA macros obtained from the internet with a Learn More button.

Once a user opens an attachment or downloads from the internet an untrusted Office file containing macros, a message bar displays a Security Risk that the file contains VBA macros obtained from the internet with a Learn More button.

The Learn More button goes to an article for end users and information workers that contains information about the security risk of bad actors using macros, safe practices to prevent phishing and malware, and instructions on how to enable these macros (if absolutely needed).

What you need to do to prepare

Enterprises should evaluate their use of macros in files obtained from the internet to determine how this new default behavior will affect their users.

Learn more

Message ID: MC393185
Published: 16 June 2022
Updated: 21 July 2022

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