Microsoft Starts blocking Office Macros By Default

Microsoft said today that it has restarted the implementation of VBA macro auto-blocking in downloaded Office documents after temporarily suspending it earlier this month due to user criticism. Changes to the company’s documentation have made it easier for users and administrators to grasp the options available when a macro is blocked. The Microsoft 365 message centre has been updated to reflect changes made in response to customer input, the company said.

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“We’ve updated our end user and admin documentation to make clearer what alternatives you have for certain scenarios.” On the case of users who have files in SharePoint or on a network share, what should you do? On the A potentially dangerous macro has been blocked support page, end users can learn more about what to do if macros are blocked in a downloaded Office document. In the Office page, the Internet-based macros are automatically prohibited by default for IT administrators.

Your organisation will not be affected by this change if you previously enabled or disabled the Block macros from running in Office files from the Internet policy,” Microsoft said. Macros in Microsoft Office documents downloaded from the Internet can be automatically blocked by using group policies, which can be implemented by anyone who uses Microsoft Office without waiting for the rollout.

Mockup of new Office macros security alert

Rolled Back In Response To A Lack Of Positive Feedback From Users

A decision made earlier this year by Microsoft to make it more difficult to enable Office VBA macros in documents downloaded from the Internet was reversed earlier this year. This announcement comes after Microsoft reversed its decision to make it more difficult to enable Office VBA macros in documents downloaded from the Internet (Preview).

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VBA macros hidden in malicious Office documents have long been a convenient way for threat actors to spread a variety of malware families through phishing assaults, and this new functionality basically put an end to that mode of distribution. Microsoft Office will automatically prohibit VBA macros in all downloaded documents following a rollout stage between April and June in 2022, the company stated in February.

When the new functionality went live for customers last month, Microsoft suddenly and without explanation declared that this modification will be turned back. For whatever reason, Microsoft didn’t make a public disclosure about this issue until many days after it was first reported in an M365 message center update. Redmond blamed this decision on user complaints.

Many users have stated that they were unable to re-enable macros after they had been automatically banned because they couldn’t locate the Unblock button. The unblocking of each Office document many times a day was a problem for some users.