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How to Turn Off “Enable Editing” in Microsoft Office 2010

Are you working in Microsoft Word 2010?  If so, how many times have you tried to jump into a document and start making some changes and nothing happens?  Oh, that’s right….. You forgot to click on that annoying, little, yellow button on the top of the document.  You idiot!

Protected View in Microsoft Office 2010

As annoying as it may be, there are valid reasons for this new security feature in Office 2010, which is an improvement over security features in previous versions of Office.  As explained by the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering Team

“With any piece of complex software, over time new file parsing exploits against it may be found. The older Office binary file formats had been susceptible to these types of attacks. Over the past years hackers have discovered ways to manipulate Office binary files so that when they are opened and parsed, they cause their own code embedded within the file to run. To address these binary file parsing attacks in Office 2007, several new XML based file formats were introduced.”

If you are generally savvy enough to not open documents from suspicious sources and enjoy an occasional walk on the wild side, well then here is a quick “how-to” on just turning the darn thing off permanently:

1.    Open any Office 2010 application (Ex: Word or Excel).
2.    Click on Office or File button, and select Options.
Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options
3.    Under Options select “Trust Center” in the left pane.
4.    Click on Trust Center Settings in the right pane.
Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options
5.    Click on the Protected View in the left pane of “Trust Center” window.
6.    Check/Uncheck Protected Mode Options below to fit your needs

Microsoft Office 2010 - Enable Editing - File Options

If you want to take advantage of this security feature in a customized way, you can actually go back to step 6 and set specific Trusted Publishers, Locations and Documents right from this Window.
Unfortunately, you need to apply these setting to each Microsoft Office application individually.

Hope this tip is helpful and saves you some time!

  • Hburger

    June 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Hello! After I open the attachment and click Enable Editing… where does the file actually go?

  • MLN

    August 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Thank you! This is such an annoying feature and wastes so much of my time. Thanks for teaching me how to get rid of it!

  • Joseph

    December 15, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Annoying as hell, and no, it does not have “many valid” reasons. It’s asinine.

  • Eschm

    January 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

    This is great. Thank You. I wrote a Macro in Excel that opens a template Word document. It was causing the Macro to error out bcause I did not know how to disable this piece. Great Post!

  • pharoahs

    January 30, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Thanks this was driving me crazy for sometime… I am relieved.

  • SBK

    April 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    FAB! This helps tremendously! That function is ANNOYING.

  • Zee

    May 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    The feature is so annoying. Didn’t know it had an actual important reason to be there. Thanks for the tip! Awesome post! 🙂

  • Shalini

    May 30, 2012 at 12:51 am

    THANK you KEVIN!!!

  • SL

    May 30, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Kevin that’s amazing!

    Thank you……………………………..

  • Al

    May 30, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for sharing this. This has been annoying me for months. I’ve managed all these years without this function, I tink I can continue without it!!!

  • Squiz

    June 25, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Yes – it is nice & easy to remove in Word, Excel, & PowerPoint….

    But how can I avoid the bloody thing in Access 2010????

  • Low

    June 26, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Thanks. Got your tip from Google Search.

  • FairSpeaker

    September 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Yes. I found this padlock is truly annoying wasted lots of time. Cannot believe Microsoft let such a garbage present user with new features of 2010 Word. I want my money returned and reverse to previous version.

  • FairSpeaker

    September 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Word 2010 has lots of new features. But cannot force the user to learn if all they want is type a few words and save the document. Need to default to basic setting without annoying the user. I don’t want to spent time to make a tool first if I want to cut a tree.

  • Alex

    September 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Which button to use to reverse the editing mistake in Microsoft word starter. It is very difficult to do certian simple things

  • tweety bird

    October 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I don’t know why my screen is greyed-out, cannot check off the protected view. Is it because my company has put restriction there so employees cannot make changes? Does anyone know?

  • Miami

    November 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thank you for your great explanation as to why the new feature exists in the first place. And then for your step-by-step how to eliminate it.

  • TK0503

    January 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thank you!!!!!

  • Chadz

    January 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Thank heavens….

  • sandeep

    January 18, 2013 at 3:12 am

    thanx you solve my problem

  • Craig

    January 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Whilst this feature is no doubt annoying (and the tip to disable it is most welcome) I think the statement ‘wastes so much of my time’ is a tad exaggerated.

  • Michael

    January 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Finally got rid of this annoying thing. The office products are awesome but they would have been much better if Microsoft didn’t develop them.

  • VD

    February 4, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Thanks a ton…… dear. Now i am got rid of this third class / use less feature from Microsoft

  • Long

    February 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

    thank you, it’s really useful

  • renitha

    February 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    2010: I have complex macros in my documents. How do I enable them? The “Embedded Buttons” to open other data tabs are not operational.

  • shabbar

    March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Is there a way to do this on Excel 2007? It tried to look for it but couldn’t find it.
    I hope someone can help me with this.


  • Dheeraj

    March 14, 2013 at 6:13 am

    any shortcut key for that??

  • Chris

    March 21, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Can someone please tell me why mine is greyed out for? I saw someone previously asked them same question, I don’t see a response to it. I tried to eidt the registry to turn this thing off, based on another article I found, that didn’t help either.

  • Cinny

    March 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    If the options are greyed out AND you are on a company network, it is evidence that your company has decided to limit your ability to change such settings for the programs you use.

  • vishal kanodia

    April 3, 2013 at 1:42 am


  • Rishi

    April 11, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Thanks 🙂

  • Jay Hill

    April 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    The solution is all well and good, but what if it doesn’t work? I’ve done this several times (as network administrator) and still can’t make it go away on some machines in the network. What next?

  • armin

    April 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    hi. thanks for your guideline but my word 2010 crash when I press enable editing. and after doing above and disabling protection, the file cannot be open and word crash and close. please advice. appreciate if you email me the solution. thanks a lot.

  • mahesh

    May 12, 2013 at 5:09 am


  • AS

    June 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    THANK YOU!!! Bless you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wininz

    July 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! My boss was either gonna kill me or throw their computer across the office because of this one feature. Seriously annoying!

  • macelius

    July 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    THANK YOU!!!

  • namlun

    August 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    thanks your posts

  • Turtle51

    August 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I am on a network and our Office 2010 is web-based. I tried the method above but every time I open an excel 2010 spreadsheet with a link I still have to enable editing. Would like to know how to get it to go away.

  • maxine

    August 29, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I’m on Windows 7/Office 10. I tried the method above, and it still doesn’t work. Would *love* a fix for this annoying ‘feature’

  • Jennifer

    September 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I can’t thank you enough for making me laugh so hard while at work today. Your “enjoy an occasional walk on the wild side” comment was hilarious. Oh, and thanks for tip. Turns out I’m adventurous like that. 🙂

  • Cathy Dunham

    October 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Can’t tell you “Thank You” enough, Kevin! I have complete trust in my Norton software to handle all these types of issues. MSO has not only become an annoying controller, but has made simple to advanced tools more difficult to find and use. I’d been an advanced MSO user and trainer for 16 years. Since switching careers back in 2004 (to Web Marketing), I’m so glad I’m not teaching it – because I’d have too many negative ideas that would pass on to the users. Grumbling is not a good asset for a trainer!! LOL Anyway, thankfully, I can find professional MSO software help from people like you. You are definitely value-added!

  • Mike

    October 23, 2013 at 6:01 am

    My son is totally blind and only uses keyboard commands
    He relies on audible from his screen reader software.
    This tip will help him

  • S. H. Redder

    November 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I was on a sailing trip with my family off the coast of Africa. Suddenly, our boat was boarded by Somali pirates and we were taken hostage. The only way our captors would let us go is if we could disable enable editing on their PCs. I managed to Google this article and quickly implement the changes. I can’t thank you enough Kevin for saving my family’s life.

  • Rahul Payle

    December 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Any Shortcut Key For the Enabled or Select directly to editing ?
    Any Shortcut Key for Protected view enabled directly by keyboard ?
    Shortcut Keys???????????

  • salman

    December 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Thank you!

  • Pramod.K.S

    February 10, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Thank You

  • Arun Jaswal

    February 13, 2014 at 2:24 am

    thanks for giving your perfect solition…

  • Arun Jaswal

    February 13, 2014 at 2:24 am

    thanks for providing your solution

  • Harsha T S

    February 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Worked for me.., thanks a lot 😉

  • Stefan

    February 26, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Duffy

    March 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I got rid of the enable window but I’m still being asked “would you like to open or save?” every time I open an Excel attachment from Outlook. There’s an ‘ask this every time’ box checked but I can’t uncheck it. I went to the Outlook trust center to work with attachment options but the security setting is ‘default’. How to I turn ALL of these things off? I work a lot in Excel and I receive invoices created in Excel every month from a trusted source. I just want to open, print and close in quick succession as I get 15-20 of these attachments at the beginning of each month. Thanks…

  • Pegi

    March 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

    None of my settings were enabled yet I still get “enable editing” message. What can I do? I have Word 2010.

  • Steve

    April 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    How do I do this in Office 2013?

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  • Jerry

    May 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Thanks but it didn’t work. I still can’t my document that I created by combining three documents.

  • pranay kumar dubey

    June 27, 2014 at 9:14 am

    yes, issue resolved

  • Julie

    July 4, 2014 at 3:37 am


  • Chris

    July 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for your post! It was driving me crazy. It works the same way in Office 2013.

  • Corporate User

    July 31, 2014 at 8:50 am

    When I turn off this feature, it changes all the reviewing changes to my color (red) instead of leaving them the color of the reviewer. Can you help?

  • Julian

    October 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Simple. straight forward and useful

    Thank you

  • saranya

    October 24, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Thank you..this is working

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