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Last week, Microsoft unexpectedly changed its mind about blocking Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros in Office downloads effective June 30, much to the surprise of IT administrators. As it turns out, this is a temporary solution. The company is still planning to disable VBA macros by default to improve security, but this will happen a little later.
“Based on user feedback, we have temporarily deprecated this change in order to make some additional changes to improve usability.” explained Kelly Eikmeier, General Product Manager at Microsoft. “This is a temporary fix and we intend to implement this change by default for all users.”
Microsoft has not yet announced the changes it plans to make to improve usability. Initially, the company wanted users to go to the properties of the downloaded Office file and agree to unlock the file, after which Office would allow macros to run. Of course, users would need to be trained in this way, so Microsoft probably decided to make it easier to enable macros for trusted files.
Note that now macros are also blocked by default, but to enable them, it was enough to click on the button in the corresponding warning in Office. In the future, this button will lead to the Microsoft support site.