Hide the Unsafe Expressions security warning message in Access 2003

Applies to
Microsoft Office Access 2003

As a result of a new security feature that is part of Access 2003, when you open a file in Access, you may see one or both of the following security warnings:

Unsafe expressions are not blocked

Do you want to block unsafe expressions?

Unsafe expressions are not blocked

You will see the following message when your computer does not have Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later installed, and sandbox mode has not yet been enabled.

Security warning: Unsafe expressions are not blocked

After you have installed the latest version of the Jet service pack and start Access, you will no longer see this message. However, there will be one more message you'll see that you'll need to address. See the next section, Do you want to block unsafe expressions?, to learn what this message means and how to hide it permanently.

ShowTell me more about sandbox mode

To help enhance the security of your data, you have the option of running Access 2003 in sandbox mode. In sandbox mode, Access evaluates only those expressions in field properties and controls that are safe. An expression is considered safe if it does not use functions or properties that could be exploited by malicious users to access drives, files, or other resources for which they do not have authorization. For example, functions such as Kill and Shell could be used to damage data and files on a computer, so they are not considered safe. When Access runs in sandbox mode, an expression that calls these functions or properties will result in an error message.

For a list of these functions and properties, see Functions and properties that are blocked in sandbox mode.

 Notes 

  • Sandbox mode does not affect Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code that is in your files. Code that is digitally signed, even if it includes the blocked functions or properties, will run whether Access is in sandbox mode or not. Unsafe functions and properties are blocked only when used in expressions such as default values, control sources, or SQL statements.

Sandbox mode is implemented by using the Microsoft Jet Expression Service to evaluate expressions. Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later allows Access to be fully functional yet still have Jet block unsafe expressions by enabling sandbox mode. However, the Jet Expression Service is not part of Access. You need to download and install Jet 4.0 SP8 or later before you can enable sandbox mode.

  • A critical Windows update includes Jet 4.0 SP8, so installing all of the critical Windows updates will automatically install the latest version of Jet on your computer.

So, when you open a file in Access before the latest Jet service pack is installed, you will see a security warning message suggesting that you install the service pack and then enable sandbox mode.


Do you want to block unsafe expressions?

After installing the latest Jet service pack, you will see the following message when the macro security level in Access is set to High or Medium (we recommend you never set the macro security level to Low). If Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is installed but sandbox mode has not yet been enabled, Access prompts you to enable sandbox mode, which blocks unsafe expressions.

Security message: Enable sandbox mode for Medium or High macro security level to function properly.

Installing the latest Jet service pack does not automatically turn on sandbox mode and block unsafe expressions. You need to click Yes in the message box to complete the process of enabling sandbox mode.

After you enable sandbox mode on your computer, you or anyone using the computer will not be prompted about unsafe expressions when you open a file. However, you will see a prompt related to sandbox mode in the following situations:

  • Changing the macro security level from High or Medium to Low when Access is running in sandbox mode.     You will be asked if you want allow the evaluation of potentially unsafe expressions. Click Yes to turn off sandbox mode, or click No to continue to be in sandbox mode. We recommend that you click No. Whether you click Yes or No, you will not be prompted when you subsequently open a file.
  • Changing the macro security level from Low to Medium or High when Access is not running in sandbox mode.     You will be asked if you want to block unsafe expressions. If you click Yes, sandbox mode will be enabled and you will not be prompted when you subsequently open a file. However, if you choose not to enable sandbox mode, you will continue to be prompted each time you open a file. This is because, although you have chosen to be in Medium or High security, you have not enabled sandbox mode, which is an integral part of helping to protect your data.

 Tip    Access 2010 provides ways to simplify the process of applying security to your database. Read an article or try Office 2010. Try Office 2010

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2003