Enable macros to run

Important notice for users of Office 2003    To continue receiving security updates for Office, make sure you're running Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3). The support for Office 2003 ends April 8, 2014. If you’re running Office 2003 after support ends, to receive all important security updates for Office, you need to upgrade to a later version such as Office 365 or Office 2013. For more information, see Support is ending for Office 2003.

When the macro security level in Excel is set to Low (not recommended), macros can be run without prompting. When macro security is set to Medium, Excel displays a dialog box asking if you want to enable macros. When macro security is set to High (the recommended macro security setting for all users), Excel allows you to run only those macros that are digitally signed or stored in the Excel startup (XLStart) folder.

To learn more about digital signatures and how to acquire them, see the Help topic About digital signatures.

What do you want to do?

Use the XLStart folder

Enable an unsigned macro to run

Use the XLStart folder

When you place a workbook that contains an unsigned macro in the XLStart folder and macro security is set to High, the workbook is automatically opened when you first start Excel, and you'll be able to run the macro. The macro cannot be run, however, when you open the workbook in Excel by clicking Open on the File menu.

The XLStart folder was created when you installed Excel and is typically located in one of the following places:

  • C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel
  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11

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Enable an unsigned macro to run

To allow unsigned macros to run, the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box must be selected on the Trusted Publishers tab of the Security dialog box. This option is selected by default. If it is not selected (recommended), Excel allows you to run only macros that have trusted digital signatures.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Security.
  2. On the Trusted Publishers tab, select the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003