How to enable macros in Microsoft Excel

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With Microsoft Excel macros, you can run a set of pre-recorded steps to automate many of your repetitive tasks. You’ll need to activate the feature before you can use it. We’ll show you how to enable macros per worksheet as well as for all worksheets in Excel.

Be smart about enabling macros

Enabling macros is not always safe and you should only use them when you are sure of the source of your spreadsheets. Good macros save you time by automating your tasks, but there are bad macros that can break your machine.

For example, if you got your spreadsheet from an unknown source, you shouldn’t rely on it to run macros because you’re not sure what it will end up doing. However, if you know and trust the sender, it should be fine to allow your spreadsheets to run macros.

How to activate macros for a specific Excel spreadsheet

To enable macros on a specific worksheet and not on all worksheets, first open your worksheet in Microsoft Excel.

When your macro-enabled spreadsheet is opened, Excel will display a message at the top of the spreadsheet content. To allow this file to run macros, click “Enable Content” next to the message.

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Excel will allow the current file to run its macros, and you’re all set.

RELATED: How to disable the security warning message bar in Microsoft Office programs

How to enable macros for all Excel spreadsheets

It is not recommended to enable macros for all your spreadsheets, but if you are sure that you will only open safe and trustworthy files, you can enable the option as follows.

Activate macros in Excel on Windows

If you are a Windows user, first launch Microsoft Excel on your PC.

In Excel’s left sidebar, click “Options.” If you’re on a spreadsheet screen, choose File > Options instead.

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In the “Excel Options” window, on the left sidebar, click “Trust Center”.

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In the right pane, click the “Trust Center Settings” button.

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You will see a “Trust Center” window. In the left sidebar of this window, click “Macro Settings”.

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In the right pane, check the “Enable VBA macros (not recommended; potentially dangerous code can be executed)” option. Then select “OK” at the bottom.

Advice: In the future, to disable macros for all worksheets, select an appropriate option on this screen.

Select “OK” at the bottom of the “Excel Options” window.

And that is. Excel will now allow any spreadsheet to run macros.

Enable macros in Excel on Mac

To activate Excel macros on your Mac, first, launch the Excel application.

In Excel, click Excel > Preferences > Security & Privacy. Then turn on the “Enable all macros (not recommended; potentially dangerous code may run)” option.

Are you ready.

And that’s how you let your spreadsheets execute code and automate your tedious tasks.


If you want to learn more about Excel macros, check out our dedicated guide on the subject. It will guide you through the process of creating a macro with an example.

RELATED: Learn how to use Excel macros to automate tedious tasks