Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Getting Rid of the "Enable Macros" Notice.

Getting Rid of the "Enable Macros" Notice

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 5, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


The VBA programming language included with Excel allows you to create very powerful macros. It is not uncommon to record a couple of macros for a workbook, each designed to accomplish a quick little task. When you create the macros, Excel adds what is called a module to your workbook. This module is used to store the macros that you record or create.

You may notice that every time you open a workbook that contains macros, Excel asks you if you want to enable the macros. This is part of the security system built into Excel. (This system has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.) You may also have noticed that if you delete all the macros in your workbook, Excel still asks you if you want to enable macros when you later open the workbook.

Why would Excel do this? After all, you deleted all the macros in the workbook, right? The reason is that the module automatically created by Excel to hold your macros is not automatically deleted when you get rid of the last macro—it's still there. As long as the module is there, Excel will dutifully ask you if you want to enable your macros whenever you load the workbook.

To overcome this problem (and get rid of the macro prompt for this particular workbook), follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to display the Visual Basic Editor.
  2. Near the upper-left side of the editor is the Project Explorer. This contains a hierarchical tree that shows the different modules in your workbook. If the Project Explorer is not visible on your screen, press Ctrl+R to display it.
  3. Within the Project Explorer should be a folder called Modules. If it is not already open, double-click on the Modules folder to display its contents.
  4. Right-click on a module in the folder. A Context menu is displayed.
  5. Choose the Remove option from the Context menu. You are asked if you want to export the module before removing it.
  6. Click on the No button. The module is removed.
  7. Repeat steps 5 through 7 for each module in the Modules folder.
  8. Close the Visual Basic Editor.
  9. Resave your workbook.

At this point your workbook contains no modules, and you will not get any notification when you subsequently open it.

Of course, there is a technique that may be much simpler for your needs: Just use the Save As command and change the file type to an XLSX file. These workbook files cannot contain macros, so any macros that are in the current workbook are stripped out in the saving process.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10399) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting Rid of the "Enable Macros" Notice.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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