How to Enable Macros in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Enabling macros in Excel can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple! All it takes is a few clicks and you’ll be automating tasks in no time. Macros are little programs that automate repetitive tasks in Excel, saving you time and effort. Let’s dive into how you can get those macros up and running.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Enable Macros in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand why we’re doing this. Enabling macros allows you to automate tasks in Excel, which can save you a ton of time with repetitive tasks. Now, let’s get started.

Step 1: Open Excel Options

Click on the ‘File’ tab in the top left corner of Excel, then click ‘Options’ at the bottom of the sidebar. This will open a new window where you can adjust Excel’s settings.

When you click on ‘Options’, a dialog box will pop up titled ‘Excel Options’. This is where you can customize your Excel experience, including enabling macros.

Step 2: Select ‘Trust Center’

In the Excel Options window, look to the sidebar on the left and click on ‘Trust Center’. It’s usually near the bottom of the list.

The Trust Center is where Excel’s security and privacy settings are located. This is where we can change the settings to allow macros to run.

Step 3: Click on ‘Trust Center Settings’

Inside the Trust Center, click the ‘Trust Center Settings’ button. Another dialog box will appear with more options.

The Trust Center Settings window offers more specific options for managing Excel’s security features. You’ll find the macro settings here.

Step 4: Choose Macro Settings

In the Trust Center Settings window, select ‘Macro Settings’ from the list on the left. This will show you the different options for enabling macros.

There are typically four macro settings to choose from. You can disable all macros, disable with notification, enable all with notification, or enable all without notification. Choose the one that best fits your needs.

Step 5: Enable All Macros

Select ‘Enable all macros (not recommended; potentially dangerous code can run)’ and then click ‘OK’. This will allow any macro to run in Excel.

While it is not recommended to always have this setting turned on due to security risks, it’s necessary if you need to run macros regularly. Always make sure you trust the source of your macros to avoid any malicious code.

After you’ve enabled macros, you can now create or run existing macros in your Excel documents. Remember to save your document as a macro-enabled file, typically with the .xlsm extension, to preserve the functionality of your macros.

Tips for Enabling Macros in Excel

  • Always ensure that you trust the source of a macro before enabling it to avoid potential security risks.
  • Consider enabling macros with notification, so you have the option to run them on a case-by-case basis.
  • Remember to save your Excel files as ".xlsm" if they contain macros, so they’ll work properly when reopened.
  • If you’re sharing a macro-enabled Excel file, inform the recipient that they might need to enable macros to view the file correctly.
  • Keep your antivirus software updated as an extra layer of protection when working with macros.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are macros in Excel?

Macros are automated scripts that can perform a series of tasks within Excel, such as formatting data or creating complex calculations.

Why are macros disabled by default in Excel?

Macros can potentially contain harmful code, so Microsoft has them disabled by default to protect users from inadvertently running malicious scripts.

Can enabling macros in Excel pose a security risk?

Yes, if you run macros from an untrusted source, they can potentially harm your computer or compromise your data. Always ensure you trust the source before enabling macros.

Should I always enable all macros?

It’s generally not recommended to always enable all macros due to the security risks. Consider enabling macros with a notification, so you’ll be prompted each time a macro tries to run.

How can I tell if a macro is safe?

Only use macros from trusted sources, and consider scanning them with antivirus software. Be cautious with macros downloaded from the internet or received via email from unknown senders.


  1. Open Excel Options.
  2. Select ‘Trust Center’.
  3. Click on ‘Trust Center Settings’.
  4. Choose Macro Settings.
  5. Enable All Macros.


Enabling macros in Excel opens up a world of automation possibilities that can make your life much easier. From simple formatting tasks to complex data analysis, macros can do it all with just a few clicks. However, with great power comes great responsibility – always be cautious and ensure the safety of any macros you enable. Keep your wits about you, and your Excel experience will be both productive and secure. For those who’ve followed along, congratulations on enabling macros in Excel! Now go forth and automate to your heart’s content.