How to Disable Protected View in Microsoft Office While Opening Email Attachments or Downloaded Files?

If you are using Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 2010 versions, you might have noticed this problem. Whenever you try to open an Office document (Word, Excel or PowerPoint file) which was downloaded from Internet or was attached in an email, Microsoft Office program opens it in Protected View which is also known as Read Mode or Restricted Mode.

In this mode, the file is opened as read-only. You can't edit the file until you click on "Enable Editing" button as shown in following image:


In Protected View you also get a message bar at the top of the window containing messages similar to following:

  • This file originated from an Internet location and might be unsafe
  • This file originated as an e-mail attachment and might be unsafe
  • This file was opened from a potentially unsafe location
  • Editing this file type is not allowed due to your policy settings
  • Editing this file type is not recommended due to your File Block settings in the Trust Center
  • Office has detected a problem with this file. Editing it may harm your computer

Protected View mode was introduced in Office 2010 version which is present in the latest Office 2013 version as well. It was designed to provide better security as the files downloaded from Internet or attached in emails might contain viruses and can be dangerous for your computer system. Protected View protects your computer from being infected by these suspicious items automatically.

But if you are sure about the file and if you know that the downloaded file is absolutely safe, then this Protected View might become annoying for you. Every time you try to open such a file in an Office program, you'll need to click on the enable editing button each time to edit the file.

Don't worry! Here is the solution. Microsoft Office comes with an option to disable this built-in Protected View feature in any desired Office program.

If you also want to turn off Protected View feature in Office 2010 or Office 2013 version, check out following simple steps:

1. First launch any Office program such as Microsoft Word and then click on File menu present in the ribbon.

2. Now click on Options tab present in the left sidebar.

3. It'll open Options window. Now click on "Trust Center" tab given at the end in left-side pane and then click on "Trust Center Settings" button.


It'll open a new window to customize Trust Center settings.

4. Click on "Protected View" tab and in right-side pane, you'll see following options:

  • Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet
  • Enable Protected View for files that are located in potentially unsafe locations
  • Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments


5. All options are enabled by default. Disable the desired option or disable all given options to turn off Protected View completely and click on OK button to save the changes.

6. Close the Office program and now whenever you open a file downloaded from Internet or attached in an email, it'll open normally instead of Protected View.

PS: If the above method doesn't work for you, click on "File Block Settings" tab in Trust Center Settings window and then click on "Restore Defaults" button.


NOTE: You'll need to follow the same procedure for each Office program such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint separately.

NOTE For Network Drives:

You need to enable the checkbox "Allow Trusted Locations on my network (not recommended)". It's present under the list of locations that you added. Once you enable the option, it'll allow you to open documents from a network share. You can then enter either the drive letter or the UNC and it should work without any problem.

Thanks to our reader "Joe" for the network drives tip...

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Posted in: Microsoft Office, Troubleshooting

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