Protected view

To help protect your computer, files from potentially unsafe locations are opened in Protected View. By using Protected View, you can read a file and inspect its contents while reducing the risks of opening the file.

Protected View gives you warnings about possible threats or problems with your file such as corrupt or broken code, computer viruses, worms and other types of malware.

Setting the rules
  1. Click File, Help, Options.
  2. Click Trust Center.
  3. Click Trust Center Settings
  4. Click Protected View.
  5. Make selections that you want from the list of options:

What files open in Protected View?

Protected View is a read-only mode in which most editing functions have been disabled. You first establish source locations for documents that you want to open in protected view, and then you can define your exceptions and refinements.

Exceptions include:
  • Trusted Publishers – nominate trusted publishers
  • Trusted Locations – nominate trusted locations
  • Trusted Documents – nominate trusted documents

Refinements include:
  • Add-ins – disable some or all. Application add-ins may run when a file opens in Protected View, but may not function as expected. If your add-ins are not running correctly, contact the add-in's author. An updated version, which is compatible with Protected View, may be needed. 
  • ActiveX Settings – disable some or all 
  • Macro Settings – disable some or all
  • File Block Settings – nominate disabled file types

Protected View Messages

There are several reasons why a file opens in Protected View and you will see different messages depending on the problem identified.
  • This file originated from an Internet location and might be unsafe. Files from the Internet can have viruses and other harmful content embedded in them. You should only edit or save if you trust the sender and file contents. Note that you can specify trusted locations.
  • This file originated as an e-mail attachment and might be unsafe.The file was received as an Outlook 2010 attachment. Note that you can specify trusted people.
  • This file was opened from a potentially unsafe location. File was opened from a folder that may be unsafe. An example of an unsafe location is your Temporary Internet Files folder.
  • Editing this file type is now allowed due to your policy settings. Files of this file type have been blocked in File Block settings. There are two options, editing is not allowed and editing is allowed.
  • Office has detected a problem with this file. Editing it may harm your computer. Office File Validation is a new feature that scans an Office file when it is being opened and validates it against a well-known schema. When there are inconsistencies between the file and the schema, the file will fail validation and will open in Protected View.
  • The file was opened in Protected View. You can select to open a file in Protected View. See below for instructions.

Open file in Protected View

You can choose to open a suspect document in Protected View if Word does not do so automatically for you.
  1. Click the File tab, Open, to display the Open dialog box.
  2. Click the Arrow on the Open button. A drop down menu displays.
  3. Click Open in Protected View.

Exit Protected View

If you know the file is from a trustworthy source, you may want to edit, save, or print the file. You can exit Protected View. After you leave Protected View, the document becomes a trusted document. 

Exit protected view and edit when the yellow message bar displays. 
  • On the Message Bar of the warning message, click Enable Editing.
Exit protected view and edit when the red message bar displays. 
  • Click the File tab. The Backstage view displays the Protected View Warning on the Info tab.
  • Click Enable Editing
If you cannot exit Protected View, it's possible that additional rules have been established in the Trust Centre that block this particular document.


  1. Anonymous7/2/12


  2. Anonymous10/5/12

    Is there a keyboard shortcut for screen reader users