Microsoft Office scans any file, file location, and some other attributes before it even opens the file. If it detects there is something wrong with any of the file attributes, it shows up following an error message on the screen – “Microsoft Office has identified a potential security concern.” Now, what happens if you encounter this issue? There are some checks you need to perform, and some boxes you need to tick before you do anything with this file.
There are some checks you should perform.
1. Check the location of the file. If you feel it is in an unknown location, feel free to transfer the file to a more trustworthy location such as your Desktop.
2. Some files enjoy the liberty to share some data with external websites and it is quite normal. But, you should be careful about those files and open only those in which you trust the external connections.
Fix 1 – Disable Protected View
Word has the capability to disable documents to open up directly in Word. Instead of that, it opens up in a protected view where you can’t edit the document.
Before you do anything, make sure you trust the source of the file.
1. Launch Word on your system.
2. Once the document opens up, tap on the “File” in the menu bar and tap “Options” to explore file options.
3. In the Word Options window, there are two panes. On the right-hand pane, tap the last “Trust Center” option.
4. On the right-hand pane, tap “Trust Center Settings…” to open up.
5. On the left-hand pane, tap “Protected View” to select it.
6. On the right-hand section, uncheck all these options –
Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments
7. Later, go to the “File Block Settings” section.
8. After this, select the “Open selected files types in Protected View and allow editing” option.
9. Tap “OK” to finally save the settings.
10. Once you come back to the Word Options window, tap “OK” to save this change.
Now, launch the Word file that you are facing this trouble with. It won’t show the error message.
Fix 2 – Add a new trusted location
Word trusts some enlisted locations as a trusted locations. So, you can add the directory containing the file to the trusted locations list.
1. Launch the Word.
2. Once the app opens up, click on “File” from the menu bar and click “Options“.
3. On the right-hand section, click on the “Trust Center“.
4. After that, on the right-hand pane, tap “Trust Center Settings…” to access it.
5. In the next step, tap on “Trusted Locations“.
6. Next, click on the “Add new location…” to add the new location of the file.
7. You have to click on the “Browse” option.
8. Next, navigate to the location of the file using that same window.
9. Just, select the folder and tap “Open” to open the file.
10. Now, check the “Subfolders of this location are also trusted” to include the subfolders of the directory also.
11. Just, click “OK‘ to complete the process.
12. In the Trusted Center window, tap “OK“.
Now, you can directly open the Word file and test if this works for you. Test if you are still seeing the error message or not.
Fix 3 – Toggle the external content
The external contents settings can be toggled in Word if it is available for you.
1. Launch the Word, if it isn’t opened up.
2. Once it opens up, go this way –
File > Options
3. Now, click on the “Trust Center” and on the right-hand side, tap “Trust Center Settings” to access it.
4. Now, in the next step, look for the “External Content” tab.
5. Once you are in there, toggle this setting to “Prompt user about Linked Data Types” and check the “Enable Dynamic Data Exchange Server Lookup” box.
6. Additionally, if all the files coming to your system is from a trusted source, go to the “Message bar“.
7. Here, you have to check the “Never show information about blocked consent” box and tap “OK” to save the changes.
Now, just save settings for Word.
Try to open the word file that you were facing difficulty with and test if this works.
You won’t see the error message again.
Sambit is a Mechanical Engineer By qualification who loves to write about Windows 10 and solutions to weirdest possible problems.