Application.AutomationSecurity property (Excel)

Returns or sets an MsoAutomationSecurity constant that represents the security mode that Microsoft Excel uses when programmatically opening files. Read/write.



expression A variable that represents an Application object.


This property is automatically set to msoAutomationSecurityLow when the application is started. Therefore, to avoid breaking solutions that rely on the default setting, you should be careful to reset this property to msoAutomationSecurityLow after programmatically opening a file. Also, this property should be set immediately before and after opening a file programmatically to avoid malicious subversion.

MsoAutomationSecurity can be one of these MsoAutomationSecurity constants:

  • msoAutomationSecurityByUI. Uses the security setting specified in the Security dialog box.

  • msoAutomationSecurityForceDisable. Disables all macros in all files opened programmatically without showing any security alerts.


    This setting does not disable Microsoft Excel 4.0 macros. If a file that contains Microsoft Excel 4.0 macros is opened programmatically, the user will be prompted to decide whether to open the file.

  • msoAutomationSecurityLow. Enables all macros. This is the default value when the application is started.

Setting ScreenUpdating to False does not affect alerts and will not affect security warnings.

The DisplayAlerts setting will not apply to security warnings. For example, if the user sets DisplayAlerts equal to False and AutomationSecurity to msoAutomationSecurityByUI while the user is on Medium security level, there will be security warnings while the macro is running. This allows the macro to trap file open errors, while still showing the security warning if the file open succeeds.


This example captures the current automation security setting, changes the setting to disable macros, displays the Open dialog box, and after opening the selected document, sets the automation security back to its original setting.

Sub Security() 
    Dim secAutomation As MsoAutomationSecurity 
    secAutomation = Application.AutomationSecurity 
    Application.AutomationSecurity = msoAutomationSecurityForceDisable 
    Application.AutomationSecurity = secAutomation 
End Sub

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