Protected View in Microsoft Word

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When you open a Microsoft Word document from the Internet or via an email application, it’s placed in “Protected View.”

When a document is in protected view, you can read the document but editing is disabled. This protects your computer from viruses or malware that can be included in some Word documents.

You can enable editing through the “Information Bar” of Microsoft Word.

Enable Editing in a Protected View Document

To enable editing within a document that’s in protected view:

  • Focus in the document in Microsoft Word
  • Press F6 to move focus to the Information Bar
  • Once focused int he Information Bar, press TAB once to focus on the “Enable Editing” button
  • Activate the “Enable Editing” button with SPACEBAR

The document is activated. You can now edit and fully interact with the document.

Configure Protected View in Microsoft Word Options

You can configure Protected View settings in the Trust Center Settings of Microsoft Word.

  • Open Microsoft Word Backstage (ALT-F)
  • Use UP and DOWN ARROW to locate ‘Options” and press ENTER

Microsoft Word Options is opened. A list of property sheets is on the left side of the Window. The controls associated with the property sheet are displayed on the right.

  • Trust Center is the last property sheet. Press END to focus on Trust Center
  • Navigate with TAB And SHIFT-TAB until focus is on the “Trust Center Settings” button
  • Activate the button with SPACEBAR

The Trust Center Settings Window has a list of property sheets on the left side of the Window and the controls associated with each property sheet on the right.

  • Within the list of property sheet, focus on “Protected View”
  • Navigate among the protected View options with TAB and SHIFT-TAB

There are three checkboxes in the “Protected view” property sheet. Navigate among the checkboxes with TAB and SHIFT-TAB. Toggle checkboxes on and off with SPACEBAR.

The checkboxes are:

  • 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

After configuring the checkboxes, navigate to the OK button and activate it with SPACEBAR. Focus returns to Microsoft Word options.

Activate the OK button within Microsoft Word Settings to save the changes and close the Options Window.

You’ve now configured Protected View. The settings you configured take place immediately.