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Using Microsoft Excel macros, you can run a prerecorded set of steps to automate many of your repetitive tasks. You’ll have to turn on the feature before you can use it. We’ll show you how to activate macros on a per-spreadsheet basis as well as for all spreadsheets in Excel.

Be Smart When Enabling Macros

Enabling macros is not always safe and you should only use them when you’re sure of the source of your spreadsheets. Good macros save you time by automating your tasks, but there are bad macros that can harm your machine.

For example, if you’ve got your spreadsheet from an unknown source, you shouldn’t trust it to run any macros as you aren’t sure what it will end up doing. However, if you know the sender and you trust them, then it should be okay to allow your spreadsheets to execute macros.

How to Turn On Macros for a Specific Excel Spreadsheet

To enable macros in a specific spreadsheet and not all spreadsheets, then first, open your spreadsheet with Microsoft Excel.

When your macro-enabled spreadsheet opens, Excel will display a message at the top of the spreadsheet content. To allow this file to run macros, then next to the message, click “Enable Content.”

Select "Enable Content" at the top.

Excel will allow the current file to execute its macros, and you’re all set.

RELATED: How to Disable the Security Warning Message Bar in Microsoft Office Programs

How to Enable Macros for All Excel Spreadsheets

It’s not recommended to activate macros for all your spreadsheets, but if you’re sure you’ll only open safe and trusted files, then you can turn on the option as follows.

Activate Macros in Excel on Windows

If you’re a Windows user, first, launch Microsoft Excel on your PC.

In Excel’s left sidebar, click “Options.” If you’re on a spreadsheet screen, then choose File > Options instead.

Choose "Options" from the left sidebar.

On the “Excel Options” window, in the left sidebar, click “Trust Center.”

Select "Trust Center" from the left sidebar.

On the right pane, click the “Trust Center Settings” button.

Choose "Trust Center Settings" on the right.

You’ll see a “Trust Center” window. In the left sidebar of this window, click “Macro Settings.”

Select "Macro Settings" on the left.

On the right pane, activate the “Enable VBA Macros (Not Recommended; Potentially Dangerous Code Can Run)” option. Then select “OK” at the bottom.

Tip: In the future, to disable macros for all spreadsheets, select an appropriate option on this screen.

Select “OK” at the bottom of the “Excel Options” window.

And that’s it. Excel will now allow any spreadsheet to run macros.

Activate Macros in Excel on Mac

To turn on Excel macros on your Mac, first, launch the Excel app.

In Excel, click Excel > Preferences > Security & Privacy. Then, turn on the “Enable All Macros (Not Recommended; Potentially Dangerous Code Can Run)” option.

You’re done.

And that’s how you allow your spreadsheets to run codes and automate your tedious tasks.

If you’d like to learn more about Excel macros, then check out our dedicated guide on the topic. It will walk you through the process of creating a macro with an example.

RELATED: Learn How to Use Excel Macros to Automate Tedious Tasks

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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