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Microsoft has blocked the macros in my A.CRE model – What now?

When downloading and opening an Excel model from A.CRE, some users may get the ominous message: “Microsoft has blocked macros from running because the source of this file is untrusted.” If you’ve received this message, you’re probably asking, “Why did this message appear, and can I use the file without macros?”

In this tutorial, I’ll share why this message appears, why you can safely enable macros in our Excel models, and how to enable macros when using an A.CRE Excel model.

A bit of background on Excel Macros

First off, we assure you that you can enable Macros in our models with confidence. We use Macros in our Excel models to improve the user experience, speed up the models in cases where there are circular references, and to handle various real estate modeling tasks (e.g. calculating reserve accounts) that Excel out-of-the-box can’t. We certainly wouldn’t write malicious code into our macros, and the code for all macros in our Excel models is openly available for any user to view.

Sometime in late 2021/early 2022, Microsoft released an updated version of Microsoft Excel that includes greater security protection related to Excel Macros. This update is meant to protect Excel users from downloading files from the internet that contain malicious macros. Unfortunately, in their zeal to protect Excel users from bad actors, they’ve made using A.CRE models a bit more difficult.

Can I use an A.CRE Model without enabling macros?

Unfortunately, the A.CRE Models that we’ve built with macros won’t function properly unless you enable the macros. Therefore, you will need to enable the macros in order to use the models. Below, we’ve recorded a video and shared instructions (from Microsoft’s website) on how to enable macros in models downloaded from A.CRE.

How to enable macros in models downloaded from A.CRE – Video Tutorial

In this short video, I show you the steps to enable macros when you get the message, “Microsoft has blocked macros from running because the source of this file is untrusted.”

How to enable macros in models downloaded from A.CRE – Written Tutorial

Allow me to share the written steps for enabling macros when you receive the message “Microsoft has blocked macros from running because the source of this file is untrusted.”

  1. Download and save the Excel model (i.e. Excel file) to a local hard drive, network share, or cloud share drive.
  2. Open Windows File Explorer and go to the folder where you saved the file.
  3. Right-click the file and choose Properties from the context menu.
  4. At the bottom of the General tab, you should see a section for Security. Select the Unblock checkbox and select OK.
  5. Open the file and click ‘Enable Content’

Not the issue you’re having?

Is this not the specific issue you’re having? If not, please check out the A.CRE help section for more troubleshooting tutorials.