How to Disable Protected View in Microsoft Word 2013 and Word 2010

protected view i

In an effort to protect you from your own carelessness, Microsoft Word opens documents from certain sources, including many email attachments, in Protected View, a mode which does not allow you to edit them. While it’s easy enough  to click the Enable Editing button at the top of the screen when you want to make changes, you shouldn’t have to do that. 

To open all your documents in full editing mode in Word 2013 or Word 2010, just follow these simple steps.

1. Click the File tab in the upper left corner.

select file in word2

2. Select Options.

select options in word

3. Select Trust Center in the left pane.

select trust center

4. Click Trust Center Settings.

click trust center settings

5. Select Protected View.

select protected view

6. Uncheck all three options under Protected View and Click Ok.

uncheck all three options

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Karen Says:

    Have followed the directions to disable protected view in emails.
    When clicking on the file word 13 stops working is not responding and the file cannot open.

  2. Nicola A Says:

    I follow these instructions and they worked brilliantly – thanks!

  3. TungTran Says:

    Good job. thanks so much

  4. I. Langer Says:

    very clear explanation. Thanks.

  5. Melanie Says:


  6. Dave Be=radshaw Says:

    Thanks – this has been bugging me for ages – trivial I know, but so glad I can now disable it!!

  7. Bree Says:

    Worked perfectly — easy to follow directions and a quick resolution.

    Thank you!

  8. Fagie Says:

    Thanks for a cogent and logical explanation and path to fixing this. I have been using MS Word since 1990, and this has been one of the most frustrating issues I have had with this application.

  9. Paul Says:

    very clear explanation. Thanks.

  10. MC Says:

    Thank you! I am a teacher with a lot of things to download and this was driving me crazy!

  11. al Says:

    Perfect! I still can’t figure out why yesterday I did not have this issue, but today I was having it. I didn’t change any options. I guess the obvious answer is “that’s just WINDOWS”. thanks again.

  12. al Says:

    To KAREN- you will need to disable protected view in WORD, EXCEL, etc. not just in OUTLOOK. hope this helps.

  13. Rahul Says:

    GOD Bless

  14. M S K Sam Says:

    Excellent explanation THANK YOU.

  15. Terri Says:

    Easy to follow instructions, but everything still opens up with enable editing.

  16. Pat Says:

    By unchecking the three options under Protected View, am I not exposing my computer to possible security threats and/or opening potentially dangerous files? If so, is there no option that does not include those risks? Thanks.

  17. Nils Says:

    I had a file on the network I could not open. I stored under another name, but could not open the new file either. This advise solved my problems. I am so tired of Office 2013 that I want to go back to Office 2010 which is a good solution. Moving from O 2010 to O 2013 is the most studpid thing I have done this year. I face problems like this every day and it takes far too much time.

  18. Mike Fitz Says:

    This is very well documented, thank you. But I am still having the problem. I am on Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 (i.e. Word 2013 (15.0.4791.1001).Excel is working just fine, but Word has not changed and still opens in protective view. Any ideas?

  19. Sandi Says:

    I think I’m in love. Thank you thank you thank you

  20. Youuuuuuuuuuuu Says:

    Youz a gud man. I call you Guzman.

  21. justin Says:

    It worked, thanks a lot for your help. Justin from Kinshasa (DR Congo)

  22. magdy Says:

    Good Job Thanks a lot.

  23. Ron Says:

    I have done this heaps and still can not print the document , it says to contact the administrator, who the fuck is that??

  24. bruno Says:

    thank you… finaly working :)

  25. gio Says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  26. delores highsmith Says:

    after getting this same fix from Microsoft, I thought it was working. So I went though my docs and saved them with the new settings. At the time of save they were listed as editable doc. When I opened them again they were in protected mode again. I even opened a new doc, cut and pasted. Same result. I am using office 2013 and Win OS 8.

  27. MAHESH Says:


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