Word and Excel Hang When Opening a Document in Protected Mode

Problem:

Microsoft Word and Excel 2010 may in some cases hang with the startup screen showing “Opening in Protected View.” While not always the case, the typical¬†scenario in which this occurs is when opening documents from Outlook, or that have been saved from Outlook, on Windows 8.1.

Solution:

Microsoft recommends using the Unblock button in the file’s properties to make it usable. This necessitates saving the file from the email rather than opening it directly from Outlook.

Procedure:

  1. Save the document from Outlook.
  2. Locate the file you just saved and right-click on it. Click Properties. At the bottom of the window that appears, click Unblock, then Apply.
  3. Close the window and double-click the file. It should now open normally.

Limitations:

Every Word or Excel file received via email must be Unblocked in this fashion, individually. The linked article also mentions a method that may work for all documents.

  1. Open Word and Excel.
  2. In each program, go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View.
  3. Deselect Enable Protected View for Outlook Attachments.