Word and Excel Hang When Opening a Document in Protected Mode


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.


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.


  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.


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.