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Resolving the MS Office File-Blocking Issue

A thing as small as a file blocking issue can prove detrimental to any organization’s seamless-workflow-regime. Hence, this process needs immediate attention in order to maintain the sanctity of a seamless productive cycle.

Issue: User is unable to open a MS excel file attached in an e-mail on MS outlook.

1. First things first – Make sure that the file has been sent in the blocked mode by sender of the e-mail.

2.  If it is not, download that file pronto.

3.  If the file is apparently BLOCKED, you can very well unblock the file by following the underlying steps:

Firstly, let us shed some light on what FILE BLOCKING actually entails –

What is File Block?

File Block prevents outdated file types from opening and causes your file to open in a Protected View and disables the Save and Open features.

You may get such an error message while trying to open the file:


To edit the blocked file, follow these steps –

1. Open an MS Office program.

2. Click File > Options.


3. Click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > File Block Settings.


4. In the File Type list, check or uncheck Open or Save for the file types you want to block or enable.


Note – You can’t check Open without checking Save.

Here are some useful considerations when it comes to file block settings. Give them proper attention while going through the whole process and you shall be golden:

  • Do not open selected file types – The file types selected with check marks are blocked from opening, or opening and saving both. You will see an error message when this is set.
  • While opening selected file types in Protected View – After opening the selected file types in Protected View, the Enable Editing button should be disabled on the Message Bar and in the Backstage view.
  • While opening selected file types in Protected View and allow the editing option – After opening the selected file types in Protected View, The Enable Editing button is enabled on the Message Bar and in the Backstage view.