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Cannot change MS Office Security Settings

Posted on 2005-04-25
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi Experts,

I recently upgraded to MS Office 2003 from Office 2000 and I cannot change my security level. It is set on Medium and will not change. My login is an Admin and I was able to change the settings in Office 2000. This issue is happening in both Excel and Access. When I change the setting up or down (high \ low) and click ok, I can go back to the setting immediately, the setting is medium again. I have tried un-installing 2003 and 2000 and deleting the extra files in root\programs files\ms office. I have the latest Windows updates and security patches. Please help!
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Question by:sph3rion
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13 Comments
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 13860912
Tools->Macro->Security

You can also use selfcert.exe to certify your own applications and leave the security level at medium or high.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:sph3rion
ID: 13861055
Right . . . I can go to the security settings and I when I change it to high or low and click 'OK' not matter what I do, save the worksheet, close down office, reboot my computer, ect, the security setting ALWAYS stays at medium. I can set the setting to something different it, but something is happening that will not allow Office to save the changed setting.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 13863250
You have to have administrator privledges to permantly change it.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:sph3rion
ID: 13867847
I am an Administrator. Any other ideas?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 13867925
Hoo Boy!  Bill's boys did a number on you.  

What happens if you set the security level in the other Office applications?

You might also place a link to this question in the Windows XP channel.  See if someone there has an idea.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:m298908
ID: 13888362
Try setting it in group policy.
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Author Comment

by:sph3rion
ID: 13896815
I tried the group policy, does not work :(
Do you think this can be a larger issue outside of MS Office? A windows setting perhaps?
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Accepted Solution

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m298908 earned 1000 total points
ID: 13897578
does this happen for all users of this machine?  Try as a test local admin user.  Try renaming the regkey HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office to Office.bak and rerunning the application.  Backup the registry first and always use caution.  This will relaunch the user portion of the msi setup for office, hopefully wiping out the possibility of a user issue.  If this does not work, try doing a repair of the install via add/remove progs.  If things get bad, you can always revert back to the old registry settings.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:sph3rion
ID: 13915357
m298908,

I could kiss you. This did the trick. Reloading the HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office registry key did it. THANK YOU!! I don't know how my registry settings got messed up, but that is what you get from mass company imaged machines. I can change the security settings at last.

Thank you again!

Josh
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 13917337
m298908,

I had a feeling it was a registry setting but I had no idea which one.  How did you know it was HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office?  I frequently run into problems caused by registry settings.  Is there a good reference matching porblems with registry settings.  I would be happy to open a question for your answer.

Nelson
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Author Comment

by:sph3rion
ID: 13922035
I am curious too about a registry reference.
Also after changing this registy setting I started getting an error when I tried to create \ reply \ forward and email in Outlook "The messaging interface has returned and unknown error. If the problem presists, please restart Outlook." I re-installed Outlook and it did nothing, do you have any ideas? I have my old registry so I can just roll it back, but then I run into the security problem again.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 13922952
Instead of rolling back to the old setting, try renaming HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office to Office to HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office to Office.bak2 and renaming HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office to Office.bak to HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Office to Office.  If that doesn't work, you can follow m298908's instructions again and run "Regmon v7.0" from "http://www.sysinternals.com/win9x/98utilities.shtml" while you change the security setting.  Regmon will tell you which registry setting is being changed.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:m298908
ID: 13925818
The mapi error could also be user profile related...try removing and recreating the mapi profile, assuming you are connecting to exchange.  Make sure you know all the locations of your pst files if you have any so that you can simply repoint to them in the new profile.  You could also try just creating a new mapi profile and keeping the old one.  I have had mixed results with keeping the old mapi profile around.
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