Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View (3 Reasons with Solutions)

In this article, we’re going to show you the top 3 reasons along with solutions for cannot edit Excel file in Protected View. This is an Excel feature to open potentially unsafe files in a read-only mode. To demonstrate our methods, we’ve selected a dataset with 3 columns: “First Name”, “Last Name” and “Email”.

Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View


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3 Solutions to the Issue: Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View

1. Using Trust Centre Feature

Firstly, if we download an Excel file from the Internet then we’ll open our file in Protected View. Files downloaded as an Email attachment also falls in this section. When we open a file downloaded from the Internet, we’ll see this message –

Be careful—files from the Internet can contain viruses. Unless you need to edit, it’s safer to stay in Protected View.

Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View If It Is Downloaded From Internet

To fix this problem, we need to do –

Steps:

  • Press Enable Editing.

After that, we’ll see that message is disappeared. Moreover, we can edit the Excel file.

We can disable this permanently from the Trust Center. Follow these steps –

  • Firstly, press ALT + F, then O.

This will bring up the Excel Options window.

  • Secondly, from Trust Center >>> select “Trust Center Settings….”.

Excel Options: Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View If It Is Downloaded From Internet

The Trust Center window will appear.

  • Thirdly, from Protected View >>> remove the tick mark from “Enable Protected View for files origination from the Internet”.
  • Finally, press OK.

Thus, we’ve disabled Protected View for downloaded files.

However, this option should not be turned off. You may face malware attacks. Therefore, do this for a certain time and revert it after task completion.

Read More: How to Enable Editing in Excel Protected View (5 Methods)


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2. Use of File Block Settings

Secondly, older file formats are blocked using the File Block feature of Excel. We’ve saved our file in Excel 95 format using the Save As command. Then, upon opening, a message will appear.

Editing this file type is not allowed due to your policy settings. Click for more details.”.

To enable editing to this file-

Steps:

  • Firstly, click on the message.

When File Block Feature Is On Then Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View

We’ll see File Info after that.

  • Secondly, click on “File Block Settings”.

  • Thirdly, untick the checkboxes of Excel 95 Workbooks under columns Open and Save.
  • Finally, press OK.

Trust Center: When File Block Feature Is On Then Cannot Edit Excel File in Protected View

Now, we’ll need to close this file and re-open it. Then, we’ll see the error message is no longer there and we can edit the Excel file.

Read More: How to Unlock Excel Sheet for Editing (With Quick Steps)


3. Applying Enable Editing Option

Finally, if we open our file in Protected View then we’ll not be able to edit it. This time we’ll see the following message.

This file was opened in Protected View. Click for more details.

To enable editing, perform our steps.

Steps:

  • Firstly, click on the message.

Cannot Edit Excel File if It Is Opened in Protected View

  • Finally, click on “Enable Editing”.

Alternatively, you can press “Enable Editing” in that error message.

Thus, we’ve shown you yet another solution to our problem. In conclusion, these are the top 3 reasons why we cannot edit Excel files in Protected View and its solutions.

Cannot Edit Excel File if It Is Opened in Protected View

Read More: How to Edit a Cell in Excel (4 Easy Methods)


Things to Remember

  • Firstly, if we download our files from an Outlook email attachment, then we’ll see this message “Be careful – email attachments can contain viruses. Unless you need to edit, it’s safer to stay in Protected View.“. We can follow the steps from method 1 to enable editing.
  • Secondly, if we open a file from another person’s OneDrive then we may see this message – “Be careful—This file is from someone else’s OneDrive. Unless you trust this person and want to continue collaborating with them, it is safer to stay in Protected View.“. To fix this, we need to click on “Trust Documents from this person”.

Conclusion

We’ve shown you the top 3 reasons with solutions for cannot edit Excel file in Protected View. We’ve got a lot more Excel tutorials in Exceldemy. Thanks for reading, keep excelling!


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Rafiul Haq

Rafiul Haq

Hello! This is Rafiul. I have an engineering degree and an MBA (finance) degree. I am passionate about all things related to data, and MS Excel is my favorite application. I want to make people's lives easier by writing easy-to-follow and in-depth Excel and finance related guides here at ExcelDemy.

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