How to enable disabled Macros in Outlook?

Here’s a quick question we just got from a reader:

I have educated myself on the topic of  developing VBA macros for Outlook using your tutorials. Now, i would like to run my newly created macro and i get a message stating that “Macros in this project have been disabled and and i should be consulting Online help”. Any clue about what i am doing wrong here? For what it worth, i am using Outlook 2019 / 365.

Thanks for the question. Looks like you are having issues related to your Macro security settings. Read on for a fix.

Outlook Macros are disabled. How to fix?

Before we help you to allow your Outlook macros, let’s understand a few basics. Macros are snippets of Visual Basic Code that are embedded in your Microsoft Office application. Macros that we write in Outlook are stored in the VBAProject.otm file and its behavior and availability to the end users is governed by the Outlook Macro security settings.

The error message you got is simply due to the fact that your Microsoft Outlook Macro settings are set to disable Macros. The reason for that is that custom Macros could pose a potential threat to your computer hardware, security and contained data. That’s exactly the reason why you should never copy a macro from an unknown source.


Assuming that you have written your Macro on you own and feel comfortable running it on your PC, you should adjust the Macro security settings accordingly.

Enabling macro security settings in Outlook

To enable macros in Outlook, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook
  2. From the Ribbon, hit File.
  3. Hit Options.
  4. From the left Panel, hit Trust Center.
  5. Then hit the Trust Center Settings.
  6. Then Macro Settings.
  7. Now, go ahead and set your security level. Our recommendation is that is to use the following settings:
    • Version 365/2019: Use Disable All Macros with Notification or
    • Version 2016/2013: Use Notifications for only Digitally Signed…
  8. Once done, go ahead and hit OK.
  9. Next restart Outlook to ensure that your new security settings take effect.
  10. Your macros should now be running.

Troubleshoot Macro Security issues from the Developer Tab

If you already have the Outlook Developer tab enabled, the process is even more simple. Just as an FYI, the Developer Ribbon menu contains an integrated development environment to allows you to write your VBA macro code.  Let’s take a quick look on how to switch your Macro security settings from the Developer tab:

  1. First off, Let’s go ahead and launch Microsoft Outlook.
  2. From the Ribbon, Hit the Developer command.
  3. Now, go ahead and  hit the Macro Security button.
  4. Proceed as we described above.

Kindly post a comment in case of follow up questions on Outlook Macros. Happy coding 😉