Due to some administrative restrains, Word 2007 is not opening older files. Same goes for other Office 2007 programs.

While trying to open an older file, a popup comes, which directs you to MSDN KB.... article. Something to do with trust locations and so on. Then it goes on explaining how to modify the registry in order to enable opening files that are not in "trusted locations"

I'm sure someone here already encountered that problem. What is the easiest way to "persuade" Word to open ALL files on disk, regardless of version and whether he "trusts" them ?

I hate when Microsoft starts deciding whether he trusts my files instead of me.

Stephen showed a way to add "trusted locations". But that assumes where the file I wish to open is gonna be located. Which I often don't.
I'm looking for a way to disable "trusted options" completely. Regardless of security issues.


In Word, click the Office icon in the upper-left and go to Word Options. Then go to the Trust Center section and click "Trust Center Settings". This is where you can configure security settings for Word, and add new trusted locations.

If you want to globally disable this feature, the KB article you provided gives you instructions. Go to this KB article and follow "Method 2" to disable the restrictions entirely.

As an aside, remember that Microsoft put in these features precisely because older versions trusted you to do the right thing and would open any file without question. As it turns out, that was a bad idea and allowed viruses to spread. I find it amusing that people first complain when Microsoft products have no security, then they complain again when it's added in. It may not be a perfect solution, but it certainly is better than before.

  • 1
    I don't mind security features when I can choose which ones I want. I mind them when they're chosen for me. It's like, "burglairs broken into my flat because I left the window open", so now we're gonna "not let you into your flat because you might leave the window open" situation. – Rook Jul 16 '09 at 19:26
  • And this is not correct. It still doesn't open old files. This is for opening files with, VBA macros and such. – Rook Jul 16 '09 at 20:33
  • I'm looking for a way to disable that "trust" option completely. – Rook Jul 16 '09 at 20:38
  • I've edited my answer, see if this works for you. – Stephen Jennings Jul 17 '09 at 7:37

The correct answer is that trusted location features can not be disabled in Office 2007. Since you already mention that it you are not sure where the files would be opened this is the way it was designed. The My Documents folder is the standard trusted location, so I would suggest trying to organize all the files in their if they are on your local machine.

However I have rarely seen Word complain when opening a file from the local hard disk, unless you do not have the right permissions on the relevant folder.

  • Could you possible provide more information on how your are opening these files. Are you opening them from E-mail, Word directly or Explorer? – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 6:57
  • @Diego - if the last question was for me, yes; to put it simply, it's my machine, I trust everything on it, meaning I'm opening files from CD/DVD's, USB sticks/hard discs, and HDD's. From email, word and explorer (email is usually our in house communication). But nevertheless, if it is like you state, I'll stop using it, cause if I have to copy a file to a specific location before he lets me open it, then it's no good to me (pretty much all my coleagues in the company share this opinion). – Rook Jul 17 '09 at 11:18

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