How To Fix Protected View Office Has Detected A Problem With This File Excel 2016?

Does your Excel file frequently showing Office has detected a problem with this file error?

After the occurrence of this error your Excel file will get opened in the protected mode. In this mode most of the editing options were disabled so you can’t perform any task freely.

If you are dealing with this then this blog will help you out to find the best solution to fix protected view Office has detected a problem with this file Excel 2016.

What Are The Circumstances That Leads To Protected View Office Has Detected A Problem Error?

Mostly this error comes in the following situations:

  •   When you have opened an embedded object.
  •   While performing a mail merge.
  •   Opening Excel file from the viewer.

After such cases, you will receive the following error message:

Office has detected a problem with this file. To help protect your computer this file cannot be opened.

Why Is My Excel File Opening In Protected View?

When a file is opened in a protected view read only mode is activated and thus most of the editing options are disabled in it. Well there are so many reasons behind opening an Excel file in a protected view. Check out the listed reasons:

  • The file was opened from an Internet location  –

When the following error message occurs: “Be careful – files from the Internet can contain viruses. Unless you need to edit, it’s safer to stay in Protected View.”, this means that your excel file is opened from an Internet location. So this downloaded file from the Internet may have some embedded harmful content and viruses.

So it is recommended to edit these documents only if you have trust over them.

  • The file received as an Outlook attachment-

When the following error message occurs: “Be careful – email attachments can contain viruses. Unless you need to edit, it’s safer to stay in Protected View.” It’s a sign that your PC’s safety guidelines have marked this file as potentially unsafe.

  • The file is blocked by File Block   –

When the following error message occurs:editing this file type is not allowed due to policy settings”. This means the specific excel file which you are trying to edit is blocked from the trust center’s file block settings.

  • The file was opened in Protected View by using the Open in Protected View option   – 

When the following error message occurs: “This file was opened in Protected View. Click for more details. This means the file which you are trying to open is in the protected view.

  • The file was opened from an unsafe location   – 

When the following error message occurs: “This file was opened from a potentially unsafe location. Click for more details.”.

That means the file which you are trying to open is saved in some unsafe location such as Temporary Internet Files folder.

  • The file was opened from someone else’s OneDrive storage

When the following error message occurs: “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.”

This means when someone shares the excel files in OneDrive you are attempting to open it from there. Such types of files are considered as untrusted and it can cause damage to your PC.

  • File validation failure   – 

When the following error message occurs: Office has detected a problem with this file. Editing it may harm your computer. Click for more details.”

It means the file which you want to open has failed the file validation procedure.  This validation process scans files for any kind of security problems which arise due to file structure modifications.

How To Fix Protected View Office Has Detected A Problem With This File Excel 2016 Error ?

Go through the given fixes one by one to troubleshoot protected view Office has detected a problem with this Excel 2016 file.

1# Disable The Protected View Option

2# Update Microsoft Excel application

3# Repair Microsoft Excel

4# Add A Trusted Location For The File

1# Disable The Protected View Option

The very first solution that you all must try to fix protected view error is disabling this option.

  • Open your MS Excel application and tap to the File>options tab.

Restore from File Recover

  • This will open the Excel Option window on your screen. Now from the left pane hit the Trust Center option.

Enable the ActiveX Settings

  • Hit the button of Trust Settings and then select the Protected View option in the next opened window.
  • Un-select the option “Enabled Protected View for files originating from the Internet”

Disable Protected View In MS Excel 2

If Excel files are being opened from the network drive it gets opened in the protected view. So, it is very useful for unknown sources.

Whereas in the product environment this protected view is too annoying when this is done from NAS which is the central data server.

So by keeping it disabled you can easily continue your work.

2# Update Microsoft Excel application

Generally MS Office takes its update automatically but in case it won’t work then it’s better to update it manually. Otherwise you will get the error message upon opening.

  • First of all open the Microsoft Excel application, and then make a tap over the File tab.
  •  Now tap to the Product Information tab. Once the page of product detail get open on your screen choose Update Options.
  •  Hit the button of Update Now.

Update Excel On Mac

3# Repair Microsoft Excel

Various types of MS Office malfunctioning can be easily resolved with this repair process. So you must try this solution once.

  • Open the control panel in your PC, and hit the Program>programs and feature tab.

control panel

  • Now choose Microsoft Office Suite from the list of installed applications.
  • Once you get it make a right click over it, and then from the drop down menu choose the Change option.
  •  In the next open window you have to choose the “repair” button.

ms office repair from control panel

4# Add A Trusted Location For The File

This solution is applicable for all works for all the latest MS Office products such as Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint and Visio etc.

  •  Open your MS Office application.
  •  Hit the File > Options tab.
  •  This will open the Excel Option window on your screen. Now from the left pane hit the Trust Locations option.
  •  Make a tap over the Add new location.

Add A Trusted Location For The File

  • Hit the Browse button and select your problematic file. After that hit the OK button.

FAQ:

What Is Protected View?

Protected view is a feature that is facilitated by the MS Office application. Previous versions of MS Office such as 2010 runs on Isolated Conversion Environment thus you can’t find this feature on that.

Whereas, the latest version like Office 365/2019/2016/2013 runs on an isolated sandbox environment and thus they have this protected view feature.

Why Use Protected View?

Files which come from unsafe locations or the internet may have a chance of having virus or malware in it which can havoc your whole PC. In order to prevent your PC from this kind of attack you should always open those files in a protected view.

In the protected view, you have the option to read your file and when you feel the file is a secure one then you can enable its editing feature.

How To Exit From Protected View To Do Easy Editing, Saving, Or Printing Like Tasks?

If you need to only see the file content and no editing is required then remain in this protected view.  But if you are completely sure that your file is from a trustworthy source then take the easy exit from the protected view and start performing tasks like editing, saving or printing.

Take exit from the Protected View and do editing when yellow colored Message box appears:

  •   Go to the yellow Message Bar, and hit the Enable Editing option.

Take exit from the Protected View and do editing when red colored Message box appears:

  •   Hit File option and then Edit Anyway.

Note: it’s recommended to open the file only when you are completely sure about its source.

Why Can't I Exit Protected View?

If you are unable to exit from the protected view then chances are high that the system administrator has set some rules to prevent closing of the protected view.

So talk to the administrator to remove these rules.

Conclusion:

The protected view Office has detected a problem with this file in Excel 2016 message is a very annoying one. But now that you know how to fix it so you don’t need to deal with this anymore.

Besides this you are facing any other problem in your Excel file corruption or damage then you should try Excel repair tool. It is the best professional tool to repair xls/xlsx file.

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Margret Arthur is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and expertise on MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in easy to understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.