You receive a "This file contains macros with an expired or revoked signature" error message when you start Word 2002

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Article ID: 301638 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q301638
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SYMPTOMS

When you start Microsoft Word 2002, or when you start Microsoft Outlook 2002 and you are using Word as the e-mail editor, you receive the following message:
This file contains macros with an expired or revoked signature. Since you are running under High Security Level, these macros will be disabled.
This message appears even if you selected the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box on the Trusted Sources tab of the Security dialog box.

NOTE: To access the Security dialog box in Word, point to Macros on the Tools menu, and then click Security.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs when Word macro security is set at the High security setting, and a Word add-in file contains a macro with an expired certificate.

WORKAROUND

To determine the name and location of the add-in file that contains the expired certificate, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu in Word, point to Macros, and then click Security.
  2. Select the Medium security setting, and then click OK.
  3. Quit Word. Quit Outlook if you are using Word as the e-mail editor.
  4. Restart Word.
  5. When the Macro Security dialog box appears, the first three lines will display the location, file name, and software vendor for the file that contains the expired certificate. For additional information about the expired certificate, click Details.
  6. Click Disable Macros.
To restore the High macro security setting, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Macros, and then click Security.
  2. Select the High security setting, and then click OK.
After you determine the source of the expired certificate, you may decide to trust this software vendor. If that is the case, use one of the two following methods to continue using the add-in file and to prevent the "expired or revoked signature" message from appearing when you start Word.

NOTE: Macros may contain viruses. If you do not recognize the software vendor on the certificate, delete the add-in file to prevent the "expired or revoked signature" message from appearing. For help with deleting the file, click Help on the Start menu in Microsoft Windows, and search for the "deleting files" topic.

Method 1: Change the Startup Path in Word to the Folder That Contains the Add-in

Use the following steps to change the startup path in Word to the folder that contains the add-in file:
  1. On the Tools menu in Word, click Options.
  2. Select the File Locations tab.
  3. In the File types list, select Startup, and then click Modify.
  4. In the Modify Location dialog box, select the folder that contains the add-in file with the expired certificate, and then click OK.
  5. In the Options dialog box, click OK.
  6. On the Tools menu, point to Macros, and then click Security.
  7. Select the Trusted Sources tab, and verify that the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box is selected.
  8. Click OK and then restart Word to verify that the "expired or revoked signature" message does not appear.

Method 2: Move the Add-in File into the Word Startup Path

The following are the default locations for the Word startup path:
Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) with user profiles:
C:\WINDOWS\Profiles\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0:
C:\WINNT\Profiles\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP
If you want to be sure of the Word startup path before you move the add-in file, verify the path by following these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu in Word, click Options.
  2. Select the File Locations tab.
  3. In the File types list, select Startup, and then click Modify.
  4. In the Modify Location dialog box, click the DOWN arrow in the Look in box to see the complete location of the folder.
  5. Click Cancel in the Modify Location dialog box.
  6. Click Close in the Options dialog box.
After you know the file name and location of the add-in file, as well as the Word startup path, move the add-in file from its current location to the folder specified in the Word startup path.

For help with moving the file, click Help on the Start menu in Windows, and search for the "moving files" topic.

NOTE: If you reinstall the software that includes the Word add-in, the add-in file will be placed back in its original location, and the "revoked or expired signature" message will appear again. To prevent this, contact the vendor for an updated version of their software.

For information about how to contact third-party vendors, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

Microsoft Word 2002 automatically loads any document template (*.dot) or Word add-in library (*.wll) that is saved in either of two Startup folders.

One of these Startup folders is in the directory that contains the Microsoft Office XP program files. The other is in the directory that contains the Windows operating system files, or the directory that contains the user's profile on computers with user profiles enabled.

Earlier versions of Word trust all add-in files in either of these Startup folders if the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box is selected in the Security dialog box.

Word 2002 only trusts one folder, which is the folder that is specified as the Word startup path in the Options dialog box.

For additional information about macro security in Microsoft Word 2002 and Microsoft Office XP, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
285514 Macros and add-ins do not run when security is set to High in PowerPoint and in Word
287567 OFFXP: Considerations for Disabling VBA in Office XP
290949 "The Macros in the Project Are Disabled" Message When You Run a Macro
211607 WD: Frequently Asked Questions About Word Macro Viruses
233396 WD: How to Reduce the Chances of Macro Virus Infection

Properties

Article ID: 301638 - Last Review: June 16, 2008 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbaddin kberrmsg kbtshoot kbbug kbpending KB301638

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