Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Windows Access Rights Management
Post Reply
ytene
Getting the hang of things
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:17 am
Location: UK

Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Post by ytene » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:28 am

Hello Everyone.

Posting this in case it proves to be useful for anyone else grappling with the "Trust Center" feature of recent Microsoft Office Products.

I have been working with Microsoft Office 2016 Professional, running on Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit desktops [2 copies of Office on 2 different machines] and hitting a problem any time I opened a file that contained a macro. I say "problem", what I mwan to say is that I see a little amber/yellow warning strip pop up, with a message of,

"The path you have entered cannot be used as a Trusted Location for security reasons. Choose another location or a specific folder."

I'd asked Microsoft Support for help and after a bunch of checks and tests, they declared that the problem had to be with my QNAP NAS [a TS670] because they "don't see the problem on NAS boxes from other vendors". Turns out they might have been wrong... The issue I had all boiled down to the full CIFS path name that I was trying to add to my Microsoft Office "Trusted Locations" shortlist.

I had configured my Windows Workstations to automatically map 2 different "data" volumes, one to each of my 2 QNAP NAS boxes [I also have a TS 459 Pro II]. Once this has been "done once" [and assuming you let Windows remember the access credentials], then in Windows Explorer you will see such a network drive mapped as

Public (\\192.168.1.41) Q:

If you go to Microsoft Office Trust Centre, tick the box that allows trusting network locations [which is reported as not recommended], you might then be tempted to enter values such as:-

T:\Data\Office Files\

or

\\TS670\Data\Office Files\

because this is exactly how these locations appear in i.e. Microsoft Windows Explorer.

This is, in fact, wrong.

Instead, a better way to do this is to go in to Trust Center, activate the network locations option, select "Browse" and then navigate to the location - select your QNAP NAS and double-click on it, then select your preferred share. As a result, what you should see in your "User Locations" field in the Trust Center is something which looks like this,

\\TS670\Public\Data\

and not this

\\TS670\Data\

even though the second of these formats is exactly what Windows Explorer shows you.

Obviously I can't know without looking at the code, but at a wild guess I'll suggest that the programmer[s] who wrote the Windows Explorer network drive mapping code and the programmer[s] who wrote the Trust Center for Office didn't actually speak to eachother. This problem would have been entirely avoidable had these two pieces of Microsoft software actually represented network pathnames in a consistent way.

I do hope that this proves to be helpful to anyone else grappling with this particular problem.
TS-670/16Gb with 6xWD Red 12Tb [RAID6] + 2 Cold Spare
TVS-672XT/32Gb with 6xWD Red [RAID6] 12Tb + 2 Cold Spare
Linux Mint 19.3/64-Bit / Windows 10/64-Bit

User avatar
oyvindo
Experience counts
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Norway, Oslo

Re: Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Post by oyvindo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:36 pm

Excellent discovery! Thank you so much for sharing.
If only some MS people also would visit this Forum....
ImageImageImageImage

ytene
Getting the hang of things
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:17 am
Location: UK

Re: Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Post by ytene » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:52 am

Sorry to have to correct my own post - but, for clarification...

if you have a Microsoft Office file which contains one or more macros [and in the case of Access Databases, then if one of those macros is set to autorun when the Database loads], then you will receive a warning message which appears as a horizontal band of text which appears between the "ribbon" and the main display panel, when your DB loads. The text will read, "! SECURITY WARNING Some active content has been disabled. Click for more details."

The full steps to implement the fix [for me] were:-

1. Run Access as Administrator
2. Open Trust Center
3. Select "Trusted Locations"
4. Single-Click my "User Location" entry for the NAS box, then click "Modify..."
5. Ignore the "Path" value, even though it is possible to hand-hack it here, and instead click "Browse"...
6. Realise that, as Administrator, I can no longer "see" my 2 QNAP network drives [which I map as Q: and T:], presumably because that mapping is done under my default, non-Administrator ID, and I am currently running Access as "Administrator" ...
7. Instead go to "Network"
8. Double-click the "server" icon for the relevant NAS box...
9. Find the 5 shares that I have configured on the NAS, and pick the relevant one...
10. Pick the "Data" folder within that network share, to at least put *some* limitations on the extent of the trust...
11. Save and quit access
12. Re-launch access as a non-Administrator user, and observe that I get full access to the file, without the annoying warning...

As mentioned above, this is caused by the fact that Office has a very peculiar way of "mapping" trusted locations - it is nothing to do with QNAP or CIFS, but the way Access demands to see file paths...
TS-670/16Gb with 6xWD Red 12Tb [RAID6] + 2 Cold Spare
TVS-672XT/32Gb with 6xWD Red [RAID6] 12Tb + 2 Cold Spare
Linux Mint 19.3/64-Bit / Windows 10/64-Bit

Tim1023
Starting out
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:02 pm

Re: Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Post by Tim1023 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:52 pm

Thank you ytene!

My wife was just getting really antsy about problems with her key, interconnected Excel files. You tip seems to have fixed the problem!
TS-251B, QTS 4.3.5.0723 (2018/10/13), 2 x WD Red 4T SATA, UPS= Cyberpower VALUE600EILCD, NAS backup to external HD stored off-site

ytene
Getting the hang of things
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:17 am
Location: UK

Re: Microsoft Office - "Trusted Location" Problem - A Fix

Post by ytene » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:00 am

Tim,

Really glad to learn that it was of use... Having contacted Microsoft and learned they wanted to charge me to "help look for a solution", I figure that posting fixes like this on line and helping other people avoid having to pay for things that should have worked in the first place was a nice way to give back to the community.
TS-670/16Gb with 6xWD Red 12Tb [RAID6] + 2 Cold Spare
TVS-672XT/32Gb with 6xWD Red [RAID6] 12Tb + 2 Cold Spare
Linux Mint 19.3/64-Bit / Windows 10/64-Bit

Post Reply

Return to “Windows”