FIX: Be careful files from the Internet can contain viruses

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Affiliate Disclosure

  • Microsoft is constantly trying to protect its systems against viruses and malware.
  • Users should be protected at all times from foreign Excel workbooks with possibly-infected macros.
  • Explore our detailed Troubleshooting hub for more easy-to-follow guides.
  • For helpful solutions to many other issues, be sure to take a look at our Microsoft Excel section.
how to fix Be careful, files from the Internet can contain viruses
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You need to be very careful when you are working with Microsoft Excel workbooks and other Office documents, because you can easily catch a malicious program or a virus.

Therefore, you may experience the Be careful files from the Internet can contain viruses error message when you tried to open an Excel document.

Due to the fact that many files are sent back and forth between business partners, colleagues, departments and companies via email, and they are randomly modified, this error may occur.

If you receive an Excel document from the Internet or by email and then open it on your own PC, you will first see the Protected View. However, the file cannot be edited with it.

What is the Protected View?

This is a security mechanism from Microsoft. If you download a file from the Internet or receive it by email, you do not know whether there are viruses attached to the file.

This protection mode guarantees that you don’t let viruses or malware enter your PC.

If you need to deactivate the protected view entirely, check out our detailed guide on this topic.

How can I download files safely from the Internet?

To save a file or image from the Internet to your PC, you have to download it first. You should take caution before you download something from the Internet because viruses, malware, and Trojans can easily attack your PC.

Therefore, the safest way to keep your PC running safely is to use good antivirus programs to scan all documents before they are downloaded.

You can check out our 6 best antivirus software with a lifetime license to make sure you have successfully covered this issue.

How to fix Be careful, files from the internet can contain viruses error?

1. Configure your network drive as a trusted locationConfirm new Trusted Location be careful, files from the Internet can contain viruses

  1. Open the Microsoft Excel app, and click on the File tab.
  2. Go to the Excel Options window, and select Trust Center.
  3. Click on Trust Center Settings, and choose Trusted Sites.
  4. Insert new paths. If the files are stored on a storage location in the network, the checkbox Allow trusted storage locations in the network must be activated.
  5. Click the Add new location button to add as many paths as you need, and click OK to finish.

The entered path will be among your storage locations and will no longer be criticized by Microsoft Excel through error messages.

Usually, Microsoft Office files are stored on a file server on the network. This facilitates the control of the access permissions, and also the backup of the data.


2. Disable the Protected View option

Disable Protected View Trusted Location be careful, files from the Internet can contain viruses

  1. Open the Microsoft Excel app, and click on the File tab.
  2. Go to the Excel Options window, and select Trust Center.
  3. Click the Trust Settings button, and choose Protected View.
  4. Disable the Enabled Protected View for files originating from the Internet option, and click OK to finish.

When you are confirming with OK, the system will remove the NTFS hint that the file is from the Internet, and Microsoft Excel will no longer switch to the Protected View mode.


One wrong click on the file attachments that are believed to be from a safe sender, and it may be responsible for infecting your entirely system. You should therefore be very careful when opening attachments from emails.

If you have any more questions or suggestions, or maybe another valid solution to the problem, be sure to let us know by using the comments section below.

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