SOLUTION: Word/Excel hangs when opening files/scrolling is greyed out

Recently, a number of machines I’ve serviced have experienced a problem where particular Office files hang when scrolling through them. At first, this seemed likely to be an issue with Hardware Accelerated graphics rendering, but that wasn’t the case.

The actual issue lies with what’s called Protected View. It’s designed to bolster security by limiting the permissions of files opened from risky locations, but at least currently, it’s leading to some broken functionality on a lot of machines.

The best solution that I’ve found (as a workaround) is to simply disable Protected View entirely until Microsoft sorts this out and releases a patch. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the affected Office application (you have to do this separately with all affected applications)!
  2. Navigate to: File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View
  3. Uncheck all of the items within this dialog, as seen below.

Problem solved!

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