December Update blocks ActiveX/Macro execution in Excel 2013

Microsoft has released some Security Updates on December Patch day (2014/12/09), also some critical patches (see Security Bulletin MS14-082) for Microsoft Office. It seems that security update KB2553154 for Microsoft Office 2010 causes serious issues. Some users are reporting, that ActiveX controls and macros fails in Excel 2013. Here a few insights and [hopefully] a cure.


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I stumbled uppon this problem browsing some user comments within my German article Microsoft Dezember 2014-Patchday-Nachlese. Some reader wrotes, that since patch day Excel 2013 macros won’t work anymore. Buttons to invoke macros wasn’t functional anymore (he wrotes, that it affected protected sheets, but I guess, it affects all VBA macros using ActiveX controls).

The user mentioned above was able to fix things using a system restore in Windows – but as an admin he had to troubleshoot 80 clients. So my proposal was, to uninstall the related updates addressed in Security Bulletin MS14-082, Security Bulletin MS14-082 includes several patches:

    • Security Update for Microsoft Office 2007 suites (KB2596927)
    • Security Update for Microsoft Office 2010 (KB2553154)
    • Security Update for Microsoft Office 2013 (KB2726958)

Uninstall of Update KB2553154 for Microsoft Office 2010 solved the macro problem. At this point I was prepared, to do a deeper web search.

Here comes a workaround

I noticed, that somebody has already reported that issue, but user comments indicates, that this issue was gone within a fresh user profile. Somebody tracked it down to the following workaround: Just search for file MSForms.exd, which shall be located in temporary folder

C:\Users\user.name\AppData\Local\Temp\Excel8.0\


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and delete MSForms.exd. The file should rebuild during next Excel 2013 launch, and all VBA macros should work (shall be able, to use ActiveX controls). I haven’t tested it yet – maybe somebody, who has successfully used the workaround can drop a comment.

Update: Microsoft has released a FixIt

Microsoft has published KB article 3025036 (“Cannot insert object” error in an ActiveX custom Office solution after you install the MS14-082 security update), that discusses this issue. This article also provides download links for FixIt solutions. Just download the appropriate FixIt and execute the .exe program. Afterward Excel show work as estimated. Hope that helps.

Further links
A discussion at stackoverflow
FYI: Dezember-Update KB2553154 kann Excel 2013 Makro-Ausführung blockieren


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31 Responses to December Update blocks ActiveX/Macro execution in Excel 2013

  1. guenni says:

    Some Remarks and Updates

    I’ve posted it here in German Microsoft Answers Forum. A feedback from another answers moderator indicates, that deleting MSForms.exd won’t fix the issue in Excel 2010. The blocked ActiveX execution can only be solved by uninstalling KB2553154.

    But note, that there are at least several copies of MSForms.exd within a user profile.

    C:usernameAppDataLocalTempExcel8.0
    C:usernameAppDataLocalTempVBE
    C:usernameAppDataLocalTempWord8.0

    So take care to delete all of them. There is also a KB-document https://support.microsoft.com/kb/199830 explaining some ActiveX stuff.

    I’ve left a comment at this Technet blog article (don’t know, if and when my comment will be public).

    Update: Microsoft Excel support team has released this blog article, confirming the mess.

    Update 1: Microsoft has published this KB 3025036 article with a fixit, that should solve the issue (the fixit removes the wrong .exd-files).

    December Patches also blocking ActiveX controls in Word

    Word is also affected from December 2014 Security fixes. I’ve documented it in my German blog posting Dezember-Update: Workaround für blockierte Word-Makros. Just try the same workaround and deleteMSForms.exd within folder

    C:usernameAppDataLocalTempWord8

    Hope it solve this issue.

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  3. WIA says:

    It seems that it works for Excel 2007.

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  5. Bryan says:

    This solution worked perfectly for our company. Some of our users reported problems with Excel tools this morning (containing ActiveX controls). After deleting MSForms.exd the Tools are working without runtime errors… Uninstalling the security update KB2553154 would also fix the Problem…

    Many thanks guenni!

  6. Keith says:

    Great find.

    Spent a long couple of hours playing with this problem until I found your solution. I just deleted MSForms.exd and now all is working fin.

    Thanks guenni!

  7. Robert Langer says:

    I can’t find MSForms.exd.

    Windows 7 x64, updated 11 December 2014
    Excel 2013 update, 12 December 2014

  8. Rob says:

    Thanks for the tip. I had similar problems with my macros in Excel2010. Removing the update solved it!!

    Many thanks,

    Rob

    • Rob says:

      But of course on the next update the patch was re-installed so its better to remove the .exd file.

  9. Kevin says:

    Issue arose this morning at our company, deleted the file, issue went away.

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  10. Renata Bittencourt says:

    The workaround worked well. Thank you!!!!!

  11. David says:

    removed the .exd from excel 2007 sp3 and problems went away.
    cheers.

  12. CG says:

    “What’s wrong with Microsoft? Did they fire the QA?”

    Yes, the did. A part of the 18.000 layoffs are from test departement – afaik

  13. CG says:

    Okay, removing KB2553154 seemed to work, no need to remove the files within Appdata…
    In the final test we just had another problem, which consists for a long time:
    If we copy sheets the copy sometimes breaks and e.g. just leaves pictures instead of buttons within the duplicated sheet.

    Thx
    – Christof

  14. Guillaume says:

    Case closed after having deleted the file MSForms.exd.
    We are back in business.
    Thanks for your help.

  15. Yi says:

    Actually renaming the *.exd files with VBA is possible even when Excel is running. I wrote a VBA snippet that tries to rename the *.exd file in the Workbook_Open event. I’ve posted the code on my website. Developers can insert the snippet into their spreadsheets they’re distributing.

    It’s not a perfect fix, but it gets the job done for now.

    Microsoft Update Breaks ActiveX Controls VBA Fix

  16. Luuk says:

    Great work, after deleting the file everything works fine.
    It’s annoying microsoft brings out such an update.

  17. Morten Nielsen says:

    Thanks for the info.
    Using Office 2007 and after uninstalling KB2596927 everything works again.

  18. Brandon says:

    Workaround worked, Office ’07.

  19. Bauckmeier says:

    Thank you!
    also delete
    %USERPROFILE%AppDataLocalTempWord8.0MSForms.exd
    %USERPROFILE%AppDataLocalTempVBEMSForms.exd

  20. Jose Angel Dubon Lanza says:

    Hi,

    Good night,

    I found the MSForms.exd at this location only:

    C:\Users\user.name\AppData\Local\Temp\Excel8.0\

    After deleting it, my Excel 2010 files with macros started working fine again.

    Thank you very much.

  21. Dirk Smeyers says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for the tip. I had a problem with Excel 2013. Wtih the fix-it program from Wondows on http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3025036/EN-US, the solution was immediatly solved.

    Thanks again!

  22. Himal Jayawardena says:

    We applied the solution and it is working now.

    Thanks for saving my time…… :)

  23. GT says:

    removed the exd file and it worked perfectly.
    Thanks

  24. Caiwen says:

    Thank you very much for sharing. It worked by removing MSForms.exd :)

  25. godef says:

    Deleting the exd file worked for me. However, I could not find KB2553154 in my installed programs. Should my machine ever get updated, could this problem re-surface?

    • guenni says:

      I hope not that the problem will re-surface – but who know, what Microsoft decided so send out as update.

  26. notfunny says:

    As we work with different users (business) we can cot force them to delete those files and it is not solution for as moreover I deleted it and it doesn’t work for me :(

  27. Thomas says:

    The above fixes by Microsoft does not fix the activeX problem in VBA. If a new activeX like a button is created in the Excel sheet, the name ends with 21 instead of 1. Also, the saved Excel file will not work on the other PC without the patch.

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