Microsoft 365: Bugs in Word 365 release 2301 – Write protection blocks changes and VBA AddIns

[German]A German blog reader has pointed out nasty bugs in release 2301 of Microsoft Word from Office 365 or Microsoft 365. Read-only files can only be changed after saving them under a different name. And VBA addins can no longer be executed. Would be interesting if other readers can reproduce these errors.


German blog reader Ingo W. contacted me yesterday by email, because he resp. his customers are quite annoyed by the bugs. Ingo is probably a developer of VBA addins and runs into problems with Microsoft 365. In a mail titled Bug in Release 2301 Word 365 he wrote:

Hello Mr. Born,

I turn to you, because I hope that you have better contacts to Microsoft or rather can put pressure on Microsoft.

In the last week I have had problems reported by two customers with Microsoft 365 who are using software of mine [a software he has developed].

With "building up pressure" or with contacts it is such a thing: I have no contacts to Microsoft and build up pressure on a rubber ball – that does not work. I refer an addendum to this post, which I've added, after I sent Microsoft a link to a bug description – they act just stupid, I'm done.

But I put the bug description of the reader here in the blog, maybe other readers have the problem and someone opens a ticket at Microsoft.

Version 2301 (Build 16026.20146) of Microsoft 365 was released in the Current Channel as of January 26, 2023, as I saw here. But there is no information about Word in the release notes.

Changing read-only files

The first unpleasant effect is reported about read-only files. The nature of a read-only file is, of course, that you cannot change it. However, if I understood correctly, it used to be that you could open such a document and amend it. Only when saving, Word then demanded a different name for the write protected document. Ingo writes about this:

First, it is obviously in the current version so that with read-only files no more change can be made until one has saved these files under a new name.

This annoys me and my customers, because until now we made the changes and then decided if the changed version should be saved at all.

But this is just annoying: if Microsoft leaves it that way, you can live with it.

Well, here you can understand that Microsoft changes the workflow and postulates that changes to the Word document are only possible if the file is not read-only. Whether that makes sense is another matter.


VBA addins locked

But Ingo describes another effect that brings real problems if AddIns created in VBA are to be used with read-only files. For this he wrote:

But now to a real huge problem:

At the latest since release 2301 there is a massive bug that prevents addins programmed in VBA.

If by VBA new files with read-only templates are created or by VBA read-only files are opened or by VBA Word files are inserted into other Word files, it comes to the abort.

for instance with Documents. Open path & filename

With one of my customers with the error message: "A problem was detected by Word", with another customer with eternal hourglass without error message and with me with the error message 5792 "The file may be damaged".

The same VBA command works fine if the file is not read-only.

I can reproduce this with a small test document and a macro with one line of code.

Similarly, with the command "Documents. Add Template". If the template is not read-only, everything works as usual.

If the template is read-only, there is an error.

Still important: This effect does not occur with empty, freshly created files. However, if you copy texts with your own style sheets into these documents, the error occurs.

Ingo had offered me to provide a test file to test this myself. But this makes no sense, because I don't use Microsoft 365 and I don't have it installed (although Microsoft shows me adds to test it, each time I visit their web site). The question to my readers: can anyone reproduce this? Is this only from release 2301, or did it occur earlier?

Cookies helps to fund this blog: Cookie settings

This entry was posted in issue, Office and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Microsoft 365: Bugs in Word 365 release 2301 – Write protection blocks changes and VBA AddIns

  1. TJ says:

    I have experienced the same issue regarding "read only" in Microsoft 365. I notified them today (2-14-23) of the problem. Hopefully they will fix it soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *