About Excel's Trusted Locations

Oct 22, 2009 at 6:45 PM
Edited Jun 9, 2014 at 11:33 PM
The Problem

Several people have saved NodeXL workbooks and then encountered a problem while attempting to open them again. The workbook appears properly on the left side of Excel's window, but the graph pane on the right is empty and the message "The customization assembly could not be found or could not be loaded..." pops up in a dialog box. If you click the dialog box's Details button, the details include "Customized functionality in this program will not work because the location of NodeXLWorkbook.xlsx is not in the Office Trusted Locations list, or all trusted locations are disabled. Contact your administrator for further assistance."

The Cause

This occurs because Excel does not "trust" the folder in which you've saved the NodeXL workbook. Excel uses a list of "trusted locations" to protect your computer against malicious software hidden in workbooks. NodeXL workbooks contain software, so they must be saved in a folder that you have told Excel to trust.

The Solution

To fix the problem, you can either save all NodeXL workbooks to a folder that is already trusted, or add a folder to the trusted location list. In either case, you can access the list like this:

1) In Excel 2013 or Excel 2010, select File, Options. (In Excel 2007, click the round Office button in the upper-left corner of the Excel window, then select Excel Options.)

2) In the Excel Options window, select Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Trusted Locations.

3) If "Disable all Trusted Locations" is checked, uncheck it. (But if it was checked because you work in a corporate environment and your company has deliberately "locked down" Excel on your computer, ask your IT administrator first.

4) Either save your NodeXL workbooks to one of the folders already in the list, or add a new folder by clicking "Add new location". Be careful about what you add. You wouldn't want to add your entire C: drive, for example, because that would allow malicious workbooks anywhere on your drive to be opened.
Mar 5, 2012 at 7:09 AM

I'm experiencing the same problem as above, but the suggestion didn't solve the problem. Any other things to try?

Mar 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Are you sure you're getting the exact error message discussed in this post?  The symptom is that you get a message that includes the text "The customization assembly could not be found or could not be loaded..." in a pop-up dialog box that includes a Details button, and that if you click the Details button, the details include "Customized functionality in this program will not work because the location of NodeXLWorkbook.xlsx is not in the Office Trusted Locations list, or all trusted locations are disabled. Contact your administrator for further assistance."

If that is the case, then the solution I outlined should fix it.  Please confirm that this applies to you, and that you still get the same error messages even after you trust the folder containing your NodeXL workbooks.  If you're getting different error messages, please post them.

-- Tony