Visio 2013 File Blocking

One of the first few updates for the Office 2013 suite seems to have altered the file blocking mechanism in Visio 2013. If you don’t have any 2013 style files yet and try to open a previous version, you will get the error below:

In default form, Office 2013 blocks the opening all document versions prior to that of 2013. One fix is to enter the Trust Center, as the error message indicates, and alter the file block settings unchecking the “open” boxes next to the versions you require. Interestingly if you compare the file block settings between Word and Visio they do not match. Visio does not inherit any of these behaviors.

The “open behavior” options at the bottom default to “do not open” and cannot be changed. This should resolve the problem but another way is to click “Trusted Locations” from the left side of the Trust Center and add the file paths where your Visios live. You’ll notice that this is empty by default as trusted locations are exempt from the security mechanisms.

Make sure to include the subfolders of whatever location you select.

Click Ok all the way out and you should be good to go now.

Two ways to solve the same problem. This mechanism didn’t work correctly when Visio 2013 launched a year ago but now appears that all is well.


  1. Excellent workaround!! I have just been able to open an old archive of Visio process maps after struggling for hours with the Microsoft 'official' instructions.

  2. What you are supposed to do is to *uncheck* these boxes

    1. Yep! In the beginning this didn't work correctly but I've updated the post to reflect the current behavior. Thanks for stopping by!


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