More hidden document traces

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The more we dig, the more places we find trace of your Office document history.

Recently we told you about some places where Word stores details of what documents you’ve opened, often much longer than you’d expect and with no direct way to remove these details.

Yet another location is where ‘Trusted Documents’ are recorded. These are documents opened from the email or the web that you’ve marked as ‘Enable Content’ to open and edit without warning.

http://img.office-watch.com/ow/Trusted%20Documents%201.png image from More hidden document traces at Office-Watch.com

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0Word
SecurityTrusted DocumentsTrustRecords

Just like ‘Where you left off‘ these details are recorded in the registry but there’s no direct way to remove them individually. The details are saved ‘in the clear’ for anyone to see. Removing the MRU item doesn’t remove the associated Trusted Document item.

There’s also some binary data saved with each Trusted Document but no documentation about what is being saved there.

To clear all Trusted Documents, dig waaaaay down to File | Options | Trust Center | Trust Center Settings | Trusted Documents.  But you still can’t see which documents are ‘Trusted’ nor edit the list individually.

http://img.office-watch.com/ow/Trusted%20Documents%202.png image from More hidden document traces at Office-Watch.com

Unlike the ‘Where you left off’ feature, you can, at least, turn Trusted Documents off from the same dialog box.

There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of ‘Trusted Documents’ saved in the registry. Because Trusted Documents isn’t used all the time, the history of the documents can be a lot older than you might expect.

Surprisingly, the Trusted Documents list isn’t done on a ‘per user’ basis like MRU’s are in Office 2013. If one person marks a document as ‘Trusted’ that seems to apply to anyone who opens that document on that computer.


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