Safe Documents in Microsoft 365 E5

Safe Documents is a feature in Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Security that uses Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection to scan documents and files that are opened in Protected View.

What do you need to know before you begin?

  • Safe Documents is now generally available to users with Office Version 2004 (12730.x) or greater! This feature is off by default and will need to be enabled by the Security Administrator.

  • This feature is only available to users with the Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Security license (not included in Office 365 ATP plans).

  • To connect to Exchange Online PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell. To connect to standalone EOP PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online Protection PowerShell.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform the procedures in this topic. To enable and configure Safe Documents, you need to be a member of the Organization Management or Security Administrator role groups. For more information about role groups in the Security & Compliance Center, see Permissions in the Security & Compliance Center.

How does Microsoft handle your data?

To keep you protected, Safe Documents sends files to the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection cloud for analysis.

  • Details on how Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection handles your data can be found here
  • In addition to the guidelines above, files sent by Safe Documents are not retained in Defender beyond the time needed for analysis, which is typically less than 24 hours

Use the Security & Compliance Center to configure Safe Documents

  1. Open the Security & Compliance Center at https://protection.office.com.

  2. Go to Threat management > Policy > ATP Safe Attachments.

  3. In the Help people stay safe when trusting a file to open outside Protected View in Office applications section, configure either of the following settings:

    • Turn on Safe Documents for Office clients

    • Allow people to click through Protected View even if Safe Documents identifies the file as malicious: We recommend that you don't enable this option.

  4. When you're finished, click Save.

ATP Safe attachments page

Use Exchange Online PowerShell or standalone EOP PowerShell to configure Safe Documents

Use the following syntax:

Set-AtpPolicyForO365 -EnableSafeDocs <$true | $false> -AllowSafeDocsOpen <$true | $false>
  • The EnableSafeDocs parameter enables or disables Safe Documents for the entire organization.

  • The AllowSafeDocsOpen parameter allows or prevents users from leaving Protected View (that is, opening the document) if the document has been identified as malicious.

This example enables Safe Documents for the entire organization, and prevents users from opening documents that have been identified as malicious from Protected View.

Set-AtpPolicyForO365 -EnableSafeDocs $true -AllowSafeDocsOpen $false

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-AtpPolicyForO365.

How do I know this worked?

To verify that you've enabled and configured Safe Documents, do any of the following steps:

  • In the Security & Compliance Center go to Threat management > Policy > ATP Safe Attachments, and verify the selections in the Help people stay safe when trusting a file to open outside Protected View in Office applications section.

  • Run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell and verify the property values:

    Get-AtpPolicyForO365 | Format-List *SafeDocs*