"Run Programs" custom action is disabled in PowerPoint 2016

ISSUE

When you click on an object in PowerPoint Slide Show that has an Action Setting of type Run Program, nothing happens even though this worked before.

The problem may occur because you have updated to a build of PowerPoint with a new security policy of blocking Run program Action Settings for your protection. Depending on which update channel you use, the new security policy is in builds greater than Version 1708 (Build 8431.XXXX) for Monthly Channel and Version 1802 (Build 9029.XXXX) for Semi-Annual Channel or Semi-Annual (Targeted) Channel.

SOLUTION

If you need Run program Action Settings to continue to work, you can modify the registry to re-enable them:

Important: Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems may occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you start, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

  1. Exit all Microsoft Office applications.

  2. Start Registry Editor:

    • In Windows 10, go to Start, enter regedit in the Search box, and then select regedit.exe in the search results.

    • In Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, move your mouse to the upper-right corner, select Search, enter regedit in the search text box, and then select regedit.exe in the search results.

    • In Windows 7, select Start, enter regedit in the Start Search box, and then select regedit.exe in the search results.

  3. Locate and then select the following registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\PowerPoint\Security

  4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then select DWORD Value.

  5. Enter RunPrograms, and then press Enter.

  6. In the Details pane, press and hold (or right-click) RunPrograms, and then select Modify.

  7. In the Value data box, enter 1, and then select OK.

    • 0 means that Run program Action Settings are disabled. This is the new default value.

    • 1 means that Run program Action Settings are enabled, but a security warning dialog will be displayed before the program is run. This was the old default value.

    • 2 means that Run program Action Settings are enabled without the security warning dialog. This is not recommended.

  8. Exit Registry Editor.

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