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Message: "Failed to import ..." or "An error occurred while importing ..." while importing CGM or other graphics


You attempt to insert a CGM or other picture into your PowerPoint slide (or into any of the other Office applications) and get one of the messages mentioned in the title. This may occur in Office 2003, 2007 or 2010.


Security settings for graphic filters for Microsoft Office 2010, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office 2003, and Microsoft Office XP has all the details and links to more information.

The short version: Microsoft has found that some graphics file formats may cause a security risk so it has issued patches that disable the filters for these formats. In other words, once the patch is in place, you can no longer import these graphics file types.

The link above explains how you can re-enable specific graphics types that the patch has disabled, or re-enable all disallowed graphics types.

If you're in a hurry and need to get one of these files imported NOW, you can make the following registry change (the usual cautions apply whenever you're in the registry ... if you don't know what they are, you should not follow these instructions):

For 32-bit Windows versions, go to:


For 64-bit Windows versions, go to:


Under that key, look for AllowListEnabled. If it's there, set it to 0.

If it's not there, create a new AllowListEnabled REG_DWORD key and set its value to 0.

Leave any other settings as-is. Close the registry, start PowerPoint and try importing your graphics file again.

This is the quick and dirty version of a fix. Once you're done with the immediate crisis, we recommend setting AllowListEnabled back to 1, then reading the link above to learn how to re-enable only the specific graphics file types you absolutely need.

These file types are not affected by the security update:

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Message: "Failed to import ..." or "An error occurred while importing ..." while importing CGM or other graphics
Last update 09 June, 2011