Privacy and Security Unblock File Downloaded from Internet in Windows 11


  • Staff
Windows_Security_banner.png

This tutorial will show you different ways on how to unblock files downloaded from the Internet depending on how they were blocked in Windows 11.

When you download files from the Internet, Windows 11 shows you a security warning every time you try to open it by default. Some file types are blocked from opening.

The Attachment Manager is included in Windows to help protect your PC from unsafe attachments that you might receive with an e-mail message and from unsafe files that you might save from the Internet. If the Attachment Manager identifies an attachment that might be unsafe, the Attachment Manager prevents (blocks) you from opening the file, or it warns you before you open the file.

It uses the IAttachmentExecute application programming interface (API) to find the file type, to find the file association. When one of these applications saves a downloaded file on a disk formatted with NTFS, then it updates the metadata for the file with the zone it was downloaded from. The metadata is saved as an Alternate Data Stream (ADS). If you wish to unblock a downloaded file, you can do so by right-clicking it, selecting Properties and clicking on Unblock.

The following determine whether you are prevented from opening the file or whether you are warned before you open the file:
  • The type of program that you are using.
  • The file type that you are downloading or trying to open
  • The security settings of the Web content zone that you are downloading the file from.
    • Internet
    • Local intranet
    • Trusted sites
    • Restricted sites
The Attachment Manager classifies files that you receive or that you download based on the file type and the file name extension. Attachment Manager classifies files types as high risk, medium risk, and low risk.
  • High Risk – If the attachment is in the list of high risk file types and is from the restricted zone, Windows blocks the user from accessing the file. If the file is from the Internet zone, Windows prompts the user with a Windows Security Warning: Windows found that this file is potentially harmful. To help protect your computer, Windows has blocked access to this file.
  • Moderate Risk – If the attachment is in the list of moderate risk file types and is from the restricted or Internet zone, Windows prompts the user with a warning: "The publisher could not be verified. Are you sure you want to run this software?".
  • Low Risk – If the attachment is in the list of low risk file types, Windows will not prompt the user before accessing the file, regardless of the file’s zone information.


Contents





Option One

Unblock File(s) using Context Menu


This option is only available if you add the Unblock context menu.


1 Right click on a file or folder, click/tap on Show more options, and click/tap on Unblock. (see screenshots below)

Show_more_options.png
Unblock_file.png
Ublock_folder.png





Option Two

Unblock File in Properties


1 Right click or press and hold on the blocked file, and click/tap on Properties.

Unblock_file_in_properties-1.png

2 In the General tab, check the Unblock box at the bottom, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

If you do not see a Unblock checkbox, then the file is not blocked.


Unblock_file_in_properties-2.png




Option Three

Unblock and Open File in Open File - Security Warning


The Open File - Security Warning prompt is a security measure that will ask for your permission before opening a file on your PC that came from an unknown source such as the Internet or another PC.


1 Open or run the blocked file to trigger a Open File - Security Warning prompt.

2 In the Open File - Security Warning prompt, uncheck the Always ask before opening this file box, and click/tap on the Open or Run button. (see screenshots below)

Unblock_file_in_Open_File_Security_Warning-2.png
Unblock_file_in_Open_File_Security_Warning-1.png





Option Four

Unblock and Open App or File in Microsoft Defender SmartScreen Warning


Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps keep your PC safer by warning you before running unrecognized apps and files downloaded from the Internet.


1 Open or run the blocked app or file to trigger Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

2 Click/tap on the More info link. (see screenshot below)

Unblock_file_in_Windows_Defender_SmartScreen-1.png

3 Click/tap on the Run anyway button. (see screenshot below)

Unblock_file_in_Windows_Defender_SmartScreen-2.png




Option Five

Unblock File in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal or an elevated Windows Terminal depending on if your user account has access rights to where the folder containing the blocked file is located, and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Type the command below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

unblock-file -path "full path of blocked file"

Substitute full path of blocked file in the command above with the actual full path of the blocked file (with file extension) that you want to unblock.

For example: unblock-file -path "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads\Turn_On_Use_check_boxes_to_select_items.bat"


3 When finished, you can close Windows Terminal if you like.

Unblock_file_in_PowerShell.png





Option Six

Unblock All Files in a Folder in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal or an elevated Windows Terminal depending on if your user account has access rights to where the folder containing the blocked files is located, and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Type the command you want to use below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(without confirmation prompt)
get-childitem "full path of folder" | unblock-file

OR

(with confirmation prompt per blocked file)
get-childitem "full path of folder" | unblock-file -confirm

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that contains the blocked file(s) you want to unblock.

For example:

get-childitem "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads" | unblock-file

OR

get-childitem "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads" | unblock-file -confirm


3 When finished, you can close Windows Terminal if you like.

Unblock_all_files_in_folder_in_PowerShell.png





Option Seven

Unblock All Files in a Folder and Subfolders in PowerShell


1 Open Windows Terminal or an elevated Windows Terminal depending on if your user account has access rights to where the folder containing the blocked files is located, and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Type the command you want to use below into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

(without confirmation prompt)
get-childitem "full path of folder" -recurse | unblock-file

OR

(with confirmation prompt per blocked file)
get-childitem "full path of folder" -recurse | unblock-file -confirm

Substitute full path of folder in the command above with the actual full path of the folder that contains the blocked file(s) you want to unblock.

For example:

get-childitem "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads" -recurse | unblock-file

OR

get-childitem "C:\Users\Brink\Downloads" -recurse | unblock-file -confirm


3 When finished, you can close Windows Terminal if you like.

Unblock_all_files_in_folder_and_subfolders_in_PowerShell.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Windows_Security.png
    Windows_Security.png
    5 KB · Views: 171
Last edited:
Hi Shawn,

How does Windows Attachment Manager determine the risk level of a downloaded file?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 - Release Preview channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kol's custom ROG
    CPU
    Intel 13900K
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Maximus Hero Z790
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR5 6000MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte 4090 Gaming OC
    Sound Card
    SoundBlaster X-AE5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell Alienware AW3821DW
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600 144hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 500GB
    860 EVO's
    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB
    External RAID enclosure - 2x Seagate 3TB HDD
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Ultra 1300W Platinum
    Case
    Phanteks Eclipse P600S
    Cooling
    Custom water cooling. EK Velocity (CPU), EK Quantum Vector2 (GPU), EK Quantum D5 Pump, 360mm radiator in case + 560mm external radiator
    Keyboard
    Corsair K100
    Mouse
    Logitech G502X
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, VBS
Hi Shawn,

How does Windows Attachment Manager determine the risk level of a downloaded file?

It basically has to do with what is set in the Internet security zone properties below. If a site is listed in "Trusted sites", you will not get a security warning for anything downloaded from that trusted site.


Security_Zone.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Another Brilliant guide Shawn, thanks...
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M18 R1
    CPU
    13th Gen Core i9 13900HX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 @4800MHz 2x16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 4090HX 16GB
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD / Realtek ALC3254
    Monitor(s) Displays
    18" QHD+
    Screen Resolution
    25660 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    C: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    D: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    Case
    Dark Metallic Moon
    Keyboard
    Alienware M Series per-key AlienFX RGB
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi Network Adaptor Wi-Fi 6E
    Bluetooth 5.2
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen i-9 10900 K
    Memory
    32Gb Dual Channel DDR4 @ 8843MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Hard Drive C: Samsung 2TB SSD PM981a NVMe
    Hard Drive D:Samsung 2TB SSD 970 EVO Plus
    Mouse
    Alienware 610M
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
@Brink

I always use VirusTotal to scan every executable file I download. I'm not a great believer in false positives, although I do make very rare exceptions if the scanner flagging it is itself unknown, or there is just one scanner that is flagging it and the file has a great reputation otherwise. Of course, I will make sure that I always download from the original site.

I always look at what Kaspersky, BitDefender, Norton (Symantec), Malwarebytes say. If any of these engines flag a file, I won't install it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
I always look at what Kaspersky, BitDefender, Norton (Symantec), Malwarebytes say. If any of these engines flag a file, I won't install it.
Are these online scan engines like VirusTotal?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 - Release Preview channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Kol's custom ROG
    CPU
    Intel 13900K
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Maximus Hero Z790
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB DDR5 6000MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte 4090 Gaming OC
    Sound Card
    SoundBlaster X-AE5
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell Alienware AW3821DW
    Screen Resolution
    3840x1600 144hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 500GB
    860 EVO's
    Samsung 990 Pro 2TB
    External RAID enclosure - 2x Seagate 3TB HDD
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Ultra 1300W Platinum
    Case
    Phanteks Eclipse P600S
    Cooling
    Custom water cooling. EK Velocity (CPU), EK Quantum Vector2 (GPU), EK Quantum D5 Pump, 360mm radiator in case + 560mm external radiator
    Keyboard
    Corsair K100
    Mouse
    Logitech G502X
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, VBS
Are these online scan engines like VirusTotal?
These are some of the scan engines available on VirusTotal. Since they are considered to be the best in the industry, I pay more attention to what their results say, especially if they flag a software as malicious..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Are these online scan engines like VirusTotal?


 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Home ♦♦♦22631.3235 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE (BIOS 4702)
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    DRW-24B1ST CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Cooler Master ATCS 840 Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® (not in use)
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    300/300
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724
Even if I do this, for some reason Edge still blocks downloads even if I change Edge settings. Chrome has no issue
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
Hi,
Smart filter in defender/ edge probably

I disable defender but still get the unblock so thanks Brink (y)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win-7-10-11Pro's
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer 17" Nitro 7840sn/ 2x16gb 5600c40/ 4060/ stock 1tb-os/ 4tb sn850x
    CPU
    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    2-WD-sn850x 4tb/ 970evo+500gb/ 980 pro 2tb.
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
    Internet Speed
    xfinity gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    mbam pro
Back
Top Bottom