Permanently Disable file “Unblock” security feature in Vista

Posted by Sameer Dhoot under Vista, Windows

Yesterday I have posted about to “Unblock” the files which are downloaded from other computers or Internet using the console utility from Sysinternals called Streams.exe. Read about it here Utility to recursively “Unblock” files downloaded from InternetPermanent Link to

The reason for this is because, in Vista, the file's zone information is being preserved within the file. As a general practice, this identifies where the file came from and kicks off warnings as appropriate, telling you to be careful. However, we, as masters of our computer, know better (Lamer note: Remember that a note about having a good and updated AV and Malware protection software).


By the way, if you download a .zip file then extract the files, each of the extracted files gets a named stream that points back at the .zip file. This means you still get the warning.BTW, this "feature" is not native to Vista alone, Windows XP SP2 + IE 7 also exhibit this behavior.

On further analysis I came across a way to permanently disable the blocking process in vista using the group policies

  • In Windows Vista, Click Start.
  • In the Search box, Run box or console window type: GPEDIT.MSC to bring up the Group Policy Object editor.
  • Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Attachment Manager. Here you will find a couple of policies related to this feature, but to disable it you'll want to ENABLE the policy called "Do not preserve zone information in file attachments".vistadisablefileunblockfeatureusinggrouppolicy thumb Permanently Disable file “Unblock” security feature in Vista
  • Close the GPO editor.
  • Either logoff your computer, or refresh the local policy by typing the following command in a Command Prompt or in the Run box:

gpupdate /forceSo you can deploy this to all users (Not advisable) but if there is a pressing need to do it then this is the way to go.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. what if one doesn’t have the gp policy editor? It is not included in vista premium

  2. Here is the link for those people who dont have GPEDIT.MSC coz of OS limitations :(

    This link will provide you a document which translates GPO settings to correspomding Registry settings that can be tweaked on any version of Vista

    Disclaimer: Use at your own risk and do not forget to make a backup before messing with registry

    • Thanks Amit. The info is very useful. This has indeed helped answer J’s question.

      J, If you do not have gp policy editor then you can apply the following registry which can turn on/off the particular feature, type the line below between [Start]and [End] into notepad and then save the file with any name and extensions as .reg e.g. “TurnFileBlockOff.reg”

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


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