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I keep getting this irritating warning when copying files over the network:

These files might be harmful to your computer

These files might be harmful to your computer

Your internet security settings suggest that one or more files may be harmful. Do you want to use it anyway?

I am copying a file from \\\c$ (home server) to my local machine which is at \\

How do I turn off this meaningless "warning"?

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up vote 104 down vote accepted

I found a fix by changing "internet options" -- so I guess Windows is detecting the "internet" as my own network.. sigh.

  • Click Start / Control Panel / Internet Options
  • Click Security tab.
  • Click Local Intranet
  • Click Sites button.
  • Click Advanced button.
  • Enter the IP Address of the other machine or server (wildcards are allowed) and click Add
  • Click Close, then OK, then OK again.

Changing Internet Options screenshot

This worked for me, but it's a bummer I have to manually enter IPs here.. it would be nice if Windows could detect this is a local network file copy and skip the irritating (and pointless) warning about "dangerous" files.

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I'm curious what you network adapter settings are (ipconfig /all) - It should be catching those addresses under "Automatically detect intranet network". – Darth Android Jun 5 '10 at 8:34
note @gerbenny answer at the bottom about wildcards in the sites dialog. – IgalSt Aug 1 '11 at 9:04
Note that if the network share is open while this change is made, it has to be closed and reopened to see the change. – azdev Sep 25 '12 at 13:14
Didn't work here; still get the warning. – Brandon Apr 21 '13 at 23:22
This also increased copy from network speed by 50% !! (through wifi) – Odys Oct 29 '14 at 14:26

Using Windows 7, I added my IP address with a wildcard:


Now all the ip's in this range are part of the "Local Intranet".

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ah, good tip, it is not clear that dialog supports wildcards. – Jeff Atwood Apr 23 '11 at 10:56

If you want to do this in Group Policy, this quote may be helpful to you.

You can control this with Group Policy, as well. Use gpedit.msc and drill down to

User Configuration → Policies → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Internet Explorer → Internet Control Panel → Security Page

Enable "Intranet Zone Template" with the Low option.

Then enable "Site to Zone Assignment List" and use the Show button to add your "sites" (servername, servername.domain, ipaddress - the values you enter depend on what name or IP you use to access the share) with a value of 1.

Lastly - and this is the most important step - drill down one folder in gpedit to "Intranet Zone" and enable for "Launching programs and unsafe files", choosing Enable from the drop-down.

Close gpedit, reboot or run gpupdate /force and enjoy no more annoying Windows Security dialogues!

From the bottom of

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This is the best way! – Jeffrey Kevin Pry May 8 '13 at 16:19
For anyone else following this, I couldn't find the .../Intranet Zone/Launching programs and unsafe files setting in my policies. However just doing the first step with file://* did the trick. – Styne666 Jun 28 '14 at 10:30
The last setting seems to now be called "Show security warning for potentially unsafe files" and needs to be Enabled with the option set to Enable. – thaimin Jan 3 at 5:17

We recently put in a new server using DFS and I was having this same error. I ended up putting in:

" \\\servername.local.?"

After clicking add, it then showed:


I tried the * verses the ?, but that was not allowed.

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I believe you wouldn't get the warning if you used the netbios name of your home server instead of the ip address. If you use the ip address or say the fully qualified dns name of the remote computer it doesn't recognize it as being in the intranet zone. the other option as mentioned earlier is to manually add it to the intranet zone list.

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I did a procmon and found where the location in the registry - this is for my 192.168.1.* network:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Ranges\Range1]

This is for my \\NAS server:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\nas]

This is how it looks in the internet settings control panel: enter image description here

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The other solutions here didn't work for me on Windows 7, but I found one that worked: remove Internet Explorer through Add/Remove Programs and then Adjust Windows Features. Unclick Internet Explorer 8. No more nag dialog!

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Adding these two lines (without changing the default Local Intranet settings) is a quick fix:


You need to disconnect and reconnect shares for this to work.

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I have been getting the same error recently, and found a way to disable this warning forever (I know what files I want to open, so yes, I am sure I want to disable this warning...):

  • go to Internet Settings (in Internet Explorer)
  • go to the "Security" tab
  • click on "Custom level" (with "Internet" selected = first icon)
  • in the "Miscellaneous" part, select "Enable (not secure)" for the option "Launching applications and unsafe files (not secure)"
  • click "OK" and then apply the changes; you'll have a warning asking if you're sure you want to do this (you'll have to say yes)

And that's it. :) Have fun.

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You are likely to find you get downvoted for this answer as it leads to an unnecessarily vulnerable system. – Andrew Morton Oct 3 '15 at 17:11

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