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We have to use an intranet page that uses an annoying Post button with a mailto action to send some form data to another group in our company.

This action won't work properly with IE8 unless we disable Protected Mode temporarily to click the mailto button, then re-enable it after we're done.

Is there some way to create a shortcut or script that would quickly toggle off Protected Mode, then restart IE on the same page? Really, if I could just get a toggle button or script for Protected Mode that would be better than trying to explain to other users how to turn it off every time.

We don't want to leave it off of course.

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This is not really an answer but it's too long for a single comment (and could use some paragraph spacing) ... forgive me if this is a waste of time. I wanted you to know someone did actually try to work on this for you. thinking was, there's probably a registry key that controls it. So my gameplan was use process explorer to capture the key info, then create a reg file. Then create a batch file that would run the registry entry, close IE, and restart IE. Then I woke up and realized I was working with internet explorer and nothing would go smoothly. I disabled and tried to re-enable protected mode to try to get the key. Protected mode still shows as off. Googled and found it's a common issue, because I had UAC disabled. Re-enabled uac. Still didn't work. Googled some more and apparently I need to reset IE8's settings. Did that. UAC didn't pop up, and protected mode still off. Gave up because, honestly, screw IE. So I'm back here.

From what I understand protected mode does much the same thing as the specific security settings for IE. The difference is it also allows the admin to run specific activeX controls, in addition to blocking unwanted ones. If you don't really care about running your own controls, maybe it would be sufficient to just set IE8's security policies individually, and meanwhile leave protected mode off (the strict security policies work as a substitute).

You can set the policies in group policy editor, there are apparently over 1300 of them. This page has a few highlights including something to do with the mailto links (probably no effect on your situation but you might get lucky):

I also found this possible workaround while googling.

  1. Add Send Link by E-mail to the Command Bar

IE - Right Click Command Bar (where House - Full Screen - Tools and so on are) Customize - Add or Remove Commands - from left menu ADD to Right Menu - Send Link by E-mail. This will call up your default E-mail Client with the Link in the body of the message.

  1. Add Snip-it to the Right Click Menu of IE.

E-Mail Selected Text in a Web Page Using Snip IT Add-on for Internet Explorer

The Send Using MailTo calls up your default E-mail client. You can add the others as desired.

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