I have a 3rd party program that downloads updates for itself from a specific location on the Net and then runs them.

After being migrated to Windows 10, this stopped working because, apparently, the program uses WinAPI to download that marks files as "from the Internet". In XP, that didn't make a difference but in Win10, opening such a file programmatically now yields "Access denied".

  • Since this is an automated process, I don't have a chance to manually remove the marks before the files are run.
  • Running them later by hand is highly undesirable, too, because the update procedure contains additional steps after running.

Can I somehow mark this site (or something else like the files' publisher or something) as a "trusted source" so the files aren't blocked?

I heard there are ways to disable this mechanism altogether but I'd only do that as a last resort - if there really is no other way - because it, well, serves its purpose otherwise.

1 Answer 1

  • Open Internet Options (inetcpl.cpl)
  • Select the "Security" tab
  • Click "Trusted Sites"
  • Add the specific location/website to the trusted sites list.
  • Click OK.

From now, MotW isn't added when you download a file from that site; whether you use IE or any other browser. I've personally tested it with IE, Chrome and Firefox.

Another option would be to use Unblock-File PowerShell command or SysInternals Streams to remove the MotW from the downloaded file(s) using script.

  • Hmm, I did check that in XP, a warning appears upon opening regardless of which zone is specified in the Zone.Identifier stream. I'll get to the machine with Win10 and check this. Nov 6, 2016 at 16:21
  • The fact that Zone.Identifier exists signals that the file came from "elsewhere". Removing the metadata (ADS info) is the only way to "unblock" a file completely.
    – dragon788
    May 12, 2020 at 23:13
  • This appears to work for IE, Edge and Firefox but will not work for Chrome (at least version 100).
    – kjbartel
    Apr 11, 2022 at 4:19

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