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"?

  • If I cut and paste (Ctrl-X then Ctrl-V) I do not get this issue. If I click and drag the same files (from the same source as Ctrl-X and to the same destination as Ctrl-V), I do. This seems a bit odd to me, although I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding something semantically or this is a bug.
    – fostandy
    Jun 16, 2019 at 2:23
  • I have this same issue but for doing file operations with SharePoint's File Explorer. I have the SharePoint path for the File Explorer (\\####.sharepoint.com) added as a Trusted Site as well as the normal URL (https://####.sharepoint.com/) and still getting the warnings. Any thoughts? May 12, 2021 at 18:47

12 Answers 12


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.
  • Disconnect, and reconnect the network drive

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.


  • If you are using a DNS name to map the network drive, adding the IP address of the server to the zone will not work. You will need to add the DNS name, and vica-versa.
  • When adding an IP address, you can use wildcards like so: 192.168.1.*
  • Whan adding a DNS name, you can use wildcards like so: *.example.com
  • 2
    note @gerbenny answer at the bottom about wildcards in the sites dialog.
    – IgalSt
    Aug 1, 2011 at 9:04
  • 9
    Note that if the network share is open while this change is made, it has to be closed and reopened to see the change.
    – dvs
    Sep 25, 2012 at 13:14
  • 3
    Didn't work here; still get the warning. Apr 21, 2013 at 23:22
  • 6
    This also increased copy from network speed by 50% !! (through wifi)
    – Odys
    Oct 29, 2014 at 14:26
  • 2
    This still works on Windows 10. +1
    – Phlucious
    Jul 19, 2018 at 22:51

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".

  • 22
    ah, good tip, it is not clear that dialog supports wildcards. Apr 23, 2011 at 10:56
  • Can you explain what you add this IP address to? Sep 16, 2016 at 15:48
  • 1
    @CharlieHarding: This answer was an addition to Jeff's answer of June 5 2010. So, you'd add this to the Local intranet zone dialog box.
    – Wouter
    Feb 23, 2017 at 9:22
  • It tells me I have entered an invalid wildcard sequence when I try to add *.local.
    – mm201
    Aug 24, 2018 at 4:30

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 "Show security warning for potentially 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 http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/fi-FI/w7itprosecurity/thread/35ca8f9c-5e69-4b7f-a002-0d72fa0dc14b

  • 1
    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://*.example.com=1 did the trick. Jun 28, 2014 at 10:30
  • 4
    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, 2016 at 5:17

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.

  • You are likely to find you get downvoted for this answer as it leads to an unnecessarily vulnerable system. Oct 3, 2015 at 17:11
  • 6
    I'm upvoting, seems harsh to downvote as the OP is asking a question on how to make the system slightly more vulnerable - so any answer could fairly assume that the OP isn't looking for the most perfectly secure answer....
    – leinad13
    Oct 31, 2016 at 16:05

I did a procmon and found where the settings are stored 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


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.

  • Many years after you wrote this -- but yes this appears to be the main reason for this popup to show up.
    – Fred
    Sep 7, 2020 at 0:46

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.


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.


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!


This is what worked for me;

Click Start / Control Panel / Internet Options

Click Security tab.

Click Local Intranet

Click Sites button.

Click Advanced button.

Where it says "Add this website to the Zone:" you want to switch to Explorer and copy the URL in the address bar; Eg if your network drive is mapped to your N: drive the address you copy would be "N:\" or if it's a network share it would be "\\Sharename", and click Add.

These will show as something like; "file://" and "file://Sharename"

Click Close, then OK, then OK again.

If "Require server verification..." is ticked, untick it.


Faster Way:

Open the Internet Properties dialog box, go to the Security tab, and click on "Trusted sites":

Internet Properties window

  • Select the "Sites" button
  • Enter your private domain (i.e. "192.168..")
  • uncheck "Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone"
  • click Add to close the dialog box
  • then Apply the changes

Trusted sites window


I tried Everything Above Said but Using the Reg Code Mentioned below Did it for me.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\ProtocolDefaults]

And Restart after that!

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