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I don't want to inadvertently execute programs in my "Downloads" folder. How do I do that in Windows 7 Home Premium?

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Right-click on the Downloads folder in your user folder and select Properties. Select the Security tab, then click the Advanced button:

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Click the Change Permissions... button:

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Select the entry for your user name and click Edit:

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Set the Deny checkbox for the Traverse folder / execute file entry:

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Click OK to close all windows.

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    It took a bit more dialog boxes, but I managed to do that. Thank you!
    – Ramalhão
    Apr 3, 2012 at 17:26
  • @Ramalhão: Answer edited to reflect correct procedure, my original answer wasn't quite correct.
    – bwDraco
    Apr 3, 2012 at 17:52

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