How to Block or Unblock Files Downloaded from Internet in Windows 11

This post describes steps one can take to enable or disable Windows attachment manager that blocks files downloaded from the internet to your computer.

The Attachment Manager in Windows helps protect your computer from unsafe attachments that you might receive with an e-mail message and from unsafe files that you might save from the Internet.

If the Attachment Manager identifies an attachment that might be unsafe, it prevents you from opening the file, or it warns you before you open the file.

In Windows, you might get a warning that Windows protected your PC.

Attachment Manager classifies file types as high risk, medium risk, and low risk.:

  • High Risk
    If the attachment is in the list of high risk file types and is from the restricted zone, Windows blocks the user from accessing the file before accessing the file.
  • Moderate Risk
    If the attachment is in the list of Moderate Risk file types, Windows will not prompt the user before accessing the file, regardless of the file’s zone information.
  • Low Risk
    If the attachment is in the list of low risk file types, Windows will not prompt the user before accessing the file, regardless of the file’s zone information.

If your computer is unnecessarily blocking useful file and slowing down your work, you can disable blocking of files entirely.

How to disable or enable blocking file from the internet in Windows 11

As mentioned above, Attachment Manager in Windows helps protect your computer from unsafe attachments that you might receive with an e-mail message and from unsafe files that you might save from the Internet.

The Do not preserve zone information in file attachments policy tells whether Windows marks file attachments with information about their zone of origin (such as restricted, Internet, intranet, local).

If this policy is enabled, it will effectively disable downloaded files from being blocked.

Example window of file being blocked:

windows protected your pc

Click on More info link for a workaround on running the file anyway.

windows 11 run anyway

Below is how to disable or re-enable the attachment manager.

Open Local Group Policy Editor by clicking on the Start Menu and searching for Edit group policy as highlighted below.

Under Best match, select Edit group policy to launch Local Group Policy Editor.

windows 11 start menu settings updated

In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, expand the tree: 

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Attachment Manager

In the Attachment Manager details pane on the right, locate and double-click the setting Do not preserve zoon information in file attachments.

windows 11 attachment manager gpo

In the Do not preserve zoon information in file attachments setting window, set the option to Enabled or Disabled.

  • Not Configured (default) – Files are blocked
  • Enabled – Files are not blocked
  • Disabled – Files are blocked
windows 11 attachment manager settings window updated

Select OK.

Close Local Group Policy Editor.

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to enable or disable attachment manager in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to share, please use the comment below.

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