When you download any file form the internet and save it to NTFS drive, the windows operating system adds specific metadata to these downloaded files. These metadata are considered to be attachments.This is the default operation carried out by the windows OS.While trying to open or execute the downloaded files you are bombarded with security warnings from the system that states that “the file has its origin in unknown source s and can be a security threat”.This is an annoying default setting of windows 10 OS that prevents you from opening or executing the downloaded files directly.
Metadata is knows as data that describes other data. Meta is a prefix that is used in information technology and usually means “an underlying definition or description.The metadata added as attachment to the downloaded file is known as Zone Information. The Zone information is an invisible file stored along with the downloaded file in form of an alternate data stream. Both the downloaded file and metadata is stored in the same location.
Hence , when the File explorer opens the file it comes across the attached Zone information stored in the same location and checks to see if it came from outside .Soon the windows Smart screen warning appears as“Windows smart screen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.”
As you disable the smart screen message another dialogue box shows up with the option to run or cancel.
Now the user has to manually unblock the downloaded files. This can be done with a Right click on the file and selecting the properties option on the menu. Then select the General tab and select the checkbox named “Unblock”:But the process it tiresome and time taking. To unblock every file in this method is pain strikingly slow process.
Let us instead focus on the preventive measure and stop the windows from adding additional Zone information.
No zone information means no smart screen security warning and no need for unblocking the download files.
Method to disable blocking files being downloaded
In case your Windows 10 editor does not come with the Group Policy apps, you can go for a simply Registry optimisation.
Step 1 – Press the windows keys +R on your keyboard simultaneously.
The Run dialogue box will appear
Step 2 – Type in regedit without quotes and press Enter
This will in turn open the registry Editor
Step 3 – When the UAC (User account Control) box appear select yes
Step 4 – Navigate to the following Registry Key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER –> Software –> Microsoft –> Windows –> CurrentVersion –> Policies –>Attachments
If you don’t have the particular key then you needs to create it.
Step 4 – Create a new DWORD value “SaveZoneInformation”
Step 5 – then set its value to 1
After you have executed this procedure, you won’t need to unblock files downloaded by using browser or download manager under this setting.
The other method involves modifying the file extension that is considered a security threat by Windows. This can be done after you have downloaded the file form the internet.
Step to disable Downloaded files from being blocked in windows 10 By editing gpedit
Step 1 Type gpedit.msc in to the start menu
This will open the Group Policy Editor
Step 2 Go to User configuration and select Administrative Templates.
Step 3 Proceed to Windows Component and then choose Attachment Manager
Step 4 to enable it, double click on the policy setting “Do not preserve zone information in file attachments”
Step 5 after it is enabled click ok
This method is effective in removing the unnecessary security block imposed by the windows on files downloaded from the internet. As the zone information is not being saved as file attachments, the file explorer won’t have an attachment to check.
Saurav is associated with IT industry and computers for more than a decade and is writing on The Geek Page on topics revolving on windows 10 and softwares.