How to unblock blocked icons/files in Windows 7

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Sunday, September 26th, 2010 - Comments

Windows 7 does block certain files that you download from a website for security reasons, so you might not be able to use them before you unblock them. How to unblock them? Here’s how!

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Unblock protected Windows files

Generals infos:
NTFS file systems store the zone information (the original source of the file) in alternate data streams. If there is a zone information available, you will first have to unblock your files before you can use them. For example .ico files that you download from any website will most likely not work on your computer if you don’t unblock them. You can simply move the files to a non-NTFS filesystem to delete the alternate data stream or you follow this guide to unblock every item individually.

Tip: Only unblock blocked files that you downloaded from a safe website. If you are uncertain, scan the file with Malwarebytes and McAfee/Panda/AVG. If you unblock and use a file on your computer that is not safe it can possibly harm your PC. Beginners should take care!

1. Step Open the Windows Explorer and find your file
2. StepRight-click on the file and click on Properties

File Properties

3. StepAt the bottom of the file it says “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer”:

This file came from another computer and might be blocked

4. Step Click on the Unblock button if you are sure you want to use this file:

Unblock blocked file

5. Step Finally click on Apply

Apply

Once a file has been unblocked it can be used on your PC for whatever you want to do with it.

Update: Are you bored of unblocking every file separately? If so, you can disable the Windows 7 file protection feature.


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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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