I had been plagued by this annoyance since the days of Windows Vista. Any downloaded file, no matter what browser I use, gets tagged as "blocked" by Windows. You can open downloaded documents even though they are blocked, but when you run a downloaded application (such as a setup file) you're presented with a "Security Warning" before you're allowed to run it. It's worse if you extract a downloaded ZIP file with the Windows' built-in ZIP management. Every extracted file is blocked by default.
Being a geek who finds unnecessary "security" prompts annoying, the first thing I do in Windows is to disable the User Account Control (UAC). But I couldn't quite figure out how to disable blocking of downloaded files until now. These prompts (such as UAC and file blocking) are designed to help Windows shield itself from the user. But to me, they aren't an effective solution as even an amateur user can simply click 'Allow' on any of the prompts without thinking.
While these prompts are pretty useless in shielding Windows from an amateur's haphazard usage, they are also heavily annoying to a power user who knows what he is doing. A good security solution should work in the background automatically and downright prevent users from running malicious code instead of giving them a choice where most users simply ignore the warning and go ahead anyway.
I decided to figure out if there's a way to get rid of the downloaded file blocking once and for all, and apparently there is. Source: Vista Blocked File Protection Control
- Click Start, type in gpedit.msc.
- Go to "User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Attachment Manager".
- Double-click on "Do not preserve zone information in file attachments".
- Choose the "Enabled" option and click Apply > OK.
- Close the "Local Group Policy Editor" window.
- Download Sysinternals Streams utility from here.
- Extract the downloaded ZIP file to find streams.exe file.
- Copy this file to your Downloads folder (or wherever your downloads are).
- Open a Command Prompt on your Downloads folder by doing this:
- Right-click on the Downloads folder while holding Shift key.
- Select "Open command window here" from the menu.
- Type streams -s * and check whether all the files listed have only :Zone.Identifier:$DATA 26 as their streams. (You may need to accept EULA when using Streams first time.)
- If any file has a stream other than the one given here, move that file out of the folder before next step, and back in after next step.
- If the list is too long, you can pipe it into a text file like this: streams -s * > textfile.txt and check it by sorting the lines to look for other streams, and then finding for those streams in the unsorted text file to identify the files that have them.
- This will unblock the files.