How do I force Outlook to open “potentially unsafe attachments” that I know are ok?
As discussed in
an earlier article Outlook tries to
protect you from viruses by blocking access to files which have certain
extensions like “.exe” for example, because they could carry a virus and infect
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Click the video above for a one minute video showing you how to add the
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Microsoft’s official recommendation is that you have whomever sent
you the file rename or zip it and send it again. And to be honest
that’s probably still the safest approach overall.
However that’s just not an option sometimes. Fortunately there is a
registry setting you can add that will instruct outlook to treat
extensions that you specify as safe.
Before we go mucking about in the registry I’ll caution you that
the registry is a critical component of the operating system, and it’s
possible to render your system totally useless if you make the wrong
changes. Microsoft provides instructions for backing up the registry here.
That having been said, the steps I’m about to outline are relatively
simple if you follow along carefully.
- Start the registry editor by pressing the Start button, Run,
typing regedit and pressing OK.
- In Registry Editor, expand, in turn:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office 11.0 (Office 2003. For Office XP, expand "10.0") Outlook
Expand each entry by clicking on the boxed plus sign to it’s left. If that’s
a boxed minus sign then it’s already expanded.
- Now click on the Security entry.
- On Registry Editor’s menu bar select Edit, New, and String Value.
- Replace the default name of “New Value #1” with “Level1Remove“.
- Right-click on Level1Remove and select Modify.
- Enter the list of file extensions that you want to gain access to.
The list is semi-colon separated. For example if you wanted to allow
access to both “.url” and “.exe” files then you would enter
- Exit Registry Editor and you’re done. You may need to restart Outlook
if it was running while you were doing this.
Remember: once you have enabled access to a particular file
type, you are assuming responsibility for making sure that an attachment
is safe before you open or run it.