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How do I turn off Data Execution Prevention errors?


How do I get rid of Data Execution Prevention? Such a pain. It wouldn’t
allow me to view photos inside a photo folder … I followed the route given by
the “crash message” but I want it off my machine. Any ideas?

First let’s be clear: Data Execution Prevention, or DEP, isn’t something you
“remove” or “get off your machine”. It’s simply a feature that can be turned on
or off, or be configured.

I’ll show you how to turn it off, but then I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t
and what you should do instead to solve your problem.

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What is DEP?

Start by realizing that as far as your computer is concerned, everything is
just numbers. The text you’re seeing? That’s all stored as numbers with each
number representing a different letter or character. Programs that you run?
Numbers too: the instructions that tell the computer what to do are simply

From that example we can draw an important distinction: there’s “code”, or
the instructions that tell a computer what to do, and there’s “data”, the
information that the computer works on. But both code and data are stored as

Now, what hackers and virus writers have been able to do is exploit
unpatched vulnerabilities that allow them to a) put what they want into data,
and then b) trick the computer into executing that data as if it were code.
That’s one way they gain control of a machine and infect or otherwise
compromise the machine.

Data Execution Prevention is exactly what it sounds like: the operating
system, using either hardware, software or both, depending on the processor’s
capabilities, traps the attempt to execute data as if it were code. It’s a very
effective technique at blocking malware even if the vulnerability being
exploited hasn’t even been publicly exposed yet.

So what’s the problem?

Some legitimate programs execute data as if it were code on
purpose. Without getting into a lot of geeky details, it’s sometimes an
effective way to write very efficient code. If I’m not mistaken, older versions
of Windows did something very similar to speed up graphics operations, for
example. Since you mention viewing pictures, I’m guessing you were using an
older version of IrfanView which was also known to do this.

Turning Off DEP

You can, if you like, turn off DEP completely.

  • Right click on My Computer

  • Click on Properties

  • Click on the Advanced tab

  • Click on the Settings button in the
    Performance section

  • Click on the Data Execution Prevention tab

At this point you should be looking at a dialog much like this one:

Data Execution Prevention Options

Select the item labeled “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and
services only”. This, effectively turns off DEP for everything else. Your image
viewer should now work.

“If you have a program you know is legitimate that
happens to cause DEP errors, you can add it to the list of exceptions.”

But as I said at the beginning, in my opinion, this isn’t what you should

Configure Exceptions to DEP

If you have a program you know is legitimate that happens to cause DEP
errors, you can add it to the list of exceptions.

As you can see in the image above, the default DEP setting is to “Turn on
DEP for all programs and services except those I select:”. So, a much better
way to get any legitimate program causing DEP errors to work again is to add
that program to the exception list.

Click on the Add… button. Now, locate the program’s
“.exe” file. I don’t happen to have IrfanView, but I’ll use Foxit Software’s
PDF reader as a random example:

Specifying a DEP Exception

In this example the program was located in ”
C:\Program Files\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\Foxit Reader.exe”. The program
you’re looking for will, of course, be elsewhere, but most likely somewhere
within “C:\Program Files”.

The result should look something like this:

Data Execution Prevention Options with exception added

You can see that the program I specified has been added to the list of
exceptions. It will not be protected by DEP, but everything else in
your system will be.

That’s a much safer way to run.

Do this

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180 comments on “How do I turn off Data Execution Prevention errors?”

  1. OK, I’m having an interesting problem. DEP throws an error when I try to defrag my “C” drive. I’ve added the several varients of “defrag” to the exceptions list, but no dice – still throws the error. Defrag works on my other partitions – just not on “C”. I’ve tried setting it to “only essential Windows programs and services” (that was the default – when the problem began), and I’ve tried with exceptions for: defrag.exe, dfrgntfs.exe, dfrgfat.exe, dfrg.msc, and “df*.dll”. Still no dice.

  2. niall o callaghan, if there is something that is causing the error, it gets added to the list itself, you don’t have to add.

    my WinXP give this error on explorer and generic host services, I dont know what else will cause an error, its like everyday there is a new program that causes the error, that also windows programs.

  3. I am trying to run Warlords Battlecry 3 on Windows Vista. But every time I run the executable file, the Data Execution Prevention message pops up and says that it cannot run. I have gone to the Data Execution Prevention settings to add the game’s executable file as an exception, but another message pops up and says that this program MUST run with the Data Execution Prevention on. Is there any way to get rid of Data Execution Prevention completely?

  4. DEP is blocking my Medal Of Honor games on my Vista x64 machine. I followed the instructions and put the executables in the “exeptions” list, but DEP is still blocking my games. Then i tried the following solution:(Run a command prompt as administrator. From the start menu, select “All Programs”, then “Accessories” and right-click on the “Command Prompt” shortcut and choose “Run As Administrator”. From here you can use the following command to disable Data Execution Prevention (DEP) with the following command:

    bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

    Keeping your command prompt open, run your setup or other process being stopped by DEP. Then, to turn it back on again, do the same and run the following:

    bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOn )

    This solution didn’t have any effect either.
    So i tried to turn off DEP completely using the “bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff” command, but this is useless too.

    Is there no other way to turn off DEP (at least for executables that i choose) ?


  5. Thank you very much, Leo, for advising me to not turn it off completely. The reason I didn’t do it in the first place but instead went looking for an alternative was because I had a hunch it might harm my computer in some ways.
    However, what you suggested would be sort of hard to do if DEP disallows even my access to Control Panel and the things in it. So I was wondering if you could help me with that consideration in mind. Any thing you can do would be much appreciated.

  6. provides a detailed explanation, including how to modify the BOOT.INI (handy if your DEP settings screen is inexplicably grayed out). If you’re excluding older applications from DEP, you might also need to right-click the dodgy executable > Properties > Compatibility tab, and select a previous version of Windows.

  7. First and for most I am in no way a tech, but from my browsing for info on DEP, first led me to this site, and then to the windows site. The windows site was a little more helpfull than this one, but only because I am cused with vista. I followed the instructions on the windows help site only to find out that you can’t turn off the DEP for windows DVD maker. That should take care of some questions from people with similar problems. To Leo, you should have my e-mail as you have to enter it to post, if I find a good free ware dvd maker could I post the program name on your site, to further help all these troubled souls find a solution to their dvd burning problems?

  8. I’m being locked out of Internet Explorer in Vista Home Premium. I have used the option TURN ON DEP EXCEPT FOR (and ADD (ed) Internet Exlorer (which shows up with a check mark in the box shown) but am still locked out of IE 7 even when restarted. Tried the Turn OFF DEP option (then restarting the computer, but stubbornly the IE 7 is still locked out (and reported in a message in the lower right hand part of the screen at startup. Any ideas?
    Can’t update to Vista SP1 until this is solved.

  9. No matter what I do on VISTA – Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer does not work, even if I add it to TURN ON DEP FOR ALL PROGRAMS. It is unbelievable to me that I can take it off of my system. I can never use IE since I got this system. I already disabled all plug-ins, cleared the cache and files,, etc. No matter it IE does not work… I want it off the system – I have my own virus and hacker software that I use, I DO NOT WANT TO USE DEP AT ALL… How do I get IE to work? You help will be greatly appreciated. Is there a REGEDIT thing I can do to shutdown DEP altogether?

  10. I have a problem with Windows Movie Maker when ever i try to import an avi video file it is always being closed by DEP. Then why i try to watch any avi files on Windows Movie Maker the DEP error shuts it down.

    When i try to add the program so it won’t be protected i get a error saying “This program must run with data execution protection (DEP) enabled. You cannot turn off DEP for this program”.

  11. dear leo
    please get back to me i beg you!!
    my msn does not work on my vista computer
    i have followed all your steps about disabling DEP for individual items.
    however, i tried to do this for msn,
    but it said ” could not be disabled”
    or something along those lines.
    why cant i turn DEP off msn
    please i really need msn for social and work reasons.
    im pretty sure this is the only reason why i can not use my msn, because the computer says so.
    what should i do so i can use msn, without turning DEP off?
    please help me!
    thank you

    Hash: SHA1

    By “MSN” I assume you mean “MSN Instant Messenger”, now
    called “Windows Live Messenger”. (The term “MSN” could mean
    many different things from a web site to email to who knows
    what else.)

    I don’t know.

    I would first make sure that you have the latest version of
    the Windows Live Messenger program installed. If that still
    does not work, then I would try using a different client
    program, to access the MSN IM service like Trillian or


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  13. Grrrr. I’m making a WMM project (Windows Movie Maker), and then the DEP comes up as soon as I try to get the file up. Its not just that individual file, It won’t let me play anything!! I need to finish this AMV fast, but I can’t do anything, Can’t shut out the DEP for WMM. Vista FAILS.

  14. I have followed your advice on excluding IE7 from the DEP list and it still doesn’t release IE7. When I clicked on IE7 from its install folder in Program files it didn’t copy as your example showed. Rather than getting Internet Explorer.exe, I only got Internet Explorer, which it doesn’t seem to see. I’ve lost count of the differnet places I’ve been trying to get IE7 reactivated. Still no success. Can IE7 be removed from the O/S and re-installed?

  15. Well this is somewhat of a funny situation I have here. I use a program called Steam for gaming in which the application downloads programs to the computer but needs to be connected to the internet for launching the game. Now you can add the steam program to the list but when trying to launch games the program will connect online and “give the go ahead” to launch the game. The DEP will acknowledge the steam but the moment that you try to launch a game DEP shuts it down. I have tried going into the download file and adding the programs from there to the list but DEP will not recognize it. Any thoughts anyone?

  16. I’m operating on Windows (NOT Vista!) and everytime I try and access Internet Explorer the DEP message comes up and won’t let me access the internet.

    All other programmes seem to be working ok, (even MSN Live Messenger?), and thankfully I have (limited) internet access at wokr, otherwise I wouldn’t know where to turn to to try and sort this out.

    I’ve tried both of the turning on/off DEP for programmes in the ‘performance options’ window, with no real effect.

    However, I’m not sure where the programme for Internet Explorer is or what the proper ‘technical’ name is to add to the list, but am sure i’ve ticked it when it’s appeared in the window?

    Any Help Gratefully appreciated! (A lot of my friends think i’m being rude and ignoring their emails, and I’m missing Google!!



    IExplore.exe is the executable. My guess is that it’s an add-in of some sort that’s causing the problem so you may consider turning those off. Or malware, which implies you need to do an up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware scan.


  17. i just bought an HP 2133 notebook and installed XP Pro with SP3 and some essential drivers and programs on it.

    After a few hours, the DEP errors about explorer started bugging me:

    DEP error – drwatson(?) – windows error reporting – explorer restart.

    I tried doing your torubleshooting guide and after a some hours, no DEP error so far…i just hope this is the end of the DEP nightmare.

    thank you.

  18. Probably not a great idea to turn DEP completely off but if you feel you must and have strong security software here is how to turn it off for Win XP. Right click My Computer click properties then click the Advanced tab, then click the setting button in Startup and recovery section. Click the edit button which will open a notepad file. You’ll see a line Where it says: “noexecute=optin”. Change the word “optin” to AlwaysOff, then click file, choose save, close the notepad file then click ok to close all open windows and reboot the computer. Of course to turn it on again change it back to “optin” and reboot. Hope this helps

  19. DEP never affected my computer until recently, and I have had SP2 since it was released. I began to have problems after a recent download of several security(MS) updates, @ 2-4 weeks ago. DEP just prevented my from opening an external hard drive that has photos, and nothing else on it. I have followed the listed steps on this page, to no avail. My guess is this is another MS blunder

  20. I would love to have an answer on how to ‘undo’ my last update. DEP doesn’t allow me to bypass it when the page is part of a report section I wish to print on a subscription web site I have used almost daily for years. As a past Mac user, I’d have to say “MS SUCKS”! Unbelievable they release software updates that mess everything else up. Maybe they should say “download this update at your own risk”.

  21. After following Simon Main’s instructions on page 7 I’ve finally been able to start Internet Explorer. I have had ie in all of it’s previous versions and never had a problem. Wish me luck as I blindly forge forth into the future of uncertainty.

  22. Hi Leo,
    i have the same problem for itunes and internet explorer but this first started happening to my iTunes, and i reasearched it and it was frequently closing, so i sis the same thing you did to the Foxit reader, but then it stated that it needed to run with this DEP program. So i started to reasearch more information on how to turn it off temporarily, so then in the command prompt i put in:
    bcdedit.exe/set nx AlwaysOff
    doing that i then restarted my computer and tried to open iTunes, but again my attempt to try to fix this problem failed.
    So for about 2-5 more times i was typing the same thing in the command prompt but turning it On and Off
    so then it was still not working and so then I uninstalled it and reinstalled the set up for me to try to set it up again, than at this point it was when i tried to open my internet explorer and it was forced closed because of DEP.
    Now was when i was very upset because of this program, so then i tried to open the iTUNES SETUP but then it said that there was an invalid driver”:F”

    thank you,

  23. Hi Everyone,

    I know that this DEP issue is a major problem for a lot of people and I have been dealing with the DEP error with IE 7.0 issue all day until I finally found this site!

    bcdedit.exe worked for me but to clarify, the only way I was able to make it work was to take out {current}. Be sure you are an Administrator when you do this but it solved my very annoying IE 7.0 issue! I don’t intend on turning DEP back on since it seems to cause more problems than it’s worth.

    bcdedit.exe/set nx AlwaysOff
    bcdedit.exe/set nx AlwaysOn

    GOOD LUCK! I would uninstall VISTA if I could!

  24. “I’ve just had this a couple of days ago. Seemingly working iTunes suddenly stops working, Vista warns of DEP problems.

    I re-installed iTunes 8 – same issue.
    Turned off DEP – iTunes still crashed.

    Turned out it was an installation of a CODEC pack for Vista that must have corrupted QuickTime. Nothing to do with iTunes after all.

    Uninstalled QT.
    Uninstalled the codec pack
    Installed QT from the stand-alone installation

    iTunes immediately runs again.

    I’ve since turned DEP back on, just to be safe”-fatbloke

    i found this at the forums and thought it would help…i just don’t know how to remove this codec lol

  25. Data Execution Prevention, I would say it’s a dangerous portion of Windows Operating System because this is the second time I have had this since three years apart, I forgot how to work around this. It does not seem to revert into orginal working state! Nothing have helped especially the command-line excution works even!

    My problem is the iexplorer.exe stopped working after I clicked on MSN messenger for checking e-mails. This always been working ever since I’ve used it up until just recently tonight (spent an entire evening that is, tofigure how to fix it). Imagine me being a I.T. personnel can’t solve this. I even asked someone whom knows as much as I do, also says it’s an inevitable error.

  26. I have the Data error too, but in my case it tells me that windows explorer is the program causing the problem. What would one do in a case like this, add it or not, as it is not a program, could I be indeed tricked by a hacker perhaps? I will leave it as it is for the moment till I can get some clarification about this, I hope someone out there can assist with any ideas/solutions – thank you!

  27. I am also having problems with the Explorer 8 “update”. Formerly my computer worked very well. Now I am not being allowed to go to certain websites. These are horribly dangerous things like Discovery News and Doonesbury comic strips. Also, most live links don’t work any more, and the internet is horribly slow.
    I DID go and try to reconfigure the DEP — does not work. When I excepted Windows Explorer I was able to reach a couple of Discovery News articles, but the Doonesbury site still does not work.
    I cannot follow your advice to except programs, as this is an internet site, not one of my own programs. I believe from a note that flashed on the screen that there is something to do with Adobe Flash player, but what and how I do not know.
    Anyway, I already have a firewall, antivirus, two anti-adwares, and several other security programs operating. I do not need Windows to come in and slow down my computer and stop access to websites in order to duplicate things that were already working well. I do want this thing off my computer.
    A reply would be helpful.

  28. Hi Leo! I’ve only had DEP problems while using the internet. Before I downloaded IE8 my computer ran great. Now it closes IE when I go to various sites that I know are save. It also closes when I try to respond to emails. I’ve tried everything from your article and still have problems. This seems to be a common question. Thank you for your help!

  29. i try all the things in my machine but i got error msg actually i create a mpeg file from pinnacle and whenever i just click on the mpeg file ‘data execution prevention’ error msg appear even i cut and paste file to another location but still problem persist.i can’nt understand pl help me what should i do,is it any hardware problem or somthing….

  30. DEP errors can be caused by rogue startup files. Using MSCONFIG, turn off all startup files and see if the problem is solved. If it is, reapply the startup items one by one until the rogue item is found.


  32. Doesn’t help. I’m unable to print webpages from Internet Explorer – DEP just shuts the operation and page down, even though I’ve got IE ticked as an exception in DEP settings. This has ONLY become a problem for me since I upgraded to IE8 – I /never/ had this problem when I was using IE7.

  33. i tried to use my microsoft works task launcher for the templates but dep keeps shutting it down. i don’t know what .exe file it is thanks

  34. I get the DEP error message everytime I close IE. I tried to adjust the DEP settings, but that has not helped. ANy ideas?

  35. my computer displays the dep error message when i switch it on but there are no other icons or buttons so my computer is now useless how can i solve this matter

  36. my computer displays the dep error message when i switch it on but there are no other icons or buttons so my computer is now useless how can i solve this matter

  37. I have tried everything suggested. I play games in a website, but DEP keeps shutting me down. Frankly, I want this thing GONE!

  38. This stupid thing is constantly freezing up my computer, showing error messages and no matter which seeting I have tried to put it on it doesn’t make a bit of difference. I hate it!!!

  39. I read about turning DEP off except for some programs, but I do not know which ones are secure. All I have had is problems (it seems since I installed IE8, which stops running a lot). Now this DEP things showing up, unable to print photos or upload photos. Can’t stand it. Should I switch to Firefox?

  40. We have have managed to shut down DEP but we still cannot open my photo folders. These are stored on an external drive, but that should make no dofference, IMHO. Switching to Firefox isn’t the solution. I use Firefox and the problem is exactly the same.

  41. Put me n the same boat. i can’t use or close out of the internet without getti the Dep error prompt. this didnt start happeneing until I installed Ie8. now I have to shut down compute with webpages open to keep pcfrom freezing up

  42. This has not helped me in the slightest. It’s so annoying I just the damn thing off my computer.It shuts down every single internet page I use! So how on earth can I stop that?

  43. My problem is when I go to a newspaper site- the error message appears. Sometime it closes and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m set as “Turn on DEP for Esential….” and this is how it was set when I first noticed it. I don’t know where to exclude news sites.

  44. I try to shut down internet explorer and dep wont allow me to i try turning it off and it still does it. I want it gone!!!!!! Drives me mad!!!

  45. followed instructions as above… when i go into DEP tab and click turn off, nothing comes up in the box for me t click on ‘client’ n i dont what t add…. how can i just stop this completly? it dint used t happen before i had t do ‘fix my computer’ afte constant blue screen… pls help. thank you.

  46. To really turn this off. Click on start tab. Right click my computer. Click properties.Click advanced. Click startup and recovery settings. Click edit. where it says /NoExecute=optin,optout,or allwayson TYPE THIS /NoExecute=AllwaysOff Now click file and click save. Make sure to click ok when exiting the open windows. Restart computer and PRESTO FINALLY GONE NO MORE BS!!!

  47. Problem’s start when i run tuneup utilties when i restart my coputer thedesktop only opening without icon or start button I re install thewindows but the same problem I try data exictio prevention but computer automaticaly turn off and on nodesktop or icon or start buton Can you help me to sove the problem

  48. I had problems as soon as I opened a new tab on IE8 eg youtube – DEP would close it down almost immediately. I have just uninstalled IE8 and the problem has been cured! I looked in the performance section and DEP is still there and turned on but I feel it must be a bug in the IE8 that caused the problem. What does Leo think?
    from BuckmasJ

  49. I have this same problem. I have Firefox, but I can’t get on anything from my start menu. If I try to access the Control Panel through the start menu the DEP message pops up. I have no idea of how to access the control panel any other way than through the start menu. I’m stuck. I also cannot open any of my folders from the start menu or from my desktop. What should I do?

    Firefox has nothing to do with this. Your machine has a pretty serious software issue. Make certain you are virus and spyware free – that’s the most likely cause. Then I’d start with the system file checker, and perhaps even a repair/reinstall of Windows.


  50. Lets be honest here.
    DEP is a increadably buggy workaround for a poorly working OS. MS will soon learn that it can’t keep telling users…’I know you hate this…but you have to have it- because WE screwed up’.

    Now lets get into details.
    DEP DOES NOT TAKE ‘Turn on for Essential’…even if you do set it…it fires for all. At least on my xp machaine.
    This means that my browser now fails on 50% of hits. I mean this has rendered my system unusable.

    Lucky I found a way to turn it off…
    Here’s how:
    1) turn off you machine
    2) Remove windows & install Chrome OS.
    3) Turn on machine.

    You’ll find it all works well now

  51. Not helpful. The error was happening in Window’s Explorer to begin with even though it was on the exception list. Therefore, when I right clicked on My Computer there was an error. Your explanation fails to explain this.

  52. I read your article above and can’t seem to figure out a way to fix it, I hope it’s not something I’m doing wrong. My problem is when I’m online and try to choose the enlarge image option for websites like eBay and other shopping websites a window pops up that says ” Internet explore has stoped working” and then another window pops up in the bottom left of my screen that says ” To help protect your computer data excecution prevention has closed internet explorer” I’m not a computer wiz but I definately know it would be stupid to turn DEP off completely, so how do I fix this problem with internet explorer?

  53. -An easy solution to disable DEP-
    Note: Not Recommended!!

    go to Control Panel > System > Advance Tab > Startup and Recovery > Settings > Edit and you got Boot.ini file such:
    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut
    You can see “OptOut” there, replace with configuration AlwaysOff and save!
    Other configurations related are:
    1. OptIn : Only Windows binary implemented by DEP
    2. OptOut : All binary but can do exceptions
    3. AlwaysOn : All binary and can do exceptions
    4. AlwaysOff : Disable DEP
    Remember, choose wisely for your computer health.
    hope it can help you

  54. The only time I get the DEP notification is when I play POGO. I have tried to enter it into the exception list and that does not work. Can you tell me how to do that. I do not want to turn it off completely, but I dislike windows telling me what I can and cannot do!

  55. I’ve been having DEP problems when using Microsoft Works Word Processor (version 9.0) on my new Vista-equipped computer. Sometimes when I right-click to copy something on a web page, when I go to paste it into a Works document, DEP will shut down the word processor. I’ve tried to follow the directions to make Works an exception to DEP, but I have looked all over and cannot find the executable file for Works Word Processor.

    Can someone PLEASE tell me what the executable filename is, or where to find it?

  56. when i try to get onto a website that ive been on lots of times before it shuts down and when i go to add it to the list so it wont do that it doesnt work and tells me i cant turn DEP off for that program and all this crap. its really annoying me and i dont understand why all of a suddedn this blocker pops up and stops me from going on the site.

  57. Hey, thanks for the tip on unistalling “Chrome”. Chrome was part of IE8 and a Google feature. I was able to uninstall the feature and now my IE works perfectly without getting the pesky Data Execution message which always shut my IE down. It makes using my XP laptop fun to use again. I did not have to change any settings and I’m happy.

  58. This is such cod whollop! I want DEP off — YES OFF — my blasted computer. I know the solution. I will NEVER BUY MICROSOFT EQUIPMENT AGAIN. MY NEXT COMPUTER WILL BE AN APPLE!

  59. This started happening to me today. It is hurting my business. I am trying to write contracts on a web-based program. It is aggravating.

  60. Same problem — DEP is blocking internet explorer even when it is listed as an exception. So lots of things will not work because explorer shuts down. I am suspecting a service pack started it all. Running Windows Vista. I hope Microsoft will see this — with each Windows update I hope it will be fixed. I think I have tried turing it off and still had the same issue — but am going to risk it and try it again. Thanks!

  61. Same issue, clicking on Website pictures that I have previously and now it just shuts down.
    Why all of a sudden ? Was this a recent Windows update gone wrong ?

  62. I get an error message saying windows is having to close the program even though it is actually the user that is closing the program(since upgrading to Windows Explorer 8 on XP) everytime I close either the program or an open tab. I Have excepted the program but it stills persists. Very annoying and time wasting. I have reinstalled Explorer 8 but the problem remains.

  63. The only time I get the DEP notification is when I play POGO. I have tried to enter it into the exception list and that does not work. Can you tell me how to do that. I do not want to turn it off completely, but I dislike windows telling me what I can and cannot do!

    It’s not telling you what you can and cannot do, it’s trying to protect you from poorly written software and malware. I assume you mean the pogo web site, in which case the application you would add to the DEP exception list is your browser (iexplore.exe, firefox.exe or whatever you use).

  64. I have had this problem for a few days now and it’s driving me to distraction! I have tried adding programmes to the list in DEP to no avail. Why is it happening on M/S software if the problem is supposed to be down to poorly written code?

  65. This annoyance has just started to occur with me. I have done as you suggested earlier but it still happens. It will not let me start Windows messanger and it seems everytime I open Facebook and then exit it, it will say there is an error and shut down any other windows I have open.

  66. Despite the above advice which I tried, you can’t seem to turn DEP off. Basically my entire computer is useless. My online banking gets, shut down, my company email, and trusted ecommerce sites such as Commission Junction,Linkshare, Google Affiliate Network all get the DEP sign of death. I can log in, but as soon as I try to use any of the site’s functions, they die. I have also tried adding the iexplore.exe and this hasn’t solved the problem either. My 32 bit machine doesn’t have this problem yet. Any ideas? I am getting desperate.

  67. My internet explorer has a problem with data execution prevention, i did the method which you have given to switch off til den i get that mess pl kindly help me.

  68. Ok, this worked. All you have to do is reset your options. Click on tools in a browser, then Internet Options, then Advanced tab, then below the box of a whole bunch of options. Click reset.
    So for now, my internet isn’t shutting down when I click on a link inside the program. Hope this helps.

  69. I have the DEP error after Dell remoted in to fix my computer when I obtained a virus they charged some ridiculous amount and not they want $69 to even look at it again when they did not fix it to begin with. I get the DEP error when I am trying close a window. Can you tell me how to stop this?

  70. The only program that is causing me DEP errors is Windows Photo Gallery!! I can no longer edit pictures using the program. Every time it tries to save an edited picture I get the DEP error.

  71. the only problem i get with DEP is MSN live messenger. you open it, and 5 minutes later, it shuts down…if that…

    is there a way to make msn immune to DEP? it cannot be on the exceptions list for some odd reason. if there is a DEP-compatible version, can someone please email me a link at [email address removed] please?

  72. I did as u have said but i get error message for my avi files only.That too for stuff i downloaded 3 days back alone.Other stuff work perfectly.Plz Help

  73. The best part is my first course of action was to complain to Microsoft since I am sure it was activated on my last update and you can’t even post a complaint it nails you with DEP warnings. Good information, it is important to know that some programs are not allowed to run without DEP. Firefox being one, I understand how this is meant to help prevent a lot of problems but it is making my online experience a hassle. Now I have adjusted my settings but they will not take affect until I restart……I should have seen that coming!!!!

  74. The DEP errors have caused me a lot of problems. I am a IT contractor working at a client’s site and having many DEP errors has caused me many problems in front of my client. I need help getting this DEP feature turned off.

  75. On Vista, when I go to Computer, properties, there is a tab for Advanced system Settings, not Advanced, system, settings. they are NOT separate tabs. When I choose Advanced System Settings, Performance in NOT listed. I looked this up on Mocrosoft’s website and the directions are the same as yours. Both are wrong. Under Performance (In another section)there is nothing about DEP. I don’t want to eliminate it, I just want to set some controls on it. What do I do this on Vista?

  76. So I have Vista 64. DEP is hardware based as well as software based.
    If there is no option to diaable DEP in the bios what can I do? I am
    trying to install a program that is getting the DEP error.

  77. well having problems with the DEP! well i did what the instructions said but it wont let me click on the turn on button! its been like this since i got my laptop i don’t know what is going on! need help badly! feel free to send me an email!

  78. I use Vista home premium. In a recent update from Microsoft DEP started sending up error messages anytime I closed an explorer. I don’t mind the program, I just wish it would quit telling me what I already know. “Internet explorer has ceased functioning” I know this because I closed it. How do I get rid of this annoying message without losing the program.

  79. I have Windows Vista Home Premium 32 Bit I cannot get my Microsoft Works Suite to open due to Data Execution Prevention and I tried doing the above it didn’t work and I just want this off my pc, how do I do it? I have a separate firewall, spyware and antivirus. I need to use my works suite, please help me, email me back please.

  80. Read this information it worked for me. My problem was when I was on the internet trying to book flights and wanting to see the calander and then the message would pop up and shut the website down. I contacted Microsoft and they wanted to charge me $239.00 to fix. He explained that one of my computer execution files was corrupted and it possible happened during an update download so I retraced back to when I received the message (date) CLICK START, COMPUTER, UNINSTALL OR CHANGE A PROGRAM, VIEW INSTALLED UPDATES, THEN FIND THE RECENT DATES AND BEGIN TO UNINSTALL them it took me about 2 days but my computer works fine now some times you have to restart your computer uninstall as many as you can before restarting.

  81. DEP won’t let me send a fax from my online fax system, pay bills online and I can’t figure out how to reconfigure it because it’s not interfering with any of my programs…it’s web related and annoying!
    thanks, Liz

  82. I had the same problem as chyna. I narrowed it down to the update for “internet explorer 8 for windows vista” i removed this update only and the problem was solved.

  83. Hi!!!
    I have gone with the above told procedeur and there are some programs I can put on exception list eventhough I want to e.g. firefox

  84. Control Panel/System/Advanced/Startup & Recovery/Settings/Edit.change the last part to NoExecute=AlwaysOff and reboot. Afterwards the DEP will be greyed out. However it did not resolve my problem!

  85. My Data Execution Prevention is turn off already but I’m still getting the error when I try to do spell check in my online classes. I don’t know what file that would be under to let me turn it off for just that program.

  86. I am having the same problem where I cannot click on any links on any websites becuase I keep getting the DEP error message. This is so frustrating. How do I turn it off and still keep my computer safe? Please help. Feel free to e-mail me. I do not understand how to turn off this feature for specific websites. No matter if I click the button to “Turn on DEP for all essential windows and programs…” or “Turn on DEP for all windows and programs..” I still am getting the error message.

  87. Ive tried to turn of DEP for a program but it says i must have it for it. DEP stops me from loading it though.

    how do i turn of dep for it?

  88. My problem is that I keep getting these errors and has to do with internet. My key pad quits working or is really slow then internet explore / aol kicks off/

  89. DEP will not let me open internet explorer. i have turned it off and still will not open. I have even uninstalled explorer and re-installed it. Still will not open. Can anyone help me

  90. DEP has turned off my spooler for a printer that i couldn’t install because of drivers. dell inspiron with vista home premium and dell p942 all in one inkjet printer how do i remove all the old drivers and get myspooler working again

  91. everytime i open face book dep shuts it down i dont know what .exe file is causeing this can someone help me find out what file is causeing this???

  92. how do i turn off data execution prention errors.
    i am facing problem everytime i logon in windows 2003 server. after that message lan will be not working. please send me how to solve that problem.

  93. DEP is preventing me from sending emails from my Virgin email address – every time I click on “compose” DEP says it is unsafe and shuts the internet down, but then the whole system freezes and I have to use the restart button because everything is locked solid. I have Kaspersky internet security,and a malware program loaded on Windows XP Pro, and have no problem sending emails from my hotmail account. I have looked on the hard drive for the Virgin folder without sucesss. Any suggestions?

  94. I get the DEP response when trying to view certain Web pages. They’re from legitimate sites. But, it’s a Web site I’m having trouble with, not a particular executable program. So, what do I add to the DEP dialogue box???????

  95. I was able to run itunes for over a year without a problem, now all of a sudden, DEP kicks me out and no amount of re-loading, following instructions above allows me to use itunes. Help

  96. I use IE8 , and DEP make me don’t use IE8 , when I run IE8 , It appear a box(DEP),and when I exit it , it close my IE8
    I turn off it by your instruction
    But not effect
    please tell me why ??

  97. My DEP is related to Windows Explorer. How do I find out what is causing the problem? I have Symantec End Point Protection and I have run Malwarebytes and found nothing.

  98. I was able to resolve problem with a USB data card (Tata Photon Whiz India’s mobile broadband) when connected to a Dell Latitude D610. The modem worked on 2 other computers without any issues, but was failing on the Dell. On one occasion, the system displayed a pop-up on DEP. Though there are several hits on Google, this article clearly explained the second option (Configure Exceptions to DEP). At the moment, the USB data card seems to be working, and I am surfing the net.

  99. I have followed these instructions even is not that hard lol,, win tells you how to do it by default and it didnt work! even I got on the list but it still keeps shutting down my EVE online game tough its on the list and shows me the error anyway just like it has ignored its on the list, how the hell can that be?,, how can it just ignore what I have ordered it to do?,. running vista [edited] windows…

  100. i tried doing what you’ve said but the problem is when i got to the performance options box and clicked the data execution prevention tab, all the buttons were gray (not active) so i couldn’t continue. how should i go about it?

  101. I can get to IE. I can view the site, but when I attempt to open a link within the site I get the ‘notorious’ CONNECTION TO INTERNET EXPLORER IS CLOSING. I couldn’t find the exe-file. Should I refer to Computers for Dummies?

  102. Why is it DEP only affects windows explorer and not firefox or other browsers? I can’t get my DEP to turn off properly…my solution is to use firefox.

  103. How do I add a file thats not an .exe file? I’m trying to use B&Qs bathroom planner which uses a 20-20 3D Viewer (whatever that is)and it just won’t load.

  104. I have one problem like we can not access any computer in my network place.

    Than we are restart computer after that computer access.

    How can fix it this problem please if you have any idea please share with me.

    i am waiting for your response.


  105. hi i have just read the tips from computre weekly to beef up the ie7 – and switching on of the data execution prevention is one of them – thanks 2u i am leaving as is. – thank you!

  106. Hi, I’ve just recently had the DEP activating when I go to my email account. Is anyone else getting this and any suggestions to end it?


  107. Very easy, simple instructions. When we got to the perfomance options page it listed google (we did not have to look for it) and we checked it off and now we can get google again. Thanks for your help.

  108. I hate it. I closed DEP (through command prompt and notepad thingies) but still I can’t access microsoft office. i’m afraid other of my programs will have that ‘dep’ too. also i can’t rum bootstrapper in installing office. my pc is going useless. please help. ^_^ tnx.

  109. Hi-Now im busy with this error-it close all my program i want an make my computer to useless-when i do that you said-its not work true for me :(
    my IE is still can’t open

  110. This also happened to me after the DAMN IE 8 UPDATE. I HATE IE. IM TYpING THIS MESSAGE FROM MY PHONE NOW BECAUSE ALMOST ALL MY PROGRAMS ARE DEP! Firefox, Google chrome, and even IE close! Also the window error reporting closes due to dep! I’ve tried using the performance options to add the programs to the exceptions list but I can’t, it says “this program MUST run with dep. You cannot turn off department for this program.”
    There is no explanation on fixing the security issue other than to simply add the program to the exceptions list…

  111. I am also coming up with the error stating that the program MUST be run with DEP – and, yes, this never happened until installing the Internet Explorer 8 update. Someone with information, please leave a comment – I’ll check back here soon.

  112. I did what it says to try and get DEP off but on my square box when i click properties it does not have an advance sapce, just says ok, cancel or apply. i try to hit apply but nothing happens, i push ok, goes back to regular screen

  113. Download Ultimate Windows Tweaker.
    Simply click on Perfomance and place a check next to “Turn Off Data Execution Prevention (DEP. Restart the computer. Thats all

  114. I have read the above article and I am using Windows Vista. I have also followed these steps to turn off or add a program for DEP but I am still unable to add images to my blog or facebook account. DEP also blocks me from downloading music from my Itunes account. Help me please. This just started happening and I am very FRUSTRATED.

  115. I share the frustration expressed by your contributors. Pity MS cannot issue software without “unpatched vulnerabilities” but why have I only recently started to get DEP episodes?


  116. I can access my account for my cell phone on Verizon Wireless for everything. When I go to transfer pics from phone to computer I get this DEP message. I just read this article and maybe it will help.

  117. I am using webmail, offered by my cable/internet provider. I cannot reply to any email without getting this error message. I looked in the list to turn off dep for the program but I can’t find anything associated with webmail or cox communications? any suggestions? i don’t have this problem on my desktop where i am running windows xp, only on my laptop where i am running vista.

  118. Directions do not work, I followed everything and I just get the message “itunes can not run with DEP off, itunes must run with DEP on” and of course does not allow me to add itunes to the exceptions. I used itunes without problem per 2 years and now, suddenly it stops. Same thing happened with my wireless printer, I only allowed to use it with a cable because this DEP blocked my wireless Kodak printer, ridiculous!!!

  119. I have Window Vista and a 2 year old Dell desktop. I’m having the same problems as others have said above. The problems only started about 2 months ago. Before that I had never even heard of Data Execution Prevention (DEP). Why has it suddenly begun causing me problems connecting to Internet Explorer. It says a program has caused problems and caused Internet Explorer to close….but I don’t know WHAT program. Following your instruction given to shut DEP off, I can’t seem to even FIND My Computer to go there anymore. It’s always been on my desktop and now it’s gone. I hope you can help solve this problem.

  120. This started affecting everything in the last ten days on both my [unconnected] laptop and PC. Only change in that period was a major download of Windows Updates for Vista Ultimate on April 1. Internet Explorer and Windows itself suddenly kept closing every few minutes for no reason; some software programmes became erratic; then some data report kept popping up telling me the number of programmes that had been closed for Health and Safety reasons – even though I hadn’t used these programmes for years! MS Word hyperlinks don’t work anymore. My system restore points for before April 1 disappeared. Sick to death of it – now trying to find a Windows OS alternative [I started life on the MacPlus!]

  121. I have been trying to download the Adobe Flashplayer 10 and DEP is refusing to let it run. I can’t add it to the exceptions list because it is not yet on my computer. How to I get DEP to go away and let it install?

  122. I have a little over a year old HP computer with Vista, which I hate, and I have trouble opening up Windows Explorer all the time. I am always getting the Data Excution Prevention thing and after 3 or 4 tries Explorer finily opens. I did what was recomended and it is of no help.

  123. I have turned off DEP for every exe file on my computer but it still closes adobe when I try to print an adobe document even though adobe is checked in the performance options. What can I do to disable DEP

  124. Lets face it. This is another usless item that we are forced to use by Microsoft. There does not seem to be a way to get rid of it and tring to disable it for certain programs is a waste of time because that doesn’t work either. I never had this problem when I first started to use this year old computer but now it blocks IE almost every time I try to open it. It take 5 or 6 trys to get it to open. When I do get it open there is no garentee it is going to keep working. I work from home and this is the worse thing to keep happening when I am trying to work.

  125. I just had my putor remormated and 2 days later im getting this error message “data execution prevention” error. everytime time i go to close and web page im viewing. why is this happening

  126. we have developed window service in C# and getting same error and service get hung and not processing any data.if we will start service agan it will process data.we are calling third party vb dll to clcluate tax.please give some suggestion

  127. So what if the DEP is preventing a windows program to work? I’ve been trying to burn movies, and every time the DEP closes to program. I use Windows DVD Maker.. I had already tried to add it to the list of exceptions before I read your article, and when I did it wouldn’t, it said Windows DVD Maker has to run with DEP enabled. So how do I fix that so my computer is safe but I can also can burn movies?

  128. Every time i try to import videos into windows movie maker it just closes it and then i try to add videos to the exception list for DEP it just opens and the gets closed by DEP, its not even letting me put it ON the list. Pictures work fine but videos dont i really need help.

  129. Almost every time I try and use Internet Explorer, DEP kicks in and closes it down. It takes about 5-6 attempts to get it open again and if i`m lucky i might get 20 mins of web time before it crashes it again. Highly annoying and to me, totally unnecessary. I have read the article and understand whats happening but that doesn`t stop it from being a pain in the ***

  130. DEP will not let Adobe Reader ope. When I try to add it on the DEP listof approved sites, I get a message it can not be done for this program. How can I get around that? Fred

  131. I have added IE to the exception list but every time I try to add an attachment to an email (Yahoo)or upload my resume or something it still closes the program. I’m just going to have to turn it off (even if I have to restart, attach the doc then turn it back on and restart – unlikely!).

    Any idea if this is a program specific (in this case IE8) problem given the problems people have had with the DVD software? – if I use Firefox and make it an exception will I still have this problem? I have a different DVD movie program and don’t seem to have any problem with DEP.

    Thing is if my router and Security software are working and configured properly I shouldn’t have malware on the computer in the first place right?

  132. Using XPSE3. This DEP problem started in the last two wks. Did a Windows update create the problem? My DEP is set for ‘essential Windows only’. The other option seems to require that I list all of my working programs (a long list). Am I misreading MS instructions? Explorer crashes the system (‘blue screen of death’) leaving me with no option but to reboot, five or six times a day. A bit much? My list of programs that kick it in is different: Adobe Reader works fine, but GOM player triggers about half the time. I can’t use the ‘My Computer’ button with confidence, again about half the time. If I could even figure out the pattern! Security isn’t security by preventing the use of the tool in the first place. How can I use a computer that is unavailable so often? PS: Windows ‘contact us’ screen froze leaving me unable to use the computer until still another reboot.

  133. Ok so i understand that this works with programs, but im having slightly different issues i think. I work from a certain website that I visit several times a day and have done so for the past 2-3 years. My job revolves around this website and after i downloaded a patch 3 days ago i cant even access the site. Ive takes every measure possible to stop the actions from happening and even tried to restore my system to before i downloaded the patch, also to no avail. This is not only a headache but could also cost me my job or at least 2500$ for a new machine capable of doing the jobs i need to do. Can i get rid of this function-program-binary code any way at all?

  134. I’ve tried everything. When I bring up the screen there is nothing named client ….just a box to check for explorer and windows help…I want to play Pogo games and it won’t let me…I’ve tried putting it to the default and it still doesn’t work…this only just started happening…I think it sucks.

  135. I’m confused on what to turn off when selecting it from the list, I only want to be able to send emails from hotmail but the DEP shuts my internet down every time.

  136. i am not able to close the internet explorer i need to turn off dep.but it is not possible can u suggest me any other solution

    START > RUN :
    regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll


  138. Chiefly, I use iTunes for my work (podcaster), but DEP apparently cannot be configured to accept iTunes as an exception. At times, a computer reboot resolves the problem, but not always. Any options for my problem?

  139. Okay, I use Safari on my computer, and recently, DEP Has been shutting it down. I have noticed that my CPU utilization has shot up to 100% when DEP kicks in. It’ll say that safari has stopped working. I’ve tried adding it to the exempt list, but it doesn’t work. Is there anything I can do?

  140. I am getting the DEP error – generic host process for win32service. I have version 2002 service pack 3 and when i try to install and update for it, it will not install it. I can’t get this error to go away. What can I do or what am I doing wrong??

  141. I have purchased weatherbug plus DEP will not let me run it. I have symantec security will that suffice?

    DEP catches things in a way that anti-malware tools cannot. While I do hear of it causing problems for some applications, I typically recommend leaving it on if possible.


  142. First I would like to say that it all sounds good, but does not work for my situation. I have the Catalyst Control Center and it gets prevented everytime it attempts to start automatically or manually. I have tried your method of “shutting off” DEP or adding it to the exceptions, but unfortunately it still prevents it from running.

  143. I followed these instructions. Right click “My Computer” – click “Properties” – click “Advanced” tab – In the Startup and Recovery area, click “Settings” “Startup and Recovery” window opens. Click “Edit” button. Boot.ini file opens in Wordpad. My operating system is Windows XP Professional. I followed the code till is got to ” /noexecute=optin “. I made this deletion. It should read ” /execute=optin “. I made no other changes. Click “file”, then “save”. Then exit Wordpad. Click “OK” in Startup and Recovery window. Click “OK” in Properties window. Restart computer. I then tried the procedure that I was prevented from doing in the past and everything worked just fine. Note this worked for Windows XP Professional with SP2 & SP3 with my processor, an AMD Athlon 3700+. This procedure is supposed to switch off the execution prevention feature designed into the AMD chip. I was forced to this extreme because all other instructions including “Ask Leo” would not work. I do understand that I now have no data execution protection at all. I can live with out the frustration that only Windows can create.

  144. Sorry but my computer won’t be able as when I started it, DEP closed the logon application. By help and support centre I managed to open my browser.

  145. I went to IE tools, internet options,advanced. Scroll down to Security(there should be a yellow lock) and uncheck ……enable memory protction to help mitigate online attacks. This worked for me and my issue. Hope it helps.

  146. Hi,

    I am receiving “Task Scheduler Engine has stopped working” error.It’s because updating CCC (Catalist Control Center).And because of this, I had to remove CCC from my computer and I have the same driver version on my laptop when I bought it (2 years ago).I dont have CCC almost 6 months and have the oldest driver version.It decreases my GPU performance.

    Can this advice (disabling DEP) help me? Thx…

  147. Yeah, I have NEVER had this stop a virus, only programs I am running. How do I know that, because I play games, games that are not online, and it shuts them off frequently until I learned how to completely disable it. This is a worthless program to have on your ocmputer.

  148. have put data execution protection in the advanced settings on my pc and now my screen is black and cannot go anything, what can I do to get back on my pc when I have looked at the screen shot above I see client was ticked and there was no client in mine

  149. Hi. Thanks for the tip but it did not work for me. For some reason I receive the following message:
    “This program must run with data execution protection (DEP) enabled. You cannot turn off DEP for this program.”

    I hate windows!


  150. Read your article and all (173) comments to date. I’ll try a few of the out.

    I get the dreaded DEP interrupting the most banal operations (including accessing core Windows functions) on my desktop PC, working entirely offline, as well as online.

    XP SP3 MediaCenter, one careful owner/operator.

    Leo, your advice on this specific topic seems to be skimpy stonewalling to put it mildly, in response what appears to be a widespread, non-user-generated problem, with many symptoms well articulated.

    Does Microsoft not read or respond to such?

  151. Data Execution Prevention might be good for something, but it has turned my expensive PC into an ornament. Cannot turn turn it off for 64 bit. What does that leave? Nothing works properly.

  152. sounds like a ploy for idiots to think that their computer and or software needs replacement cause i don’t see it helping any and i don’t see any reason that crap like this is not on the install uninstall programs! …. what?
    that would make it to easy

  153. I agree with all the above comments…this DEP program is absolutely ridiculous, even the windows web site says that if your anti-virus software didn’t flag the program that DEP closed you probably are not under attack. This is just more B***S*** from windows.

  154. Turning off DEP, follow these steps exactly:
    (note: you’re doing this at your own risk)

    Right click your Comand Prompt and RUN AS ADMIN.
    Next type the following:
    bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff
    Then hit Enter
    you should see something saying that it was successful, now go ahead and close that up and restart your computer.
    DEP is now off. to turn it back on just reverse the “AlwaysOff” to AlwaysOn”.
    Good Luck guys.

  155. this is a typical scare tactic when another microsuck “update?” is introduced. this totally worthless program has reduced my puter to a desk ornament

  156. I’m still having problem with error message, “To help protect your Co. windows has closed this program. Internet Ex. has encountered a problem & needs to close.” It only comes up when I’m on Ebay. I tried your advice & it’s not working. I’m tryng to list auctions on Ebay. And it will not let me finish my listing. I need help ASAP. Thanks, Cathey

    Id start turning off addins in Internet Explorer, or try a different browser like Firefox or Chrome.

  157. in response to that guy, ive done that, and dep has been successfully turned off. But the program still isnt working. It says “An unknown program is preventing this action from being performed” (it used to be DEP). Any ideas what i could do?

  158. Would “that guy” please explain how I “Right click your Comand Prompt and RUN AS ADMIN.” using Windows XP and Firefox? I would very much like to turn off DEP temporarily so I could print out a pdf Adobe form sent in email by the police which DEP stopped me from printing to save my computer from infections.

    None of the suggestions given by Leo work. Instead of allowing the programme specified DEP prevented all programmes, both those previously allowed as well as the one specified to be exempted from DEP. The option “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only” did not allow me to print out a form in pdf in Adobe sent by the police! I have been unable to get DEP to function as it should. There is no option to turn on DEP for essential Windows programs on services but not for the following where you could enter the program concerned. If it were possible to do that or temporarily disable DEP for everything it would be praiseworthy too instead of behaving like a bug.


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