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How to fix Open File – Security Warning for all files on Windows 10

Windows 10 has various protective features that prevent users from running apps that may be harmful. When you run an EXE to install an app, you run into the Windows SmartScreen asking if you’re sure you want to run the app and allow it to make changes to your system. This is a normal level of protection and you really shouldn’t disable it however, if you see the Open File – Security Warning prompt for all files that you open, then your security settings have been set above the normal level.

If you’re getting the Open File – Security Warning for seemingly harmless files like images, there’s a simple way to fix it.

Open File – Security Warning

Open the Run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. Type the following in the run box.


This will open the Internet Properties window. Go to the Security tab and click the Custom level button at the bottom. This will open the second window on the right. This settings window has a long list of settings that change how security is managed on your system. Look for the ‘Launching applications and unsafe files (not secure)’ option. Select the ‘Enable’ option, and click Apply, then OK.

After that, you should be able to open normal files like PNGs, JPGs, PDFs, etc without encountering this prompt. When you run EXE files though, you will still get the same prompt.

This change doesn’t leave your system unsecured. It does lower the level of protection however it doesn’t make it completely vulnerable. With the ‘Prompt’ option, every single file that you download from the internet and open will show you the Open File – Security Warning prompt. When you download a file from the internet, regardless if you use Chrome or Edge, your file is first scanned. Chrome has its own virus scanner and once the file has been saved to your disk, Windows 10 scans it for viruses or anything malicious.

If you’re tempted to select the  Disable option, you should think twice about it. Setting it to Disable will lower your security settings considerably. You will still have other security measures in place but this is not an option you should select without seriously considering the consequences of it.

If you normally never see this prompt when opening files, and suddenly began to get it for all sorts of files, it likely means that your security settings were changed. This might have been done by a recent update or if you changed the default app for a certain file type.

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