How To: Unblock files in Windows 10

Blocked File

Windows 10 has a lot of security measures in place that will protect you from a variety of threats, including files that may harm your system once you actually open them. The problem is that no security system is flawless and Windows may block a file that you know is harmless. All you can do at that point is to manually unblock the file by letting the operating system know that the file is perfectly fine and that there is no reason to treat it like a criminal.


Unblock File Properties

Our first method is the most simple one but you will only be able to use it after the file has actually been blocked.

1. Find the blocked file and right click on it.

2. Click on the Properties option.

3. While you are in the General tab, look at the bottom for the “Unblock” box. Check it and click on OK to close the window and unblock the file. Note that you may be asked to confirm your action by UAC so just click on Yes or Continue if a window pops up.


Unblock File PowerShell

This is the “one method to rule them all” as PowerShell will let you unblock any file or folder at once.

1. Open an elevated PowerShell window. To do that, type powershell in your Start Menu/Cortana’s search box, right click on the first result and click on “Run as administrator”.

2a. Type in the following command and make sure to replace the appropriate paths with your own:

Unblock-file -path “full path of file”

e.g.: Unblock-file-path “C:\Users\Adam\Desktop\AwesomeFile.exe”

2b. If you want to unblock all files within a certain folder, use this command instead:

Get-childitem “full path of folder” | unblock-file

e.g.: Get-childitem “C:\Users\Adam\Desktop\AwesomeFolder” | unblock-file


Windows SmartScreen

If SmartScreen is enabled in your computer (it is on by default), you may get a message that the utility has blocked a certain unrecognized app from running. When that message comes up, click on the “More info” option and then click on the “Run anyway” button to run the file and laugh at the face of SmartScreen.

Open File – Security Warning

Open File - Security Warning

Another window that may come up when you try to open an unrecognized file in your computer is the “Open File – Security Warning” pop up. To circumvent it, uncheck the box that reads” Always ask before opening this file” and Windows will not bother you about it ever again. If you want to disable the feature completely, take a look at our guide here.