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Windows 7: Another cure for "Open File - Security Warning" Prompt Blues : ICACLS

12 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Another cure for "Open File - Security Warning" Prompt Blues : ICACLS

I've been plagued with shortcuts that seem hellbent on making me want to turn off security settings in Windows 7 that are better left on.

Does this sound woefully familiar?

Well - here is THE CORRECT WAY (especially if the elusive "Unlock" option never presents itself - I certainly have never seen it on any property pages!)

Open an elevated command prompt window.

cd to your shortcut folder.

run the command:

C:\Users\YourName\Desktop\AFolder> icacls MyLink.lnk /L /SetIntegrityLevel med

You can use wildcards, but take care WHERE you do this. Also REMEMBER THE /L OPTION, because that ensures you are processing the shortcut, not the "addressed" program or file pointed to by the shortcut.

Note that the trick is in the (slightly counter-intutive) MEDIUM setting (med) rather than setting it LOW (which is what it often defaults to, thus causing the problem).

Personally, I like to create folders full of "themed" shortcuts on my desktop. Unfortunately, the default behaviour is that any shortcut moved to or created in such subfolders of the desktop(on my system at least) default to low integrity. You have to RAISE the integrity of the shortcuts to stop the endless tedious prompting.

If you cd to a folder full of shortcuts and further subfolders to that folder are also full of shortcuts, then using an asterisk (whilst potentially dangerous anywhere else) will update the ACLS for ALL the shortcuts - and apparently those in subfolders too (because such things are inherited via the folders by default). If that doesn't work for you, then cd down to the subfolder concerned and use the asterisk again.

Happy shortcutting!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64


C:\>cd users
C:\Users>cd nigel
C:\Users\Nigel>cd desktop
C:\Users\Nigel\Desktop>icacls *.lnk /L /SetIntegrityLevel med
processed file: Microsoft Word 2010.lnk
processed file: Windows Live Mail.lnk
Successfully processed 2 files; Failed processing 0 files
It works!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Finally! Thank you.

After installing Windows Server 2012 Essentials at home and joining a Windows 7 laptop to the domain with Folder Redirection and Offline Files enabled, I have spent days trying to find out why desktop shortcuts pointing to files on the server gave me the Open File warning. I could launch files from the Start Menu (which has been redirected to the server that contains the executables) but I could not launch them from the desktop (i.e., C:\Users\Public\Desktop\*.lnk pointing to a UNC). I've changed security settings on the local machine. I have changed group policies for local machine zone, intranet zone, and trusted site zone to no avail. I enabled launching unsafe executables. Nada. Ahhh, but one magic command line later...

So much frustration; such a simple fix. I suppose I need to go back and remove the Zone customizations to make sure it wasn't a combo solution rather than one magic bullet, but at least I now have an existence proof that it's possible.

I felt obliged to register at the site in order to say Thank You. So, "Thank you for posting this solution!"
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Jul 2013   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Thank you Papoon for joining our great Forum.
Happy you got the answer you were looking for.
Hang around and do some looking because their are bunches of great information can be gathered here.
I must warn you this Forum can be addictive.
Happy computing
Layback Bear
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

The problem I have found with this solution is that I often use the Desktop as a workspace, clearing it away later. So any new files don't get updated in this way. What I'd really like is to turn on this "feature".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Untested observations follow: My subsequent reading on file integrity in Windows implicates Internet Explorer running in Protected Mode. I haven't experienced the problems you describe but I tend to use Chrome instead of IE so I don't think files saved to my Desktop would get marked with low integrity. If you're not using protected mode IE to create those desktop files I have even less to suggest. Maybe you could use icacls to explicitly set file integrity on the Desktop folder(s) to medium and make that inheritable. It seems possible, but I've not thought through the security consequences of doing so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Another cure for "Open File - Security Warning" Prompt Blues : ICACLS

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