Modify the Internet Explorer 6 Unsafe file list

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Internet Explorer 6 contains a hard-coded list of unsafe files in the shdocvw.dll file. IE 6 uses the unsafe-file list to prevent you from accidentally opening a file type that might cause problems on your computer.

The complete list of unsafe extensions is:

  • .ad
  • .adp
  • .asp
  • .bas
  • .bat
  • .chm
  • .cmd
  • .com
  • .cpl
  • .crt
  • .exe
  • .hlp
  • .hta
  • .inf
  • .ins
  • .isp
  • .js
  • .jse
  • .lnk
  • .mdb
  • .mde
  • .msc
  • .msi
  • .msp
  • .mst
  • .pcd
  • .pif
  • .reg
  • .scr
  • .sct
  • .shb
  • .shs
  • .url
  • .vb
  • .vbe
  • .vbs
  • .vsd
  • .vss
  • .vst
  • .vsw
  • .ws
  • .wsc
  • .wsf
  • .wsh

You can add file extensions to the unsafe-file list:

  • Navigate to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UnsafeFiles\Include
    You will have to create the key if it does not exist. It won't.

  • From the Edit menu, select New, Key
  • Enter the extension you want to add
    for example if .wsh were not in the default list, you could add it:
    .wsh

You can make exceptions to the unsafe-file list:

  • Navigate to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UnsafeFiles\Exclude
    You will have to create the key if it does not exist. It won't.

  • From the Edit menu, select New, Key
  • Enter the extension you want to exclude
    for example to exclude .exe from the default list, add it:
    .exe

Messed up or want to get back to defaults, just delete the keys you added. In most cases delete the UnsafeFiles key.

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