[Fix] “Do You Want to Open This File?” Security Warning While Opening Start Menu or Taskbar Shortcuts in Windows

Recently one of our reader "Uewd" asked us about following problem:

When I open any program in start menu, I get this window: Open file - Security Warning. I can click open and the program I chose will open but why this error occurred?

Actually its a known problem in Windows Vista and later which occurs because of newly introduced Windows Integrity Levels. The problem might occur while opening shortcuts from start menu or Taskbar in Windows Vista and 7. It happens when the integrity level is changed for the start menu or Taskbar shortcuts.

You can fix the problem by resetting the integrity level using following simple steps:

1. Click on "Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories". Right-click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run As Administrator". If you are prompted to enter password, enter the password and continue. You can also open Command Prompt in Administrator mode by typing "cmd" in Start Menu Search box and press "Ctrl+Shift+Enter".

2. Now provide following commands one by one:

ICACLS "%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

ICACLS "%userprofile%\Favorites\Links" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

ICACLS "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

ICACLS "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User pinned\Taskbar" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

3. That's it. Now you should not get any file security warning dialog box while opening shortcuts from start menu and Taskbar in Windows.

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista

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  • Thanks a lot VG~, I Think You Didn't Leave Anything...

  • Hello.

    It works for me but some days later I have the same problem.

    I think that the first time it happened to me was because I tried to change the appearance of the Start Menu by tweaking the favorite folder. But know everything is as supposed and I still have the problem.

  • I am a Chrome user and I think that uewd can be right. The last time the problem appeared again was because an application automatically opened Internet Explorer, and maybe changed something.

    Now I've tried
    intercpl.cpl -> Security ->Custom -> Launching applications and unsafe files -> Enable
    And seems to work, I hope it lasts.
    The problem is that is not very safe to do it.

  • This helped fixed someone's issue, but I had to point it at their C:\Users\user\Desktop directory. YMMV.

  • It didn't work for me. 'Skan's remark did, though...

  • It works for me as well (apply also on the desktop directory)
    However, I don't know what can have changed the integrity level. Any idea ?

  • Had hopes this might help resolve a similar issue w/ migrated Favorites, under Windows 8, but alas...

  • Also for me but using Ryan's one: C:\Users\user\Desktop directory.

  • For me this was caused from a faulty shortcut. When I reimaged a few PCs I just copied their desktop icons over to a folder on the server, then copied back after the reimage was done. This pop up box would come up on everything, i.e. Outlook, Word, Excel. Once I replaced the shortcut on the desktop from the source .exe again, it worked fine, no Security Warning pop up.

  • This one worked for me ... ICACLS "C:\Users\userName\Favorites\Links" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium


  • This was the way that worked for my taskbar shortcuts:

    ICACLS "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

  • thank you for your comments.
    Same problem, but related to drag/drop feature. haven't tried it yet ( at home doing research, problem at work). but I think changing integrity level might work, but I have to direct it to user desk top. several of you talked about "pointing to desktop". Is this within internet options ( security settings) or ICACLS command.
    Can you specify where you made this change and please write the full command line.

    thank you !

  • I keep getting a pop up "How do you want to open this file?" then id lists about eight programs. This occurs about every 2 or 3 minutes and I don't know what to do. This has only happened since I upgraded to Windows 10. Can't Microsoft fix this problem with an update?
    Its really annoying to have this pop up while your doing things.

    Thank you,
    Reva Correia

  • This worked beautifully!! Thanks a lot!!

    I just had to change the code a bit due to my taskbar pins being in a different folder into that folder so it kind of went like,

    ICACLS "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User pinned\Taskbar" /Setintegritylevel (OI)(CI)Medium

    If people are having problems with the code above, try this one if your pins are in the folder i included.

    Thanks again!! you guys are life savers!!

  • This stuff worked before but since the huge update on Sept 21 2016 was installed now none of the above works on windows 10. Sad but i guess until a fix comes out i have to put up with the extra mouse clicks..

  • Actually i found a different way around it. Instead of trying to lower the security 'which really isn't wise' put a new folder in your documents folder call it Common Sties. Then copy all the links from the taskbar links folder to the new folder called Common Sites. Then load that new folder on the taskbar and viola. The security message will not come up anymore. The new windows 10 don't work with the other fixes.
    It might not be as easy to do than the other way but it works.

  • This problem on Sept 21, 2016 on my computer. My friend had this problem appear Between Sept 14 & 20. I entered the fix and it worked, rebooted and it worked. About a hour later its back to where it was. Any new Ideas.

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