Disable Protected Mode

protected-mode.png

Protected Mode is one of Windows Vista’s best new security features. With it, Internet Explorer (and anything that a bad website might do when you visit it with Internet Explorer) runs with very minimal rights to your computer. In fact, it can’t read your personal documents, install programs, or do anything that might damage your computer. This will stop a lot of spyware that automatically installed itself when the user visited a website.

If you do need to do something that Protected Mode would normally block, it’ll prompt you, as shown above. If this becomes annoying for a particular website, you can stop Protected Mode just for that website by adding it to your Trusted Sites zone. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Press the Alt key to open the menu bar.
  3. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
  4. Click the Security tab.
  5. Click the Trusted sites zone. Then, click the Sites button.
    click-sites.png
  6. Clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.
  7. Type the name of your website, and then click Add.
    trusted-sites.png
  8. Click Close, and then click OK.

Not enough for you? Disable it for all websites by default (thus giving up a lot of security) by following these steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Press the Alt key to open the menu bar.
  3. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
  4. Click the Security tab.
  5. Click the Internet zone. Then, clear the Enable Protected Mode check box.
  6. Click OK.

Protected Mode is only available on Windows Vista; it doesn’t work with Windows XP. It also won’t work if you disable UAC, because it relies upon UAC.

This entry was posted in Internet Explorer, Tips by Tony Northrup. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Northrup

Tony Northrup, MVP, MCITP, MCPD, MCSE, MCTS, and CISSP, is a Windows consultant and author living in Waterford, Connecticut, in the United States. Tony started programming before Windows 1.0 was released, but has focused on Windows administration and development for the last fifteen years. He has written more than two dozen books covering Windows development, networking, and security. Among other titles, Tony is coauthor of the Windows 7 Resource Kit, the Windows Vista Resource Kit, and Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection (NAP). When he's not writing, Tony enjoys photography, travel, and being awesome. Tony lives with his girlfriend, Chelsea, her daughter, Madelyn, and three dogs. You can learn more about Tony by visiting his personal website at http://www.northrup.org and his photography portfolio at http://northrupphotography.com.