How To Fix Can’t Open Files In Protected View On Windows 11

May. 31, 2023 / Updated by Renata to Windows 11


Windows 11 and other versions of Windows include a security feature called Protected View, which is designed to keep users safe from potentially malicious files downloaded from the Internet. Protected View opens downloaded files in a read-only mode, preventing users from accidentally running macros or executing malicious code. However, sometimes users may find that they are unable to open files in Protected View. This can be frustrating, but fortunately, there are a few different solutions that can resolve the issue.

Below we explain several possible ways to fix the error that prevents you from opening files in Windows 11 Protected View.

1. Disable Protected View

The first and simplest solution is to disable the Protected View feature. While this may seem counterintuitive, it may be necessary to open some files that are being blocked by Protected View. To disable Protected View:

1. Open the application where you’re encountering the issue.

2. Go to File > Options > Trust Center.

3. Select the Trust Center Settings button.

4. Navigate to the Protected View option.

5. Uncheck the box next to "Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet" and "Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations."

6. Restart the application.

Once you have disabled the Protected View feature, you should be able to open the files that were previously being blocked.

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3. Unblock files in Windows Explorer

The next solution is to unblock the files in Windows Explorer. This can be done by following these steps:

1. Find the file you want to open in File Explorer.

2. Right-click the file and select Properties.

3. In the Properties window, click the Unblock button, which will unblock the file and enable you to open it in Protected View.

If these steps do not work, you may need to turn off the UAC (User Account Control) feature, which may be interfering with your ability to unblock files in Windows Explorer. To turn off UAC:

4. Open the Control Panel and navigate to User Accounts > Change User Account Control Settings.

5. Move the slider to the bottom position, which will disable UAC.

6. Restart your computer and try to unblock the file again.

4. Add file locations to Trust Center

If you are trying to open files from a network location or a location that Windows considers "untrusted," you may need to add that location to the Trust Center. This can be done by following these steps:

1. Open the application where you are trying to open the file.

2. Go to File > Options > Trust Center.

3. Select the Trust Center Settings button.

4. Click Trusted Locations, then Add new location.

5. Browse to the location of the file you want to open and click OK.

6. Restart the application.

After completing these steps, the file location will be added to the list of trusted locations, and you should be able to open the file in Protected View.

5. Disable antivirus software

Antivirus software can sometimes prevent users from opening files in Protected View. If you have antivirus software installed on your computer, try temporarily disabling it to see if this resolves the issue. To disable antivirus software:

1. Open the antivirus software on your computer.

2. Look for an option to temporarily disable the software, such as a "pause" button.

3. Click the pause button to disable the software temporarily.

4. Try to open the file again in Protected View.

If disabling your antivirus software works, you may need to add the file location to the software's list of trusted locations or adjust your antivirus settings to allow files to be opened in Protected View.

6. Enable Editing

If the file you are trying to open has some restrictions regarding viewing or editing, it may be necessary to enable editing before you can modify it. To enable editing:

1. Open the file in Protected View.

2. Click on the Enable Editing button at the top of the document.

3. Once you have enabled editing for the file, you should be able to modify it without any issues.

Hope all these solutions can help you to fix your computer issues, if you have any other problems, you can E-mail our teams.


Tags: protected view, 

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