Full Fix: Windows security these files can’t be opened message on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
7 minute read
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Home » Full Fix: Windows security these files can’t be opened message on Windows 10

Windows Security these files can’t be opened message can sometimes appear while trying to open certain files. This message is designed to protect you from running malicious files, but it can also appear while trying to run regular files. Although this message can be annoying, there’s a way to deal with it.

This error message will prevent you from running certain files, and speaking of this error message, here are some common problems that users reported:

  • Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from opening Windows 7 – This issue can appear on older versions of Windows, and it’s usually caused by your security settings. Simply adjust them and the issue should be resolved.
  • Windows Security these files can’t be opened Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Internet Explorer – Sometimes this problem can appear on older versions of Windows as well, and that is caused by your Internet options. Simply restore them to the default and check if that solves your problem.
  • Windows Security opening these files might be harmful to your computer – In some cases, this problem can be caused by your antivirus software. To fix it, simply disable your antivirus and check if that solves the issue.

Windows Security these files can’t be opened message, how to fix it?


  1. Check your antivirus
  2. Make sure that the file you’re trying to run isn’t blocked
  3. Change your Internet Options
  4. Reset Internet Explorer settings to default
  5. Move the file to a different location
  6. Rename the file
  7. Create a new user account
  8. Try running the application as an administrator

Solution 1 – Check your antivirus

Windows Security opening these files might be harmful to your computer

According to users, if you’re getting Windows Security these files can’t be opened message, the problem might be your antivirus software. Certain antivirus tools can sometimes flag ordinary files as potentially dangerous thus causing this message to appear.

To fix this problem, users are suggesting to open your antivirus settings and try disabling certain antivirus features. If that doesn’t work, perhaps you’ll have to disable your antivirus altogether. In some cases, you might even have to remove your antivirus.

Several users reported that Norton Security caused this problem to appear on their PC, and in order to fix the problem, they had to uninstall it. Bear in mind that almost any third-party antivirus can cause this issue to appear, so try removing your antivirus and check if that helps.

If removing the antivirus fixes the problem, perhaps you should consider switching to a different antivirus solution. If you’re looking for a reliable antivirus that won’t interfere with your system, you should consider using Bitdefender. This antivirus is actually the best on the market with a lot of security features that can protect your PC, your connection and your web identity.

    –  Get now Bitdefender 2019


Solution 2 – Make sure that the file you’re trying to run isn’t blocked

Sometimes Windows will block certain files and that can cause Windows Security these files can’t be opened message to appear. To fix that problem, you need to make sure that the file you’re trying to run isn’t blocked. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Locate the file that is giving you this error message, right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
    Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from opening Windows 7
  2. Go to the General tab and look for the Unblock button. Click the button and click Apply and OK to save changes.

After making these changes, you should be able to run this file without any problems. Keep in mind that the Unblock button might not be always available, and if you don’t see this button, it means that the file is already unblocked.


Solution 3 – Change your Internet Options

According to users, sometimes your Internet Options can cause Windows Security these files can’t be opened message to appear. However, you can fix this issue simply by changing a couple of these settings. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter internet options. Select Internet Options from the list of results.
    Windows Security opening these files might be harmful to your computer
  2. Navigate to the Security tab, select Internet and click the Custom level button.
    Windows Security these files can't be opened Windows 7
  3. Locate Launching applications and unsafe files and set it to Prompt. Now click OK to save changes.
    Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from opening Windows 7
  4. Repeat the previous steps for Local intranet, Trusted sites, and Restricted sites.
  5. After doing that, select Local intranet and click the Sites button.
    Windows Security opening these files might be harmful to your computer
  6. Now disable all options and click OK.
    Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from opening Windows 7

After making these changes, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear, the problem should be resolved and everything should start working again.


Solution 4 – Reset Internet Explorer settings to default

As we already mentioned in the previous solution Windows Security these files can’t be opened message can appear due to your settings. However, you might be able to fix this problem simply by resetting Internet settings to default. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Internet Options window as we showed you in the previous solution.
  2. Now head over to the Advanced tab and click the Reset button.
    Windows Security these files can't be opened Windows 10
  3. Check Delete personal settings and click the Reset button.
    Windows Security opening these files might be harmful to your computer

After doing that, Internet Explorer settings will reset to the default and the problem should be resolved.


Solution 5 – Move the file to a different location

Sometimes Windows Security these files can’t be opened message can appear if the path to the file you’re trying to run is too long. Windows has this type of limitation, and if you keep getting this error message, perhaps you can fix the problem simply by moving the file to another location.

Copy the file you’re trying to run to a root directory, such as C: or D: and try to run it from there. If the issue doesn’t appear, it means that the path to the file was too long, but you can fix the problem by moving the file to a different location.


Solution 6 – Rename the file

As we already mentioned, sometimes the path to the file can be too long and that can cause Windows Security these files can’t be opened message to appear. On the other hand, sometimes you might be able to fix the problem simply by renaming the file you’re trying to run.

Simply right-click the file and choose Rename from the menu. Now change the file name to setup.exe or a.exe. Basically, you can use any name you want, just make sure that it’s shorter than the original one. After renaming the file, try to run it again and check if the problem is still there.


Solution 7 – Create a new user account

If you keep getting Windows Security these files can’t be opened message, the problem might be related to your user account. Sometimes your user account can get corrupted, and that can lead to this and other errors.

Fixing a corrupted account can be a tedious task, therefore it’s always better to create a new user account. This process is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I. Now navigate to the Accounts section.
  2. Choose Family & other people from the menu on the left. In the right pane, click Add someone else to this PC.
  3. Now choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  4. Select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  5. Enter the desired name for the new account and click Next.

After creating a new user account, switch to it and check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear on the new account, you should move your personal files from your old account to the new one.


Solution 8 – Try running the application as an administrator

If you’re getting Windows Security these files can’t be opened message frequently, the problem might be the lack of administrative privileges. However, you can fix that issue simply by trying to run the application as administrator. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Locate the application that is giving you this error.
  2. Right-click the application and choose Run as administrator.
    Your internet security settings prevented one or more files from opening Windows 7

If this method works, you’ll need to repeat it whenever you want to run this application. However, you can make the process a bit more straightforward and force the application to always run with administrative privileges. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the problematic application and choose Properties from the menu.
  2. Go to the Compatibility tab and check Run this program as an administrator. Now click OK and Apply.
    Windows Security these files can't be opened Windows 8.1

After making these changes, you’ll force the application to always run with administrative privileges and the problem should be resolved.

Windows Security these files can’t be opened message can prevent you from running certain applications, and in most cases this problem is caused by your antivirus or security settings. However, you should be able to fix this problem easily by using one of our solutions.

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