How to fix security warning accessing network files on Windows 10, 11

If you're getting a security warning every time you try to open a network file, then try this workaround.

Windows 11 local intranet settings
Windows 11 local intranet settings / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To stop the open file security warning on Windows, open the Internet Options > Security > Local intranet > Sites, only check the check “Include all local (intranet) sites not listed in other zones” and “Include all network paths (UNCs),” click on “Advanced,” and add the network address.

UPDATED 5/7/2024: On Windows 11 (and Windows 10), if you have a NAS (Network Attached Storage) to share files across the network with solutions like unRAID or TrueNAS, you may encounter different Windows Security warnings when opening files.

For example, when moving files between folders, you may see the warning: “These files might be harmful to your computer.” “Your Internet security settings suggest that one or more files may be harmful.” Or if you try to run an application, Windows Security may show you the “We can’t verify who created this file” warning, along with the “This file is in a location outside your local network. Files from locations you don’t recognize can harm your PC.”

Although you can confirm and open the files, getting the same messages every time you access the network share can be annoying. However, you can adjust the Windows internet settings if you get these or other security warnings to resolve the issue.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to stop the Windows Security warning when accessing shared folders on the local network.

Disable security warnings opening network files on Windows 11

To turn off the security dialog warnings when opening files from a network share, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Network & internet.

  3. Click the “Advanced network settings” page.

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click on Internet Options.

    Open Internet Options from Advanced network settings

  5. Click the Security tab.

  6. Select the Local Intranet zone.

  7. Click the Sites button.

    Internet Options security settings

  8. Clear the “Automatically detect intranet network” option.

  9. Check the “Include all local (intranet) sites not listed in other zones” option.

  10. Clear the “Include all sites that bypass the proxy server” option.

  11. Check the “Include all network paths (UNCs)” option.

    Local intranet settings

  12. Click the Advanced button.

  13. In the “Add this website to the zone” option, confirm the local network address, including an asterisk to indicate the network mask. For example, if the local network is 192.168.1.1 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0, use the 192.168.1.* address.

    Windows 10 add trusted network configuration

  14. Click the Add button.

  15. Clear the “Require server verifications (HTTPS:) for all sites in the zone” option.

  16. Click the Close button.

  17. Click the OK button.

  18. Click the Apply button.

  19. Click the OK button.

  20. (Important) Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, the next time you open a file or an app from a network folder, Windows 11 should no longer prompt the security warning.

Disable security warnings opening network files on Windows 10

To suppress security warnings when opening network files on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Status.

  4. Under the “Advanced network settings” section, click the “Network and Share Center” option.

    Open Network and Sharing Center

  5. Click the Internet Options from the bottom left corner.

    Control Panel Internet Options

  6. Click the Security tab.

  7. Select the Local Intranet zone.

  8. Click the Sites button.

    Internet Options security settings

  9. Clear the “Automatically detect intranet network” option.

  10. Check the “Include all local (intranet) sites not listed in other zones” option.

  11. Clear the “Include all sites that bypass the proxy server” option.

  12. Check the “Include all network paths (UNCs)” option.

    Local intranet settings

  13. Click the Advanced button.

  14. In the “Add this website to the zone” option, confirm the local network address, including an asterisk to indicate the network mask. For example, 192.168.1.*

  15. Click the Add button.

  16. Clear the “Require server verifications (HTTPS:) for all sites in the zone” option.

  17. Click the Close button.

  18. Click the OK button.

  19. Click the Apply button.

  20. Click the OK button.’

  21. (Important) Restart the computer.

After you complete the steps, the next time you work with a network folder, Windows 10 should no longer show the security warning.

This video tutorial includes the instructions to complete this configuration on both versions of Windows:

Update May 7, 2024: These instructions have been updated to ensure accuracy and add the steps to complete this process on Windows 11.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].