Outlook blocks certain file types like exe and vbs by default giving you no option to open enable certain files or entire types of files that you would like to access. This is for instance a big problem if you are expecting an email with attachments that contain blocked file extensions.
The only possible option for most users is to ask the sender to send the mail in a format that is not blocked automatically by Microsoft Outlook. This can be arranged for instance by zipping the files and resending them, but that requires extra communication and may delay work that needs to be done as quickly as possible.
A possible format is zip for instance. There is however another option for Outlook users. It is possible to add a key to the Windows Registry to enable certain file types that are then no longer blocked in Microsoft Outlook. To do so hit Windows R, type in regedit and hit enter.
This opens the Windows Registry Editor.
Navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Office / 10.0 / Outlook / Security for Outlook XP using the left sidebar navigation. Change 10.0 with 11.0 if you run Outlook 2003, or another value depending on which version of Outlook or Office you are running.
Right-click in the right window and select New > Key. Name it 'Level1Remove' (without the '') and add one or more file extensions to the key. It could for instance look like '.exe;.vbs'.
This unblocks .exe and .vbs file types in Microsoft Outlook so that you can receive email messages containing those files in the email program.
Please note that the Registry key changes with every version of Outlook that gets released. I suggest you browse the available versions and add the option to the latest one first and test if it works by sending an email with an unblocked file extension to yourself. If it does not try another version in the Registry until it does.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.