Enable blocked file types in Outlook

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 23, 2007
Updated • Mar 16, 2014
Email, Microsoft Outlook

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.


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  1. Enigma said on September 24, 2007 at 2:13 am

    now if you could, find something that would block those crappy pdf spam mails in windows live mail desktop it would be great.

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