When you download files from the Internet, Windows adds zone information to it and stores it in the file's NTFS alternate steam. Windows 10 shows you a security warning every time you try to open it. Some file types are fully blocked from opening. SmartScreen, a security feature of Windows 10, causes this behavior. But even if SmartScreen is turned off, you still get a warning and need to unblock downloaded files. While you can unblock your files one by one as described here How to unblock files downloaded from Internet in Windows 10, it is a very time consuming operation. If you need to unblock a bunch of files downloaded from Internet in Windows 10, here is how you can do it.
When you try to open a file which was downloaded from the Internet, you see a warning like this:
To avoid it and unblock all files in a folder in Windows 10, we need to use the PowerShell command line.
Let's say you want to unblock all downloaded files in your Downloads folder located inside the user profile. This folder is used by default by almost all apps like web browsers, download managers etc, so the files there are usually blocked. To unblock them all at once, you need to do the following:
- Open PowerShell as described in the following article: All ways to open PowerShell in Windows 10.
- Type the following command:
dir c:\users\winaero\downloads -Recurse | Unblock-File
- Alternatively, you can navigate to that folder using the good old CD command as follows:
dir -Recurse | Unblock-File
Tip: You can use this tool to repair Windows problems and improve performance of the OS.
Tip: You can open the PowerShell command window in the desired folder directly. All you need to do is click the Explorer File menu -> Open Windows Powershell -> Open Windows Powershell. See the following screenshot: