Skip navigation

Access Denied: Disabling IE's Enhanced Security Configuration Feature

Get answers to your security-related Windows 2003, XP, and Win2K questions

I'm sick of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Enhanced Security Configuration bugging me every time I open a Web site. Can I disable it?

Yes, you can disable this feature (which is new in Windows Server 2003), but I have to say that Microsoft added it for a good reason. Browsing the Web, especially from a server, is an inherently dangerous activity and will continue to be for the foreseeable future because of the complexities of rendering content from an untrusted source and the risks of mobile code. Browsing the Web from a server while logged on as an administrator is much more dangerous because any malicious software (malware) you inadvertently execute will run on the server and will be able to take advantage of your privileged administrator authority. Enhanced Security Configuration blocks potentially dangerous content when you open a Web site and informs you that to see the blocked content, you must add the Web site to your Trusted Sites zone.

You can disable this control by opening the Control Panel's Add or Remove Programs applet and selecting Add/Remove Windows Components. You'll see Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration as an optional component—to disable it, just clear its check box and click OK. However, note another possibility. If you select Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration, then click Settings, you'll see a dialog box with two options: For administrator groups and For all other users. By default, both options are selected, signifying that all users will receive the Enhanced Security Configuration warning. But you can limit the feature to administrators and let other users browse unimpeded or vice versa.

TAGS: Security
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.