How to mark Windows network drives as safe

Throughout the years Windows has received much criticism for security issues. As a result, default settings can be a bit too secure. One thing that always bugs me are the notifications that a file is potentially unsafe when opening it from a network drive on the local network. Yes, I’m sure that I want to run that program, and no, you don’t need to ask every time. The solution is described here.

You need to add the IP addresses of the computers/servers that provide the network share to the list of sites on the local intranet. This in done in the Windows Internet Options. Finding these on Windows 11 can be a bit tricky. The easiest way is to open the Control Panel and look for Internet. The Internet Options (a dialog that clearly dates back to older Windows versions, judging by its appearance) are then one of the matches. Go to Safety – Local Intranet – Advanced to add the IP addresses of the servers.

I did not need to disconnect and reconnect network drives to apply the new setting. It also appears to be possible to use wildcards to whitelist entire IP address ranges.

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