How to bulk unblock files in Windows 7 or Server 2008

In Windows 7 (actually any of the latest Windows releases) you will find that files copied to your local drives are not trusted until you right-click on them and in the properties click the ‘Unblock’ button. This is all very well for one or two files, but gets extremely tedious with more. It turns out to be related to NTFS’s ability to allow alternate data streams.

So here is a simple method of mass or bulk unblocking files.

  1. Download the Sysinternals Streams.exe from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897440.aspx
  2. I find Sysinternals so useful I create a ‘SysInternals’ folder on my C: drive and then put this into my ‘path’ environment variable so that I can run them from anywhere. However, if this is too much then the easiest is to copy the streams.exe to the root folder you wish to have files unblocked.
  3. In a command windows, use ‘cd’ to navigate to your folder.
  4. Type the command ‘streams –s –d subfoldername’ and press enter.

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  1. #1 by charmine newton on February 27, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    I have a message saying security settying put your computer at risk. click here to change security settings I tried but I cannot . The computer is saying my administration side is corupted. How can I fix the problem. Please can you kindly help? Thank you very much.

  2. #2 by charmine newton on February 27, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    I send a message before can you notify me by email? Thank you

  3. #3 by Joseph Rich on April 7, 2011 - 8:37 pm

    Sir, Yours is a very intersting concept. However, when use as you direct, nothing happens. See below

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ctest\bin>streams -s -d *.*

    Streams v1.56 – Enumerate alternate NTFS data streams
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals – http://www.sysinternals.com

    usage: streams [-s] [-d]
    -s Recurse subdirectories
    -d Delete streams

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ctest\bin>cd ..

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ctest>cd ..

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot>streams -s -d ctest

    Streams v1.56 – Enumerate alternate NTFS data streams
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals – http://www.sysinternals.com

    usage: streams [-s] [-d]
    -s Recurse subdirectories
    -d Delete streams

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot>streams -s -d .\ctest

    Streams v1.56 – Enumerate alternate NTFS data streams
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals – http://www.sysinternals.com

    usage: streams [-s] [-d]
    -s Recurse subdirectories
    -d Delete streams

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot>streams -s -d .\ctest\

    Streams v1.56 – Enumerate alternate NTFS data streams
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals – http://www.sysinternals.com

    usage: streams [-s] [-d]
    -s Recurse subdirectories
    -d Delete streams

    c:\inetpub\wwwroot>

  4. #4 by stuck on February 8, 2012 - 7:50 am

    Try opening the command prompt as administrator before running streams.
    That solved this problem for me.

    • #5 by nrogoff on February 9, 2012 - 3:39 pm

      Yes, I suspect that will be most users problems. Thanks for that.

  5. #6 by giddy on September 20, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I spent 2 hours trying to fix this, and using streams everything got fixed in 5 minutes! :D

  6. #7 by Blue on November 27, 2013 - 11:55 pm

    Thanks, great way to unblock thousands of files! Took seconds.

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