Disable "Always ask before opening" Dialog

Last reviewed on May 22, 2013

We're hearing from many users who switched to Windows 7: now Outlook always prompts for permission to open attachments and the checkbox for "Always ask before opening this type of file" is grayed out. This is due to User Access Control (UAC) restrictions in Windows.

Open or Save attachment

There are two ways you can address this: Run Outlook as Administrator and open the attachments, removing the check from "Always ask before opening this type of file" box. After you set the desired file types to open without asking, you can run Outlook normally.

If you know the file types and are comfortable editing the registry or want to change it via policy, you'll need to identify the file type in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT then create or change the EditFlags Data value to 00 00 01 00.

Run as Administrator

Run as Administrator dialog

  1. In the Search field on the Start menu, type Outlook.exe
  2. Right click on outlook.exe and choose Run as Administrator.

To change make the change permanent or to use this setting for several restarts:

  1. In the Search field on the Start menu, type Outlook.
  2. Right click on Outlook and choose Properties
  3. Select the Compatibility tab and enable Run the programs as an Administrator

When you no longer need administrator permissions you should repeat the steps to disable Run as Administrator.

Edit the Registry

Registry editor The following keys are for Windows 7. See Restore (or Hide) the Open Save Dialog if you need instructions for older versions of Windows.

DOC: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.8
DOCX: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Word.Document.12
PDF: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AcroExch.Document
XLSX: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.12
XLS: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Excel.Sheet.8
PPT: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPoint.Show.8
PPTX: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPoint.Show.12

EditFlags: 00 00 01 00

To always ask before opening, either delete the EditFlags value or change the value to 00 00 00 00

Identify Keys for other file types

To identify other file types, look at the extension's key in the registry – most (if not all) will include a more descriptive name. Locate this name under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and change it's EditFlags value.

For example, this is the key for the .pptx extension (shown in the screenshots):
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.ppt\PowerPoint.Show.12
So you would change the EditFlags value at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PowerPoint.Show.12

Extension keys

The locate the key by that name. Double click on the EditFlags key to open it for editing.

EditFlags in the Registry Editor

00 00 00 00 displays the Open or Save dialog
00 00 01 00 opens the file.

More Information

Outlook 2007 Open or Save Attachments? (EMO, 1/2008)

Restore (or Hide) the Open Save Dialog Instructions for older versions of Windows.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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