Internet Explorer 7 and 8 both have a “protected mode" that act as tight security around your IE installation. However some websites or services won’t work with this setting – so how do you turn it off?
What is Protected Mode?
Protected Mode occurs in Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 8 in Windows 7 – it is a system that basically stops hackers and malware from hijacking the browser.
From a user point of view, Protected Mode is most useful in restricting where files can be saved on your computer. With Protected Mode activated, user and system files and settings cannot be modified without the consent of the user – any program or website that attempts to add, install or launch another program must be confirmed.
Such a program might be Windows Media Player, or a video streaming tool such as SOPCast.
As you can see, Protected Mode is an extremely useful function – however it can cause problems, such as affecting the speed in which pages open or slowing down video feeds.
Disabling Protected Mode in Internet Explorer
Reconfiguring Internet Explorer 7 or 8 will allow Protected Mode to be disabled. If you have decided that the benefits of Protected Mode being disabled outweigh the risks, follow these steps:
Open Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.
Next, find the Security tab.
Under the section Security level for this zone you should see a check box labeled Enable Protected Mode.
Clear this box and click Apply to disable Protected Mode.
You can also disable Protected Mode by running Internet Explorer as an Administrator.
Consequences and Implications of Disabling Protected Mode
Disabling Protected Mode may resolve whatever issue you’re having with Internet Explorer, but there is a good chance that it will cause some other issues.
The last thing that you want to do is open up your PC for attack from malicious software – so give this matter some serious consideration. You might also opt to re-enable Protected Mode once you have completed your current browsing task.
As a rule of thumb, if the site you’re using won’t function without disabling Protected Mode, then you should consider whether or not you really need to visit that particular location. The security specifications for Internet Explorer 7 and later have been available to web developers since 2006 and as such there should be only rare occasions in which disabling Protected Mode can be considered to be a reliable resolution.