sysinternals-help-problem When I tried the new Procmon 2.6, I couldn’t access the tool's help file, which is a problem I have often encountered when downloading a Sysinternals tool. I have figured out now what went wrong and I thought I should note down the solution once and for all. I think, my blog is the best place for it because I am probably not the only one who run into this problem: The table of contents in the left plane is displayed correctly, but the contents pane only shows "Navigation to webpage was cancelled - What you can try: Retype address."

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

I don't know how I could retype an address in the Windows help interface; however, I don’t think that would work, anyway. The cause of the problem is related to Vista's "Preserve zone information in file attachment" feature, which is a security feature that ensures that downloaded files of certain types can't be opened. The help files of Sysinternal tools are compiled HTML, which Vista considers a threat.

sysinternals-help-problem-unblock There are several ways to convince Vista that opening a Sysinternals help file is relatively safe. The easiest way is simply to unblock the .chm file in its properties menu (see screenshot). I like the explanation there: "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer." I suppose most of the files on my computer come from another computer. I am glad that Vista doesn't consider them a threat as well.

If you don't want to be bothered by this problem again, you can just disable this zone information-in-file-attachment thing using the Group Policy Object editor (type “gpedit.msc” at the Start Search prompt). The setting can be found under User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Attachment Manager. Don't forget to run gpupdate /force on the command prompt if you want the setting to take effect immediately.


Daniel Petri has described this Vista feature in more detail and offers two more methods for disabling it.

  1. James Bannan 14 years ago

    I’ve often found that Vista/Windows 7 don’t like displaying CHM content from a network drive – move the file locally and the OS is happy. Presumably something to do with IE trusted zones?

  2. GS 14 years ago

    Had to roll this fix out and used a registry key change.
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    Worked for our XP SP2 computers….

  3. James, The CHM file was on my local drive and I tried it on different machines. I also had a similar problem with network drives before, but this one was different. I think you are right, it has something to do with IE trusted zones.

    GS, thanks for the tip.

  4. Charl Botha 13 years ago

    Thank you very much for your explanation, it saved me quite some frustrating!

  5. Ian liddell 13 years ago

    I had tried a number of routes to discover a way to overcome this problem without success and then found and applied your simple fix of unblocking the .chm file.

    It worked a treat. Many thanks!

    It strikes me as odd that Microsoft don’t make the problem clear or, even better, get it fixed, since Autoruns now appears to be it’s preferred analysis tool in this area!

  6. kojlhkgjytfh 11 years ago


  7. Asad 11 years ago

    Thanks. It helped me.

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