Internet Explorer security zones registry entries for advanced users

Applies to: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)Microsoft Windows XP Professional

This article is intended for support and for IT professionals. If you are not comfortable with advanced information, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about how to manage security and privacy settings in Internet Explorer for home users, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
174360 How to use security zones in Internet Explorer
283185 How to manage cookies in Internet Explorer 6


This article describes how and where Internet Explorer security zones and privacy settings are stored and managed in the registry. You can use Group Policy or the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) to set security zones and privacy settings. If you are using Group Policy or IEAK on a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer, you may have to install several hotfixes to set security zones and privacy settings.For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
316116 You cannot manage Internet Explorer 6 Group Policies on a Windows 2000-based computer


Privacy in Internet Explorer 6

Internet Explorer 6 added a Privacy tab to give users more control over cookies. There are different levels of privacy on the Internet zone, and they are stored in the registry at the same location as the security zones.

You can also add a Web site to enable or to block cookies based on the Web site, regardless of the privacy policy on the Web site. Those registry keys are stored in the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\P3P\History
Domains that have been added as a managed site are listed under this subkey. These domains can carry either of the following DWORD values:
0x00000005 - Always Block
0x00000001 - Always Allow

Internet Explorer 5.0 and later versions of Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer security zones settings are stored under the following registry subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
These registry keys contain the following keys:
  • TemplatePolicies
  • ZoneMap
  • Zones
Note By default, security zones settings are stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry subtree. Because this subtree is dynamically loaded for each user, the settings for one user do not affect the settings for another.

If the Security Zones: Use only machine settings setting in Group Policy is enabled, or if the Security_HKLM_only DWORD value is present and has a value of 1 in the following registry subkey, only local computer settings are used and all users have the same security settings:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
With the Security_HKLM_only policy enabled, HKLM values will be used by Internet Explorer. However, the HKCU values will still be displayed in the zone settings on the Security tab in Internet Explorer. In Internet Explorer 7, the Security tab of the Internet Options dialog box displays the following message to indicate that settings are managed by the system administrator:
Some settings are managed by your system administrator
If the Security Zones: Use only machine settings setting is not enabled in Group Policy, or if the Security_HKLM_only DWORD value does not exist or is set to 0, computer settings are used together with user settings. However, only user settings appear in the Internet Options. For example, when this DWORD value does not exist or is set to 0, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE settings are read together with HKEY_CURRENT_USER settings, but only HKEY_CURRENT_USER settings appear in the Internet Options.


The TemplatePolicies key determines the settings of the default security zone levels. These levels are Low, Medium Low, Medium, and High. You can change the security level settings from the default settings. However, you cannot add more security levels. The keys contain values that determine the setting for the security zone. Each key contains a Description string value and a Display Name string value that determine the text that appears on the Security tab for each security level.


The ZoneMap key contains the following keys:
  • Domains
  • EscDomains
  • ProtocolDefaults
  • Ranges
The Domains key contains domains and protocols that have been added to change their behavior from the default behavior. When a domain is added, a key is added to the Domains key. Subdomains appear as keys under the domain where they belong. Each key that lists a domain contains a DWORD with a value name of the affected protocol. The value of the DWORD is the same as the numeric value of the security zone where the domain is added.

The EscDomains key resembles the Domains key except that the EscDomains key applies to those protocols that are affected by the Enhanced Security Configuration (ESC). ESC is introduced in Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

The ProtocolDefaults key specifies the default security zone that is used for a particular protocol (ftp, http, https). To change the default setting, you can either add a protocol to a security zone by clicking Add Sites on the Security tab, or you can add a DWORD value under the
Domains key. The name of the DWORD value must match the protocol name, and it must not contain any colons (:) or slashes (/).

The ProtocolDefaults key also contains DWORD values that specify the default security zones where a protocol is used. You cannot use the controls on the Security tab to change these values. This setting is used when a particular Web site does not fall in a security zone.

The Ranges key contains ranges of TCP/IP addresses. Each TCP/IP range that you specify appears in an arbitrarily named key. This key contains a :Range string value that contains the specified TCP/IP range. For each protocol, a DWORD value is added that contains the numeric value of the security zone for the specified IP range.

When the Urlmon.dll file uses the MapUrlToZone public function to resolve a particular URL to a security zone, it uses one of the following methods:
  • If the URL contains a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), the Domains key is processed.

    In this method, an exact site match overrides a random match.
  • If the URL contains an IP address, the Ranges key is processed. The IP address of the URL is compared to the :Range value that is contained in the arbitrarily named keys under the Ranges key.

    Note Because arbitrarily named keys are processed in the order that they were added to the registry, this method may find a random match before it finds a match. If this method does find a random match first, the URL may be executed in a different security zone than the zone where it is typically assigned.
    This behavior is by design.


Note By default, starting with Windows XP SP2, the Local Machine Zone is locked down to help improve security. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
922704 Information about some new Group Policy settings for Internet Explorer Security Zones in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
The Zones key contains keys that represent each security zone that is defined for the computer. By default, the following five zones are defined (numbered zero through four):
   Value    Setting   ------------------------------   0        My Computer   1        Local Intranet Zone   2        Trusted sites Zone   3        Internet Zone   4        Restricted Sites Zone 
Note By default, My Computer does not appear in the Zone box on the Security tab.

Each of these keys contains the following DWORD values that represent corresponding settings on the custom Security tab.

Note Unless stated otherwise, each DWORD value is equal to zero, one, or three. Typically, a setting of zero sets a specific action as permitted, a set

ting of one causes a prompt to appear, and a setting of three prohibits the specific action.
Value    Setting   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------   1001     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Download signed ActiveX controls   1004     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Download unsigned ActiveX controls   1200     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins   1201     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting   1206     Miscellaneous: Allow scripting of Internet Explorer Web browser control ^   1207     Reserved #   1208     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allow previously unused ActiveX controls to run without prompt ^   1209     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allow Scriptlets   120A     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Override Per-Site (domain-based) ActiveX restrictions   120B     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Override Per-Site (domain-based) ActiveX restrictions   1400     Scripting: Active scripting   1402     Scripting: Scripting of Java applets   1405     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Script ActiveX controls marked as safe for scripting   1406     Miscellaneous: Access data sources across domains   1407     Scripting: Allow Programmatic clipboard access   1408     Reserved #   1409     Scripting: Enable XSS Filter   1601     Miscellaneous: Submit non-encrypted form data   1604     Downloads: Font download   1605     Run Java #   1606     Miscellaneous: Userdata persistence ^   1607     Miscellaneous: Navigate sub-frames across different domains   1608     Miscellaneous: Allow META REFRESH * ^   1609     Miscellaneous: Display mixed content *   160A     Miscellaneous: Include local directory path when uploading files to a server ^   1800     Miscellaneous: Installation of desktop items   1802     Miscellaneous: Drag and drop or copy and paste files   1803     Downloads: File Download ^   1804     Miscellaneous: Launching programs and files in an IFRAME   1805     Launching programs and files in webview #   1806     Miscellaneous: Launching applications and unsafe files   1807     Reserved ** #   1808     Reserved ** #   1809     Miscellaneous: Use Pop-up Blocker ** ^   180A     Reserved #    180B     Reserved #   180C     Reserved #   180D     Reserved #   180E     Allow OpenSearch queries in Windows Explorer #   180F     Allow previewing and custom thumbnails of OpenSearch query results in Windows Explorer #   1A00     User Authentication: Logon   1A02     Allow persistent cookies that are stored on your computer #   1A03     Allow per-session cookies (not stored) #   1A04     Miscellaneous: Don't prompt for client certificate selection when no                            certificates or only one certificate exists * ^   1A05     Allow 3rd party persistent cookies *   1A06     Allow 3rd party session cookies *   1A10     Privacy Settings *   1C00     Java permissions #   1E05     Miscellaneous: Software channel permissions   1F00     Reserved ** #   2000     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Binary and script behaviors   2001     .NET Framework-reliant components: Run components signed with Authenticode   2004     .NET Framework-reliant components: Run components not signed with Authenticode   2007     .NET Framework-Reliant Components: Permissions for Components with Manifests   2100     Miscellaneous: Open files based on content, not file extension ** ^   2101     Miscellaneous: Web sites in less privileged web content zone can navigate into this zone **   2102     Miscellaneous: Allow script initiated windows without size or position constraints ** ^   2103     Scripting: Allow status bar updates via script ^   2104     Miscellaneous: Allow websites to open windows without address or status bars ^   2105     Scripting: Allow websites to prompt for information using scripted windows ^   2200     Downloads: Automatic prompting for file downloads ** ^   2201     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Automatic prompting for ActiveX controls ** ^   2300     Miscellaneous: Allow web pages to use restricted protocols for active content **   2301     Miscellaneous: Use Phishing Filter ^   2400     .NET Framework: XAML browser applications   2401     .NET Framework: XPS documents   2402     .NET Framework: Loose XAML   2500     Turn on Protected Mode [Vista only setting] #   2600     Enable .NET Framework setup ^   2702     ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Allow ActiveX Filtering   2708     Miscellaneous: Allow dragging of content between domains into the same window   2709     Miscellaneous: Allow dragging of content between domains into separate windows   270B     Miscellaneous: Render legacy filters   270C     ActiveX Controls and plug-ins: Run Antimalware software on ActiveX controls      {AEBA21FA-782A-4A90-978D-B72164C80120}   First Party Cookie *   {A8A88C49-5EB2-4990-A1A2-0876022C854F}   Third Party Cookie * *  indicates an Internet Explorer 6 or later setting** indicates a Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later setting#  indicates a setting that is not displayed in the user interface in Internet Explorer^  indicates a setting that only has two options, enabled or disabled  

Notes about 1200, 1A00, 1A10, 1E05, 1C00, and 2000

The following two registry entries affect whether you can run ActiveX controls in a particular zone:
  • 1200 This registry entry affects whether you can run ActiveX controls or plug-ins.
  • 2000 This registry entry controls binary behavior and script behavior for ActiveX controls or plug-ins.

Notes about 1A02, 1A03, 1A05, and 1A06

The following four registry entries take only effect if the following keys are present:
  • {AEBA21FA-782A-4A90-978D-B72164C80120} First Party Cookie *
  • {A8A88C49-5EB2-4990-A1A2-0876022C854F} Third Party Cookie *
Registry entries
  • 1A02 Allow persistent cookies that are stored on your computer #
  • 1A03 Allow per-session cookies (not stored) #
  • 1A05 Allow 3rd party persistent cookies *
  • 1A06 Allow 3rd party session cookies *

These registry entries are located in the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\<ZoneNumber>
In this registry subkey, <ZoneNumber> is a zone such as 0 (zero). The 1200 registry entry and the 2000 registry entry each contain a setting that is named Administrator approved. When this setting is enabled, the value for the particular registry entry is set to 00010000. When the Administrator approved setting is enabled, Windows examines the following registry subkey to locate a list of approved controls:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\AllowedControls
Logon setting (1A00) may have any one of the following values (hexadecimal):
Value    Setting   ---------------------------------------------------------------   0x00000000 Automatically logon with current username and password   0x00010000 Prompt for user name and password   0x00020000 Automatic logon only in the Intranet zone   0x00030000 Anonymous logon 
Privacy Settings (1A10) is used by the Privacy tab slider. The DWORD values are as follows:
Block All Cookies: 00000003
High: 00000001
Medium High: 00000001
Medium: 00000001
Low: 00000001
Accept all Cookies: 00000000
Based on the settings in the slider, it will also modify the values in {A8A88C49-5EB2-4990-A1A2-0876022C854F}, {AEBA21Fa-782A-4A90-978D-B72164C80120}, or both.
Software channel permissions (1E05) has 3 different values; high, low, and medium safety. The values for these are as follows:
high: 00010000
medium: 00020000
low: 00030000
The Java Permissions setting (1C00) has the following five possible values (binary):
   Value    Setting   -----------------------   00 00 00 00 Disable Java   00 00 01 00 High safety   00 00 02 00 Medium safety   00 00 03 00 Low safety   00 00 80 00 Custom 
If Custom is selected, it uses {7839DA25-F5FE-11D0-883B-0080C726DCBB} (that is located in the same registry location) to store the custom information in a binary.

Each security zone contains the Description string value and the Display Name string value. The text of these values appears on the Security tab when you click a zone in the Zone box. There is also an Icon string value that sets the icon that appears for each zone. Except for the My Computer zone, each zone contains a CurrentLevel, MinLevel, and RecommendedLevel DWORD value. The MinLevel value sets the lowest setting that can be used before you receive a warning message, CurrentLevel is the current setting for the zone, and RecommendedLevel is the recommended level for the zone.

What values for Minlevel, RecommendedLevel, and CurrentLevel mean the following:
Value (Hexadecimal)        Setting----------------------------------0x00010000         Low Security0x00010500         Medium Low Security0x00011000         Medium Security0x00012000         High Security 
The Flags DWORD value determines the ability of the user to modify the security zone's properties. To determine the Flags value, add the numbers of the appropriate settings together. The following Flags values are available (decimal):
   Value    Setting   ------------------------------------------------------------------   1        Allow changes to custom settings   2        Allow users to add Web sites to this zone   4        Require verified Web sites (https protocol)   8        Include Web sites that bypass the proxy server   16       Include Web sites not listed in other zones   32       Do not show security zone in Internet Properties (default            setting for My Computer)   64       Show the Requires Server Verification dialog box   128      Treat Universal Naming Connections (UNCs) as intranet            connections 
If you add settings to both the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and the HKEY_CURRENT_USER subtrees, the settings are additive. If you add Web sites to both subtrees, only those Web sites in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER are visible. The Web sites in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree are still enforced according to their settings. However, they are not available, and you cannot modify them. This situation can be confusing because a Web site may be listed in only one security zone for each protocol.


For more information about changes to functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about URL security zones, visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about how to run a local or an intranet Web page in the Internet zone, visit the following MSDN blog Web site:For more information about how to set up security zones, visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about how to change Internet Explorer security settings, visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about Internet Explorer Local Machine Zone Lockdown, visit the following Microsoft Web site: