You cannot use a symbolic link to run an .exe file or execute a script file in Internet Explorer 10

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Article ID: 2856739 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

Assume that you use Internet Explorer 10 on a computer that is running Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012. When you use a symbolic link to run an .exe file or execute a script file, you receive a warning that says the file is untrusted.

For example, consider the following scenario:
  • You have an executable Windows PowerShell script file "testscript.ps1" in the c:\temp\textfolder folder.
  • In another folder, you make a directory symbolic link for the script file by running the following command:
    mklink /d c:\temp2\textfolder c:\temp\textfolder
  • You set the PowerShell Execution policy to RemoteSigned.
  • You use a symbolic link to execute the script file.
In this scenario, PowerShell considers the script as "remote" and does not execute the script.

Resolution

Security update information

To resolve this issue, install the most recent cumulative security update for Internet Explorer. To do this, go to the following Microsoft website:
http://update.microsoft.com

Notes
  • This update was first included in the following security update:
    2838727 MS13-047: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer: June 11, 2013
  • For more technical information about the most recent cumulative security update for Internet Explorer, go to the following Microsoft websites:
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.aspx

Workaround

If you want to run an .exe file by using a symbolic link, you can do the following to work around this issue:

Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.
  1. Add a REG_DWORD value to the registry key that is named for your application (for example, MyApplication.exe) under the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_LOCALMACHINE_LOCKDOWN
  2. Set the REG_DWORD value to 1.
If you want to execute a PowerShell script file, you can set the execution policy for each script to work around this issue. For example, run the following command to set the execution policy for the PowerShell script file:
PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "c:\folder\subfolder\script.ps1"

More information

For more information about symbolic links, go to the following Microsoft websites:
General information about symbolic linking
General information about Mklink
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Properties

Article ID: 2856739 - Last Review: June 11, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Internet Explorer 10
Keywords: 
kbqfe kbfix kbbug kbexpertiseinter kbexpertiseadvanced kbsurveynew KB2856739

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