Tech Tips / Windows NT / Security

Dealing with file types that execute automatically

Virus and script attacks leave many users and administrators feeling vulnerable, and for good reason. Antivirus software and other security tools are available, but another way to address some of these attacks is by using certain system settings that can help prevent rogue software from running.

It's possible, for example, to change the default application that opens .vbs e-mail attachments or other file types that may cause undesirable system actions. To change the default setting so that the file types .jse, .js, .vbs, .vbe, and .wsf will open with Notepad.exe, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
  2. Go to View | Folder Options | File Types. Select JScript Encoded File from the Registered File Types list and click Edit.
  3. In the Actions window, click the action type Open, and then click Edit.
  4. Change the following line from
    C:\WINNT\System32\Wscript.exe "%1" %*
    C:\WINNT\System32\Notepad.exe "%1" %*
  5. Click OK, and then click Close.
  6. Repeat these steps for each of the other file types listed above.

Note that this procedure works in Windows 2000 as well.

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