Disabling "The Publisher Could Not Be Verified" when running program under Vista

Posted by Dan on Aug 18, 2009 @ 4:18 PM

Ever since upgrading to Windows Vista, I've had a probably with a program that I run infrequently where I'd get a message of "The Publisher Could Not Be Verified" and have to click on a box to verify I want to run the program. Since I don't use the application very frequently, the annoyance was minor.

Today I found myself needing to frequently re-load the application, so this message became really annoying. Windows Vista has an "Unblock" function in the file properties (right-click on the file from Windows Explorer and select "Properties"—it's on the general tab,) but this was not working for me.

I could click the "Unblock" button and apply the change, but the change wouldn't ever take. Since this program is my Program Files (x86) folder, I suspected this was the culprit. While I tried a few things to try to make the change as an admin (such as changing the file attributes—which forces you to grant admin privileges) the thing that end up working for me was to copy the files to another folder (like the desktop) go through the "Unblock" procedure again and then copy the files back to it's sub-folder in the Program Files (x86) folder. This seemed to do the trick.

So, while I'm sure there's a better way to get this to work, if you're getting the message "The Publisher Could Not Be Verified" every time you try to run a program and just using the "Unblock" function doesn't work, try moving the file to a folder that doesn't need administration privileges to modify the file.

Categories: Technology


  • Have not seen this in Windows 7 at all. Been running testing it for a while. Ran Betas and then the RC.. Have the RTM version running now.
    It seems much smoother and more reliable than Vista.
  • @Darin:

    The problem seems to only occur in some rare conditions and seems to have stemmed from me copy a file from the Program Files folder of one machine to the Program Files of another machine.

    I've extracted other programs to the Program Files folder and not had problems, so I don't think this is the normal behavior. I just figured someone else may run into the issue as well. Plus a lot of my blog is more just notes to myself in case I run into an issue in the future. ;)

    I'm looking forward to upgrading to Windows 7, I've only heard good things compared to Vista.
  • Thanks for the great post! It worked like a charm for me!!!
  • Thank you for this. I've been running round in circles trying to stop this happening for an unzipped download of Kompozer. Like you I applied the unblock to no avail. Most other solutions that I found were to apply security exemption to all .exe files. I thought this was rather using a sledge hammer to crack a nut and might compromise my systems security.

    Your solution worked like a dream. But why?
  • This is fantastic. I moved my app to a temp location, unblocked it, moved it back to C:\Program Files, and voila! Many thanks and may you have a happy and prosperous 2010!
  • Thanks, this solved a very annoying and confusing problem :)
  • I just unzipped nircmd into a folder in Program Files and was able to get it to remember the unblock by right clicking the .exe, selecting properties, clicking the security tab, clicking the Edit... button and checking the Full Control checkbox for Users.
  • Solution is good, working " I moved my app to a temp location, unblocked it, moved it back to C:\Program Files, and voila! Many thanks and may you have a happy and prosperous 2010"
  • Thank you, Mr Dan

    and NO thanks to MS for once again wasting a chunk of my life trying to figure this out. You should send them an invoice for your help

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