File System: File Explorer shell protocol must run in protected mode

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The shell protocol will limit the set of folders that applications can open when run in protected mode. Restricting files an application can open to a limited set of folders increases the security of Windows.

Remediation

The default behavior is for shell protected mode to be turned on for File Explorer.

If this needs to be corrected, configure the policy value for Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Windows Components >> File Explorer >> "Turn off shell protocol protected mode" to "Not Configured" or "Disabled".

STIG:
Server 2019: https://www.stigviewer.com/stig/windows_server_2019/2020-06-15/finding/V-93263
Server 2016: https://www.stigviewer.com/stig/microsoft_windows_server_2016/2021-09-29/finding/V-224943
Desktop: https://www.stigviewer.com/stig/windows_10/2021-08-18/finding/V-220839



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