Windows Live Messenger possesses some very unique “features” which can also bring a lot of frustration to its users. One of those features that I’ll cover here is the ability of WLM to block the so called “unsafe file types”.
This is actually a good step towards a more secure platform, since those blocked file types can indeed be misused to spread viruses. The point I want to make here however, and also provide a solution to the proposed problem, is that there is no clear option for the user to just disable this file blocking behavior.
Now you can imagine the situation where you want to send a file to your friend that has a file extension that is blocked by default. The frustrating thing is that not only executable files with for example an EXE file extension are blocked but also the frequently used ZIP and RAR files. In that situation you will probably get the following warning notification:
The options that Windows Live Messenger provides is to install Windows Live OneCare safety scanner, which might raise some security doubts. Or, to provide a self-defined virus scanner.
Now it is possible that you just do not have a virus scanner for some reason and then you might think that the story is over, but fortunately WLM does actually allow the transfer of files even if no valid virus scanner is provided. So you can for example provide Notepad as your wonderful and very secure antivirus software.
Actually, providing any string should get the job done. So the steps that you would need to perform are as follows:
- Go to Tools >> Options >> File Transfer
- Check the box Scan files for viruses using:
- Now put any string into this field, click OK and you should be able to send any file from now on.
When sending a file from now on you will still get a warning dialog, but at least you can now send your “unsafe” files over. 🙂
Note that when you receive a file from someone you will get a message that the Virus scan has failed and
The virus scan could not be completed. Please check your settings in Tools > Options > File Transfer
Nevertheless, the file is received and you can open it by manually navigating to the folder where you receive your files.