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Users get an error message which says "Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy. For more information, open Event Viewer or contact your system administrator."

Cause:  Software restriction policies

Solution:  Check the event log and ask your administrator.

You can search the event log for software restriction policies events starting from a specific date. To do this, type the following at a command prompt:

eventquery -l system -fi "id ge 865" -fi "id le 868" -fi "datetime ge mm/dd/yy,12:00:00am" -v -fo list

In this command, mm is the month, dd is the day, and yy is the year of the starting date.

See also:  Software restriction policies

Modified software restriction policies are not taking effect as expected.

Cause:  Software restriction policies have not been refreshed.

Solution:  Refresh policy by logging off of the network and then logging on to the network again.

Cause:  Software restriction policies are not being applied.

Solution:  Create and check the log file.

You can create a log file to review software restriction policies by editing the following registry key:


Add the new string value LogFileName and add a path and file name for the log file, in the following format:


For example, one valid specification would be C:\Windows\Safer.log.

For more information about adding values to registry keys, see To add a value


Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer.

For more information, see Software restriction policies 

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