Exclude Programs from DEP (Data Execution Prevention)

Data Execution Prevention, or DEP, raises an exception if it detects code loading from the default heap or stack. Since this behavior is indicative of malicious code (legitimate code does not generally load in this manner), DEP protects the browser against attacks rendered, for example, via buffer overflow and similar type vulnerabilities. Sometimes, however, DEP can cause conflicts with legitimate programs.

If this happens to you, here's how to disable DEP for specific applications.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How

  1. Click the Start button and choose Computer | System Properties | Advanced System Settings
  2. From the System Properties dialog, select Settings
  3. Select the Data Execution Prevention tab
  4. Select Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select
  5. Click Add and use the browse feature to browse to the program executable you wish to exclude (for example, excel.exe or word.exe).