Exclude Programs From DEP (Data Execution Prevention)

DEP can cause conflicts with legitimate programs

Microsoft introduced Data Execution Prevention to the operating system beginning with Windows XP. Data Execution Prevention is a security feature intended to prevent damage to your computer. 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 by preventing code from being run from suspected data pages.

Sometimes, however, DEP can cause conflicts with legitimate programs. If this happens to you, here's how to disable DEP for specific applications.

How to Disable DEP for Specific Applications

  1. Click the Start button on your Windows computer 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 want to exclude—for example, excel.exe or word.exe.

Depending on your version of Windows, you may need to access the System Properties dialog box by right-clicking This PC or Computer from Windows Explorer.

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click and choose Properties > Advanced System Settings > System Properties.
  2. Select Advanced > Performance > Data Execution Prevention.
  1. Select Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select.
  2. Click Add and use the browse feature to browse to the program executable you want to exclude.