Disabling Vista’s DEP (Data Execution Prevention)

While it’s a nice idea that your computer will prevent a program from running some suspicious software that could really mess things up, Windows Vista’s DEP (Data Execution Prevention) just needs to get the frack out of my face on certain programs. I was trying to publish a Windows Movie Maker movie to post on YouTube and for some reason it just decided to go DEP on me and would never publish because DEP kept interrupting when it tried to publish. After fiddling with settings in the help system, I discovered that WMM was a system program that could not be included in the list of stuff not to crash, so that led me to search for a way to just disable the whole thing if I could, if not only to disable it just the one time so I could publish the movie and then re-enable it. Well, I found out how.

As a disclaimer, you promise that by using this method you will (a) not blame me if anything goes wrong with your computer after you try it, (b) will not ask me questions about it because I don’t really know much except what I explain here already, and (c) will not blame me if anything goes wrong with your computer after you try it. That being said, you’re doing this on your own trust that stuff you read on the internet was authentic enough to go screwing with the woodworks, and that all blame for anything you do after reading this guide is strictly your fault.

Pretty much all the information I know comes from this link and that link. The first one just tells you some stuff about what DEP is and does on a more technical level, but the second gets down to the answers I was hunting for.

1. Go to the Start Menu, to Programs, to Accessories, and right click on Command Prompt. Choose “run as Administrator” and enter the password if appropriate.
2. What comes up is the Command Prompt, the stank version of DOS that Windows uses these days. Type in bcdedit /set nx AlwaysOff and hit enter.
3. Close the Command Prompt by either hitting the [x] as usual or by typing exit, and reboot your machine.
4. When it comes back up again, you should now be able to do whatever you couldn’t before.
5. To re-enable it, follow step 1 again, but for step 2, type bcdedit /set nx OptIn and hit enter. Reboot again and you should be back to normal.

I’m just telling you what I’ve tried and seems to work for me, because WMM decided to work after I tried this, so there you go. I’m not a computer service professional, and anything you do to your computer is all on you.


14 thoughts on “Disabling Vista’s DEP (Data Execution Prevention)

    • I didn’t re-enable it, and now I get a BSOD every time Vista tries to boot. The system is basically ruined…startup repair, safe mode, etc. haven’t fixed it. I’ve heard other people report this problem too, so I’d say re-enable it for sure.

  1. It says access denied……. I hope everyone who was involved with publishing this operating system meets with a gruesome end…..

  2. DEP is the thing that crashes your browser when you try to save the image (like from google), right?

    I did this, and it doesn’t work; then again, I haven’t rebooted my computer so hopefully after I’m done with conversing with people it will.

    If not I’ll be sad.

  3. command should work fine… also may need to include “bcdedit /set {current} nx AlwaysOff” i am having a different problem however. Windows continues to close my Mcafee repeatedly. It does this consistently as i use my computer and the error messages alone push me to ripping my hair out, let alone the fact that my anit-virus software isnt running. At first windows would tell me that DEP was causing it to crash. But i have successfully disabled DEP and have not had any success. PLEASE HELP!!!

  4. Hello all,
    1st posting here, buy when I seen the topic and replies, I had to type something here myself. 😀

    I am having the exact same problem. I am trying to run a program called Mass Effect, and fist I had to update the thing. Then I had to change compatibility mode on it. Now, I keep getting the %&!@#! Vista DEP that always closes the program.

    I have done the bcdedit edit thing, without the (current) and then again with the (current). Did this as administrator, rebooted my machine after each change, and did everything exactly as I was suppose to, and the program still closes with the same message stating that DEP closed the thing.

    I don’t see how DEP can close anything if the bcdedit thing does indeed disable it. It doesn’t seem to be disabling the DEP on my system even though I keep getting the “disabled successfully” message when I do.

    Oh, and I also tried reversing the combatibility mode after one of the successful bcdedit procedures. It didn’t change anything. I didn’t think it would, but I thought it was worth a shot.

    Does anyone here know how to permanantly disable the DEP for good. The above procedure that was explained WAS suppose to be the permanent off switch, and so many others on the internet all said the same thing about using the bcdedit method, but obviously all that means is that there are so many people who really don’t know how to disable DEP or they just don’t know what they are talking about.

    I am here to say that bcdedit does not turn anything off. I have read where many others also have failed to turn DEP off despite following the instructions of those who claim to know all about this.


  5. Misato:

    After disabling DEP using the above method, I have had no further DEP issues. If you did it correctly and got the confirmation message, then DEP is disabled. If DEP is still crashing programs (if that’s what’s actually crashing it), then there is a problem/glitch with your particular installed copy, not a flaw in the method for disabling it, I bet.

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