How to Run Programs Without a Valid Digital Signature

Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system includes many features designed to help protect you from malicious software. Unfortunately, some of these features may also prevent you from completing tasks you wish to complete. Windows automatically prevents the installation of software without a valid digital signature, which can make it impossible to install your own programs or open-source/alpha versions of software that haven’t been signed. You can control this setting from your Windows “Internet Options” screen.

Modern laptop with touchscreen interface
Windows 8 includes a bevy of security enhancements.
credit: scanrail/iStock/Getty Images

From Internet Explorer

Step

Open Microsoft Internet Explorer by pressing the “Windows” key, typing “Internet” into the search box, and clicking “Internet Explorer.”

Step

Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Internet Explorer window and select “Internet Options.”

Step

Select the “Advanced” tab. Scroll down to the Security section and check the box next to “Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid.”

Step

Click “OK” to save your changes. You can now install and run programs without a valid signature.

From Control Panel

Step

Swipe your mouse to the lower right-hand corner of your screen. Click the “Settings” charm and select “Control Panel.”

Step

Click “Network and Internet,” followed by “Internet Options.” Select the “Advanced” tab.

Step

Scroll down to “Security” and locate “Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid.” Click this check box.

Step

Click “OK” to apply your changes.