Troubleshooting An Attempt Was Made to Load an Assembly from a Network Location: Causes, Solutions, and Tips for Success

When working with .NET applications or PowerShell scripts, you may encounter an error message similar to "An attempt was made to load an assembly from a network location." This error occurs when the .NET Framework security policy prevents your application from loading an assembly from a network location. In this guide, we will explore the causes of this error, provide solutions to fix it, and discuss tips for success.

Causes of the Error

There are several factors that can cause this error:

  1. Zone Identifier: Files downloaded from the internet or copied from a network location may have a Zone Identifier, which marks the file as potentially unsafe. The .NET Framework will block the execution of such files by default.
  2. Code Access Security (CAS) Policy: The .NET Framework has a built-in security policy called CAS, which restricts the execution of code based on its origin. This policy may prevent your application from loading an assembly from a network location.
  3. PowerShell Execution Policy: If you're running a PowerShell script, the PowerShell execution policy may be set to 'Restricted', which prevents scripts from running.


Solution 1: Unblock the Assembly

To unblock an assembly, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the assembly file in Windows Explorer.
  2. Click 'Properties'.
  3. In the 'General' tab, look for the 'Security' section at the bottom.
  4. Check the 'Unblock' checkbox.
  5. Click 'Apply', then 'OK'.

Alternatively, you can use the PowerShell Unblock-File cmdlet to unblock the assembly:

Unblock-File -Path "path\to\your\assembly.dll"

Solution 2: Modify the CAS Policy

To modify the CAS policy for your application, follow these steps:

  1. Open the .NET Framework Configuration tool (caspol.exe), located in the %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\{version} directory.
  2. Navigate to the 'Code Groups' node under 'Runtime Security Policy'.
  3. Create a new code group with a URL membership condition that points to the network location of your assembly.
  4. Set the permission set to 'FullTrust' for this code group.

Solution 3: Change the PowerShell Execution Policy

To change the PowerShell execution policy, follow these steps:

  1. Open a PowerShell console with administrative privileges.
  2. Run the following command:
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  1. Confirm the change when prompted.

For more information on PowerShell execution policies, refer to the official Microsoft documentation.

Tips for Success

  • Always download and run assemblies from trusted sources.
  • Consider hosting your assembly on a local file share instead of a network location.
  • When modifying CAS policies or PowerShell execution policies, ensure that you do not unintentionally weaken the security of your system.


1. What is an assembly?

An assembly is a collection of types and resources that are built to work together and form a logical unit of functionality. Assemblies are the building blocks of .NET applications.

2. What is a Zone Identifier?

A Zone Identifier is an attribute that Windows assigns to a file when it is downloaded from the internet or copied from a network location. It indicates the file's origin and can be used to determine if the file is potentially unsafe.

3. How do I check the current PowerShell execution policy?

To check the current PowerShell execution policy, run the following command in a PowerShell console:


4. What other execution policies are available in PowerShell?

There are several execution policy options available in PowerShell:

  • Restricted: No scripts can be run.
  • AllSigned: Only scripts signed by a trusted publisher can be run.
  • RemoteSigned: Downloaded scripts must be signed by a trusted publisher.
  • Unrestricted: All scripts can be run, regardless of their origin or signature.

5. Can I bypass the PowerShell execution policy for a single script?

Yes, you can run a script with a different execution policy by using the -ExecutionPolicy parameter of the powershell.exe command:

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "path\to\your\script.ps1"

This will run the script with the 'Bypass' execution policy, which ignores the current execution policy and runs the script without restrictions.

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