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ZBrush Issues on Windows

This article applies to Windows users who use the default Windows Security features rather than a third party antivirus software.   If you use Norton, McAfee, Avast or any other antivirus software that overrides Windows Security, this article will not apply to you.


ZBrush uses a number of modules such as ZRemesher and Decimation Master that need to write to specific folders on your computer in order to function properly.  However, Windows Security has a feature called Controlled Folder Access that can prevent the ZBrush components from doing this.  

If you are encountering issues (usually memory or "Unable to Open File" error messages) while using ZBrush and are using Windows Security it is a good idea to check to see if Controlled Folder Access is getting in the way.

  1. First, follow the steps outlined here.
    • When you get to the Virus & Threat Protection panel, it will tell you if you're using a third party software such as Norton.  If so, you will not be able to do the rest of the steps on that page, and this Knowledgebase article does not apply to you.  
  2. The first thing we'd recommend doing would be to turn Controlled Folder Access off.  Test to see if the issues you were encountering are now resolved.  If so, turn Controlled Folder Access on again and continue to the next step.
    • Turning Controlled Folder Access off will slightly increase your security risk on your system.  It is recommended that you only leave the setting off while actively testing ZBrush.
  3. If turning Controlled Folder Access off fixed the issues, then the next step is to tell Windows Security that ZBrush is safe by whitelisting it.
  4. Next, you'll need to look at the Protection History and make your way through the various Protected Folder Access Blocked events.  When you see an event that is related to ZBrush (such as for zremesh.exe) you should click the Actions button and choose the option to "Allow on Device."  

Following these steps will allow you to override Controlled Folder Access for the ZBrush components that you use.  Those components will then be able to function normally in the future, while your computer remains protected.


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  1. Matthew Yetter

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