Admin Guide: File types supported by the Azure Information Protection client
Applies to: Active Directory Rights Management Services, Azure Information Protection, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 with SP1, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2
The Azure Information Protection client can apply the following to documents and emails:
Classification and protection
Use the following information to check which file types are supported, the different levels of protection and how to change the default protection level, and which files are automatically excluded (skipped) from classification and protection.
File types supported for classification only
The following file types can be classified even when they are not protected.
Adobe Portable Document Format: .pdf
Microsoft Visio: .vsdx, .vsdm, .vssx, .vssm, .vsd, .vdw, .vst
Microsoft Project: .mpp, .mpt
Microsoft Publisher: .pub
Microsoft Office 97, Office 2010, Office 2003: .xls, .xlt, .doc, .dot, .ppt, .pps, .pot
Microsoft XPS: .xps .oxps
Images: .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .jif, .jfif, .jfi. png, .tif, .tiff
Autodesk Design Review 2013: .dwfx
Adobe Photoshop: .psd
Digital Negative: .dng
Additional file types support classification when they are also protected. For these file types, see the Supported file types for classification and protection section.
For example, in the current default policy, the General label applies classification and does not apply protection. You could apply the General label to a file named sales.pdf but you could not apply this label to a file named sales.txt.
Also in the current default policy, the Confidential \ All Employees applies classification and protection. You could apply this label to a file named sales.pdf and a file named sales.txt. You could also apply just protection to these files, without classification.
File types supported for protection
The Azure Information Protection client supports protection at two different levels, as described in the following table.
|Type of protection||Native||Generic|
|Description||For text, image, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) files, .pdf files, and other application file types that support a Rights Management service, native protection provides a strong level of protection that includes both encryption and enforcement of rights (permissions).||For all other applications and file types, generic protection provides a level of protection that includes both file encapsulation using the .pfile file type and authentication to verify if a user is authorized to open the file.|
|Protection||Files protection is enforced in the following ways:
- Before protected content is rendered, successful authentication must occur for those who receive the file through email or are given access to it through file or share permissions.
- Additionally, usage rights and policy set by the content owner when files are protected are fully enforced when the content is rendered in either the Azure Information Protection viewer (for protected text and image files) or the associated application (for all other supported file types).
|File protection is enforced in the following ways:
- Before protected content is rendered, successful authentication must occur for those who are authorized to open the file and given access to it. If authorization fails, the file does not open.
- Usage rights and policy set by the content owner are displayed to inform authorized users of the intended usage policy.
- Audit logging of authorized users opening and accessing files occurs. However, usage rights are not enforced.
|Default for file types||This is the default level of protection for the following file types:
- Text and image files
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) files
- Portable document format (.pdf)
For more information, see the following section, Supported file types for classification and protection.
|This is the default protection for all other file types (such as .vsdx, .rtf, and so on) that are not supported by native protection.|
You can change the default protection level that the Azure Information Protection client applies. You can change the default level of native to generic, from generic to native, and even prevent the Azure Information Protection client from applying protection. For more information, see the Changing the default protection level of files section in this article.
The data protection can be applied automatically when a user selects a label that an administrator has configured, or users can specify their own custom protection settings by using permission levels.
File sizes supported for protection
There are maximum file sizes that the Azure Information Protection client supports for protection.
For Office files:
Office application Maximum file size supported Word 2007 (supported by AD RMS only)
32-bit: 512 MB
64-bit: 512 MB
Excel 2007 (supported by AD RMS only)
32-bit: 2 GB
64-bit: Limited only by available disk space and memory
PowerPoint 2007 (supported by AD RMS only)
32-bit: Limited only by available disk space and memory
64-bit: Limited only by available disk space and memory
For all other files:
To protect these files: File size is limited only by available disk space and memory.
To open these files in the Azure Information Protection viewer: Maximum file size supported for text-based files (.ptxt and .pxml) is 20 MB. For picture-based files and PDF files, the maximum file size is limited only by memory.
Supported file types for classification and protection
The following table lists a subset of file types that support native protection by the Azure Information Protection client, and that can also be classified.
These file types are identified separately because when they are natively protected, the original file name extension is changed, and these files become read-only. Note that when files are generically protected, the original file name extension is always changed to .pfile.
If you have firewalls, web proxies, or security software that inspect and take action according to file name extensions, you might need to reconfigure these to support these new file name extensions.
|Original file name extension||Protected file name extension|
The next table lists the remaining file types that support native protection by the Azure Information Protection client, and that can also be classified. You will recognize these as file types for Microsoft Office apps.
For these files, the file name extension remains the same after the file is protected by a Rights Management service.
|File types supported by Office||File types supported by Office|
Changing the default protection level of files
You can change how the Azure Information Protection client protects files by editing the registry. For example, you can force files that support native protection to be generically protected by the Azure Information Protection client.
Reasons for why you might want to do this:
To ensure that all users can open the file if they don’t have an application that supports native protection.
To accommodate security systems that take action on files by their file name extension and can be reconfigured to accommodate the .pfile file name extension but cannot be reconfigured to accommodate multiple file name extensions for native protection.
Similarly, you can force the Azure Information Protection client to apply native protection to files that by default, would have generic protection applied. This might be appropriate if you have an application that supports the RMS APIs – for example, a line-of-business application written by your internal developers or an application purchased from an independent software vendor (ISV).
You can also force the Azure Information Protection client to block the protection of files (not apply native protection or generic protection). For example, this might be required if you have an automated application or service that must be able to open a specific file to process its contents. When you block protection for a file type, users cannot use the Azure Information Protection client to protect a file that has that file type. When they try, they see a message that the administrator has prevented protection and they must cancel their action to protect the file.
To configure the Azure Information Protection client to apply generic protection to all files that by default, would have native protection applied, make the following registry edits. Note if the FileProtection key does not exist, you must manually create it.
Create a new key named * for the following registry path, which denotes files with any file name extension:
For 32-bit version of Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection
For 64-bit version of Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection
In the newly added key (for example, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection\*), create a new string value (REG_SZ) named Encryption that has the data value of Pfile.
This setting results in the Azure Information Protection client applying generic protection.
These two settings result in the Azure Information Protection client applying generic protection to all files that have a file name extension. If this is your goal, no further configuration is required. However, you can define exceptions for specific file types, so that they are still natively protected. To do this, you must make three additional registry edits for each file type:
For HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection (32-bit Windows) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection (64-bit Windows): Add a new key that has the name of the file name extension (without the preceding period).
For example, for files that have a .docx file name extension, create a key named DOCX.
In the newly added file type key (for example, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection\DOCX), create a new DWORD Value named AllowPFILEEncryption that has a value of 0.
In the newly added file type key (for example, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\FileProtection\DOCX), create a new String Value named Encryption that has a value of Native.
As a result of these settings, all files are generically protected except files that have a .docx file name extension, which are natively protected by the Azure Information Protection client.
Repeat these three steps for other file types that you want to define as exceptions because they support native protection and you do not want them to be generically protected by the Azure Information Protection client.
You can make similar registry edits for other scenarios by changing the value of the Encryption string that supports the following values:
Pfile: Generic protection
Native: Native protection
Off: Block protection
For additional information, see File API configuration from the developer guidance. In this documentation for developers, generic protection is referred to as "PFile".
File types that are excluded from classification and protection by the Azure Information Protection client
To help prevent users from changing files that are critical for computer operations, some file types and folders are automatically excluded from classification and protection. If users try to classify or protect these files, they see a message that they are excluded.
Excluded file types: .lnk, .exe, .com, .cmd, .bat, .dll, .ini, .pst, .sca, .drm, .sys, .cpl, .inf, .drv, .dat, .tmp, .msp, .msi, .pdb, .jar
- Program Files (\Program Files and \Program Files (x86))
- \AppData (for all users)
Files that cannot be protected by default
Any file that is password-protected cannot be natively protected by the Azure Information Protection client. You most often see PDF files that are password-protected but other applications, such as Office apps, also offer this functionality.
Additionally, the Azure Information Protection client for Windows can view the following files but cannot natively protect or unprotect PDF files in either of the following circumstances:
A PDF file that is form-based.
A protected PDF file that has a .pdf file name extension.
The Azure Information Protection client can protect an unprotected PDF file, and it can unprotect and reprotect a protected PDF file when it has a .ppdf file name extension.
As a workaround to protect these files, you could generically protect them by following the instructions in the Changing the default protection level of files section. However, this method changes the protection level for all files that have a .pdf file name extension, at the computer level. You cannot define generic protection for only the files that meet the listed criteria.
If protecting these files are important, you could temporarily copy them to another computer to generically protect them, and then copy them back again.
Limitations for container files, such as .zip files
Container files are files that include other files, with a typical example being .zip files that contain compressed files. Other examples include .rar, .7z, and .msg.
You can classify and protect these container files, but the classification and protection is not applied to each file inside the container.
If you have a container file that includes classified and protected files, you must first extract the files to change their classification or protection settings. However, you can remove the protection for all files in supported container files by using the Unprotect-RMSFile cmdlet.
Now that you've identified the file types supported by the Azure Information Protection client, see the following for additional information that you might need to support this client:
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