The SmartScreen filter in Windows 10 helps protect your PC from suspicious and malicious apps and files. Additionally, the SmartScreen filter can also show a warning message when you try to run an unrecognized app. SmartScreen leverages Microsoft cloud power to quickly detect, warn, and block potentially unwanted apps from running. Typically, you can easily bypass the SmartScreen filter for unrecognized apps with just a few clicks and run the app or file as needed.
If you don’t like how the SmartScreen filter works, you can easily disable it in Windows 10. Here’s how.
Using Windows Defender
The easiest way to disable the SmartScreen filter is to use the options provided by the Windows Defender Security Center. The best thing is Windows Defender lets you control SmartScreen settings for apps and files, Microsoft Edge, and Store apps individually.
1. First, search for “Windows Security” in the Start Menu and open it. Microsoft renamed Windows Defender to Windows Security, so to get quick access, search for Windows Security.
2. In the Windows Security window, go to the “App and Browser Control” tab appearing on the left panel.
3. On the right panel you can see that by default SmartScreen is enabled and set to warn when it encounters unrecognized or suspicious apps and files in all three categories.
To completely disable SmartScreen, simply select the radio option “Off” for all three categories.
When you want to enable SmartScreen, you can either select “Warn” or “Block.” If you select “Warn,” SmartScreen warns when you try to open an unrecognized app or file. You can choose whether to run the app or not. If you chose “Block,” SmartScreen will show a warning message and blocks the file or app from running.
Using Group Policy Editor
For system or network administrators, Windows has a specific policy setting within the Group Policy editor to quickly disable the SmartScreen filter in Windows 10.
1. Open Group Policy Editor by searching for “gpedit.msc” in the Start menu. In the Policy Editor go to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> File Explorer.”
2. Find and double-click on the “Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen” policy.
3. In the policy settings window, configure it as follows:
- To disable the SmartScreen filter, select the radio option “Disabled.”
- To enable the SmartScreen filter, select “Enabled” and either select “Warn” or “Warn and prevent bypass” under the Options section.
To make the changes take effect, restart your system or execute
gpupdate /force command as admin.
Using Registry Editor
Windows 10 Home users will not have access to the Group Policy Editor. However, you can use the Registry Editor to disable the SmartScreen filter. You just have to create a couple of values. Before editing the Registry, back it up.
1. Search for “regedit” in the Start menu and open it. Now, go to the following location.
2. To disable the SmartScreen filter, create a new DWORD value by selecting “New” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value.” Name the value as “EnableSmartScreen.” Now, double-click on the newly created value and set its Value Data as “0.” That is it.
3. To enable the SmartScreen filter, first set the Value Data of “EnableSmartScreen” as “1.”
4. Now you need to set the SmartScreen blocking level. For that, right-click on the right panel and select “New -> String Value.” Name the value as “ShellSmartScreenLevel.”
5. Double-click on the new string value and set either “Warn” or “Block” as the value data.
- Warn: shows a warning message, but you can bypass it.
- Block: shows a warning message and blocks you from running the app or file.
Once you are done, restart your system and you are good to go.
Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences regarding using the above methods to enable or disable the SmartScreen filter in Windows 10.