How to Disable Windows Smartscreen?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to Disable Windows Smartscreen?

I'm using Windows 10, and recently I came across “Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from running” notification. It started to annoy me as the alert prevents me from running legitimate and not dangerous applications. Could you please show me how to disable Windows SmartScreen?

Solved Answer

Windows SmartScreen is an inbuilt technology which helps users protect their computers from potentially unwanted and dangerous applications. Initially, it was designed for Internet Explorer[1] to block phishing sites and malicious browser applications. Although, Microsoft now has implemented the technology directly to the Windows OS[2]

Once users enable SmartScreen, it starts collecting information about the applications you download and install on your computer. The gathered data is transmitted to Microsoft's servers where it is being compared to the report of malicious programs. 

If the details of the app match the information of a potentially unwanted program[3], Microsoft's servers inform Windows and users receive the following notification:

Windows protected your PC
Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from running. Running this app might put your PC at risk.
More information

However, users report that Windows Defender SmartScreen might get annoying as well — If Microsoft's servers have no information about the program you just downloaded, you will continue to receive the message indicated above and prevented from running the app. 

Windows Defender SmartScreen

Nevertheless, Windows SmartScreen is a useful feature which can help you build an extra layer of security. However, some people might want to learn how to disable Windows SmartScreen and get rid of annoying alerts. Note that we would recommend keeping the technology enabled. Although, you can find instructions on how to turn it off below.

Easy steps to disable SmartScreen on Windows 10 and 8

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If you have decided to disable Windows SmartScreen, you should get a professional antivirus to keep your PC safe. Please, download it from the official website and make sure that it includes real-time protection. Additionally, Reimage is a great tool to fix virus damage in case your PC was infected. 

Deactivate SmartScreen on Windows 8

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  1. Click Windows key + R and type Control Panel;
  2. Once it opens, go to System and Security > Action Center;
    Turn off Windows Defender SmartScreen
  3. Find Change Windows SmartScreen settings button on the left pane and click on it;
  4. Check the mark next to Don't do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen) and press OK.

Turn off SmartScreen on Windows 10

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  1. Type Windows Defender Security Center on the Menu search and click on the shortcut;
    Disable Windows SmartScreen
  2. Find and hit App & browser control;
    Deactivate Windows Defender SmartScreen
  3. Select Off below Check apps and files option.

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Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

A VPN is also crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that you are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speed.

Therefore, to stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will prevent the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.


Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

Additionally, you might also be attacked by malware that can corrupt your Windows or encrypt files with a robust encryption algorithm, and ask for a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption tool. Cybercriminals might not deliver what they promised, however, so it is better to attempt alternative file recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data.

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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