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How to Change Windows SmartScreen Settings in Windows 10

Windows SmartScreen helps keep your PC safer by warning you before running unrecognized apps and files downloaded from the internet. If you are downloading an unknown file or opening any potentially unsafe file, Windows will display a warning and confirm before you access the file. If an app or a file has been blocked by Windows SmartScreen, you can unblock it to open it if you trust it.

Unblock apps

In Windows 8 and earlier Windows 10 versions, SmartScreen filter's settings could be customized using Control Panel. But in newer Windows 10 versions, Microsoft has removed the settings to a different place. Use one of the following options to turn on or off SmartScreen.

Turn On or Off Windows SmartScreen Settings in Control Panel

Here is how to turn Windows SmartScreen on or off in Windows 8 and Windows 10 older version. If you have updated your PC to Windows 10 Creator Update go to Option 2.

Step 1: Open Control Panel using WinX keyboard shortcuts. Here is how:

Press Windows logo + X shortcut keys, then hit P key on the keyboard.

Open Control Panel

Step 2: In Control Panel, click on System and Security.

System and Security

Step 3: Click on Security and Maintenance icon.

Security and Maintenance

Step 4: Click Change Windows SmartScreen settings link.

Windows SmartScreen settings

Step 5: When it prompts with an option for how you want Windows SmartScreen to handle unrecognized apps. Select Don't do anything to turn off Windows SmartScreen option.

Turn off Windows SmartScreen

Or select Warn before running an unrecognized app, if it was disabled accidentally, then click OK.

Warn before running an unrecognized app

Turn On or Off SmartScreen in Windows Defender Security Center

Now, SmartScreen filter is a part of Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10 Creator Update version and you can change its settings using following simple steps:

Step 1: Open Windows Defender Security Center.

You can quickly open it by clicking the shield icon in the taskbar.

Open Windows Defender Security Center

Step 2: Now, click on App & browser control section in the window.

App & browser control

Step 3: Under Check apps and files, select BlockWarn (default), or Off for what you want to set.

disable SmartScreen filter for apps and files

If you turn off Windows SmartScreen, you'll see a yellow triangle containing exclamation '!' mark and "SmartScreen is off. Your device may be vulnerable."

Enable or Disable Windows SmartScreen in Group Policy

With this option, you can easily manage the behavior of Windows SmartScreen.

Step 1: Open Local Group Policy Editor.

Press Win + R shortcut keys to open Run box. Then type gpedit.msc and click OK.

Run Group Policy Editor

Step 2: In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer. On the right pane of File Explorer, double-click on Configure Windows SmartScreen policy to edit it.

Configure Windows SmartScreen Policy

Step 3: Select the Enabled option. Then click the Apply button, and click OK at last.

If you enable this policy setting, it will give the user a warning before running the downloaded unknown software.

Enable Windows SmartScreen