SmartScreen Filter causing problems with programs and websites? Here is how to disable or turn off SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10.
What is SmartScreen Filter?
For a long time now, Windows has had a pretty helpful security feature called SmartScreen Filter. It is part of the Windows Defender suite and enabled by default. One of the main tasks of SmartScreen Filter is to protect you from malicious websites and links. It can automatically flag, warn, and block malicious and suspicious activities on your computer. For example, suppose someone sent you a malware or phishing link, and you clicked on it. In that case, the SmartScreen filter will automatically block it to protect you from potential adverse effects link malware infections, phishing attacks, etc.
Generally, SmartScreen Filter works silently in the background, and most users never need to worry about it. However, there might be situations where SmartScreen is blocking legitimate websites, links, or programs. In that case, you can disable SmartScreen Filter, either temporarily or permanently, just so that you can use the website or program as needed.
Can I disable the SmartScreen Filter?
Windows allows you to turn off SmartScreen Filter as and when needed with just a few clicks. Though not recommended, you can certainly do it if you know what you are doing.
So, let me show you how to turn off SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10.
Turn off SmartScreen Filter
To disable the SmartScreen filter, you can turn it off in the Windows Security tool or Group Policy Editor. You can also disable SmartScreen Filter in the Edge browser. Click on the jump links below to go to the method you would like to use.
From Windows Security Tool
SmartScreen Filter is part of the App and Browser Control tool in Windows Security. You can easily disable it from there. Here is how.
- Press the Start key on your keyboard.
- Search and open “Windows Security.”
- Click on “App & browser control.”
- Next, click on the “Reputation-based protection settings” link.
- Turn off the “Check for apps and files” option.
- Close the Windows Security app.
- SmartScreen filter is disabled.
Search for “Windows Security” in the Start menu and open it. Go to the “App & browser control” page in this window and click on the “Reputation-based protection settings” link.
Now, turn off the “Check for apps and files” option. You might see a UAC (User Access Control) prompt. Click the “Yes” button to continue. As soon as you turn off the option, the SmartScreen filter is disabled.
To turn SmartScreen Filter back on, enable the “Check for apps and files” option.
From Group Policy Editor
If you manage multiple users or computers, then using the Group Policy Editor to disable Windows SmartScreen is the way. It is far better than manually setting rules for each user or computer. Here is how to do it.
- Open the Group Policy Editor.
- Go to the “Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer” folder.
- Double-click on the “Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen” policy.
- Select the “Disabled” option.
- Click “Apply.”
- Click “Ok.”
- Close the Group Policy Editor.
- Reboot Windows.
- SmartScreen Filter is now disabled.
Press the “Start key + R,” type gpedit.msc, and click “Ok” to open the Group Policy Editor. Go to the “Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer” folder and double-click on the “Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen” policy. Select the “Enabled” option and click the “Ok” button. Finally, reboot the computer to apply the policy. After restarting, the SmartScreen filter is disabled.
To enable it back, select the “Enabled” option and choose the “Warn and prevent bypass” option from the “Options” section in the Policy Editor.
In the Edge browser
Rather than disabling the SmartScreen for the entire system, you can disable it just in the Edge browser. That way, you can still access the websites blocked by the SmartScreen Filter without completely disabling the security feature system-wide. Here is how to disable SmartScreen Filter in the Edge browser.
- Open the Edge browser.
- Click on the “Menu” icon in the top-right corner.
- Select the “Settings” option.
- Select the “Privacy, search, and services” tab on the sidebar.
- Scroll down to find the “Security” section.
- Turn off the “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” option.
- Restart the Edge browser.
- SmartScreen Filter in the Edge browser is now disabled.
First, click the Edge browser icon on the taskbar to open it. Click the menu icon (three vertical dots) on the top-right corner and select the “Settings” option in the browser. Next, select the “Privacy, Search, and Services” tab on the sidebar. You can go to the same page by typing “edge://settings/privacy” in the address bar.
Here, find the “Security” section and turn off the “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” option. Finally, restart the Edge browser.
With that, the SmartScreen Filter is disabled in the Edge browser.
As you can see, it is pretty easy to turn off SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10. As I said before, only disabled the SmartScreen filter if necessary, and you know what you are doing.
I hope that helps.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.