What is Windows SmartScreen? Windows SmartScreen is a tool, a feature that checks the safety of a potentially harmful file or application on a Windows 10 system.
What is SmartScreen Filter?
SmartScreen acts as an early warning system to let users know if a suspicious website or application is not or can’t find the downloaded file in the list of safe software programs. Basically, SmartScreen uses a large database of whitelisted and blacklisted websites to analyze if a certain thing is safe to open.
How to enable or disable SmartScreen on Windows 10
Use App & Browser Control to disable SmartScreen
The option for SmartScreen is prominently displayed as “On” on the respective page. You just need to disable it to disable Windows Defender SmartScreen.
You will get Windows Defender warning: “SmartScreen for Windows Defender is off. Your device may be vulnerable”. (SmartScreen for Windows Defender is off. Your device may be vulnerable.) You can choose to dismiss the message and temporarily change the flag from “warn” to “off” if you plan to install unknown files.
Alternatively, choose one of two options: “Warn” or “Block” in Check apps and files.
- If you select “Warn”, SmartScreen will warn you when you try to open an unrecognized application or file.
- If you select “Block”, SmartScreen will display a warning message and block the file or application from running.
Using Microsoft Edge
In Edge, click the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner, select Settings > Privacy, search and services.
Scroll down to the Security section, then switch the “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” button to the Off position.
Using Group Policy Editor
1. Open the 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 the Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen policy.
3. In the policy settings window, configure it as follows:
- To disable the SmartScreen filter, select the Disabled option.
- To enable the SmartScreen filter, select Enabled and select Warn or Warn and prevent bypass in the Options section.
- For the changes to take effect, reboot the system or execute the command gpupdate /force as admin.
Using Registry Editor
1. Search for “regedit” in the Start menu and open it with admin rights. Go to the following location.
To turn off the SmartScreen filter, create a new DWORD value by choosing New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the value “EnableSmartScreen”. Double click on the newly created value and set Value Data to 0.
3. To enable SmartScreen filter, first set the Value Data of “EnableSmartScreen” to 1.
4. Now you need to set the SmartScreen blocking level. To do that, right-click on the right panel and select New > String Value. Name the value ShellSmartScreenLevel.
5. Double-click the new string value and set “Warn” or “Block” as the value data.
- Warn: Displays a warning message, but you can ignore it.
- Block: Displays a warning message and blocks you from running the application or file.
Once done, reboot the system.