We explain all the steps you must take to disable SmartScreen on your Windows computer and run any application.
If you have come this far, you are probably wondering how to disable SmartScreen. However, you may also have doubts about what exactly is this protection that prevents you from running an application on your computer. All your doubts regarding SmartScreen will be resolved after reading this guide.
In the following sections, we give you all the details about SmartScreen, a security measure integrated into Windows 11. First, we explain what it is and what it is for, and then what are the steps you must follow to deactivate it. Finally, we attach related resources that will help you keep your data safe and improve privacy when browsing the Internet. Do not miss it!
What is SmartScreen and what is it for?
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a security system that blocks phishing websites and apps and other harmful files. It usually appears when you try to run a malicious program or malware, although it is also integrated into the default Windows browser, Microsoft Edge.
Its main function is to prevent the execution of applications that may compromise the integrity of the system or the user’s own data. To determine if an executable is dangerous, it obtains information from two different sources:
- Blacklist. Microsoft has a database that includes a myriad of applications that have been identified as malicious. When the software to be run is on this list, a warning appears on the screen.
- White list. It is a compilation of well-known applications downloaded by users. If the program you want to run is NOT on the list, SmartScreen skips and displays a danger message.
Regarding the performance of SmartScreen in Microsoft Edge, the company uses two equivalent lists, but in this case for potentially harmful websites.
How to disable SmartScreen
Checking SmartScreen websites and apps brings many benefits. After all, it is a security measure and, therefore, we say that it does not hurt. Among the most relevant benefits of this system, we find:
- Full integration with Windows. It checks all files that go through the operating system, including those that are run from third-party browsers and email clients.
- Continuous learning. Microsoft ensures that SmartScreen is constantly improving. That means that it updates automatically without user intervention.
- Detection of phishing and malware. The tool notifies you whenever it detects a fake URL or a malicious program.
- Verification of the digital signature of a program. It uses this value to determine the reputation of a file.
Despite your best intentions, SmartScreen sometimes blocks safe software simply because there isn’t enough data about it. How to disable it on your computer?
Disable SmartScreen in Windows 11 temporarily
The warning message that appears when trying to open a supposedly unsafe application includes a link called More Information. When you click on it, the Run Anyway button pops up. This is a way to disable SmartScreen protection and open the program on your computer. As you can imagine, this deactivation is temporary and only affects the executable that you have tried to open.
Disable SmartScreen in Windows 11 completely
You can also disable SmartScreen in Windows 11 permanently by following some very simple steps.
This is how you turn off this protection on your computer:
- Open Windows Security. Use the search engine to locate the application.
- Go into Application and Browser Control.
- Click on Reputation-based Protection Settings.
- Turn off the Check Apps and Files option.
- Disable the SmartScreen feature for Microsoft Edge.
From now on, you should stop receiving warnings when trying to run supposedly malicious applications.
How to check if SmartScreen is activated or not
Evaluating the operation of SmartScreen is very easy thanks to this official Microsoft site. In it you will find the following resources:
- Websites that put SmartScreen to the test. Some have been identified as phishing or malware repository.
- Dangerous downloads. There are two links for you to check if SmartScreen is blocking downloads.
- Applications to blow up SmartScreen. Three EXE files are offered, one reputable, one unknown, and one identified as malware. With the latter, you will trigger the red SmartScreen warning.
Obviously, all these sites and executables are not actually harmful or dangerous. Rather, they allow you to check if SmartScreen is working properly on your computer or if it is disabled.
SmartScreen is not the only protection of Windows 11
SmartScreen is just one of the measures Microsoft implemented in Windows 11 to protect users from external attacks. In fact, the security center is full of tools that allow you to improve the security of your computer. Take a look at the following links to get a closer look at all the protections built into the system.
Improve security in Windows 11:
- Windows Backup: Best Backup Apps
- Microsoft Defender comes to macOS, iOS, and Android
- ▷ Which is better, Windows Defender or Avast Free Antivirus
- How to reset a computer step by step
- How to restore the Firewall in Windows 11
- ▷ What are they and how to manage Windows 10 credentials
- PC Manager for Windows 11: Guide | 2022 | Microsoft CCleaner
Additionally, we offer you compilations of useful tools. In them, you will find the best VPNs, the best antivirus, and other programs to increase the performance of your PC.
Tools to increase performance and protect privacy in Windows 11:
- Best free VPN you can use (free VPN) 2022
- VPN: How to connect on Windows, Linux, or Android step by step
- Best VPN Extensions for Chrome
- Best VPN Extensions for Chrome
- The best free online antivirus for your computer
- ▷ What is the best free antivirus?
We hope that all the information we have provided in this guide has helped you improve the security of your computer. Furthermore, we are sure that the given steps have enabled you to disable SmartScreen on your PC. Do you usually use Windows antivirus? Do you opt for any specific commercial option? Leave us your opinion in the comments and participate in the Professional Review community.