On Windows 10, SmartScreen is a security feature that guards your device and data against outside threats. When enabled (default), it automatically identifies and stops apps that may include malicious code that could harm your device.
Just like SmartScreen for websites, the feature sends information to Microsoft, which is checked against a dynamic list of reported files. If there's a match, the filter will alert you and prevent the app from running.
The only caveat is that you can come across false positives, which could end up blocking an app that you know can be trusted. However, instead of disabling SmartScreen completely, you can simply whitelist the app by changing its security settings.
In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to disable SmartScreen for a specific app that is getting blocked, and you know it comes from a trusted source.
How to allow an app to bypass SmartScreen on Windows 10
Although you can always use the More info option and clicking the Run anyway button, you can also prevent SmartScreen from blocking an app using these steps:
- Open File Explorer.
- Browse to the folder with the app that you're trying to install.
- Double-click the installer.
- Close the "Windows protected your PC" dialog.
- Right-click the installer and select the Properties option.
- Click on the General tap.
- Under the "Security" section, check the Unlock option.
- Click the Apply button.
- Click the OK button.
Once you've completed the steps, you can now double-click the .exe file to install the application without getting the security warning. However, if the application hasn't been digitally signed correctly by the developer, you'll still may see a User Account Control alert, but if you know the app can be trusted, you can proceed with the installation.
More Windows 10 resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:
- Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
- Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
- Windows 10 forums on Windows Central
Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.
This article isn't bypassing smartfilter with the recommended change. This is true for all files that can potentially change the system being executed from the DOWNLOADS folder. The same filesystem security flag is set for everything in the downloads folder including CHM files and PowerShell scripts. You can also move the file to another directory which will clear the flag. Running executables or other system changing script from the downloads folder is a no no. You should rewrite this article to reflect that. Teach people how to be smarter users rather than teaching them how to bypass security measures to keep them safe.
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