How to fix "This app has been blocked for your protection" on Windows 10 PC

How do I run an app that Windows 10 has blocked for my protection?

Yes, it is a good thing that Windows 10 has security features like SmartScreen built in, but sometimes they get in the way. You really want to install this app — you know there's nothing wrong with it — but you're locked out.

SmartScreen acts as a sort of guard dog while you use Windows 10. It will block you from opening some apps if they come from an unknown place or are created by an unknown publisher. Disabling SmartScreen is a good first attempt at running a blocked app as it's a very simple process and will usually get you around the blockade. If you still can't open the app, you'll want to move on to working with admin accounts.

While these steps will get you around the Windows 10 block, you should use them with care. Some apps really are harmful and really will get you in a mess. Only go around the Windows 10 app block if you know for sure that the file is safe. Here's how to get around apps blocked for your protection.

How to disable Windows SmartScreen

This is a good place to start because it doesn't require much time and is relatively easy to do.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type smartscreen in the Windows search bar.
  3. Click Change SmartScreen settings.

    Type smartscreen in the Windows search bar. Click Change SmartScreen settings.

  4. Click the drop-down arrow in the Security row.
  5. Click Change settings beneath the Windows SmartScreen row.

    Click the drop-down arrow in the Security row. Click Change Settings beneath the Windows SmartScreen row.

  6. Click Don't do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen).
  7. Click OK.

    Click Don't do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen). Click OK.

Try to run the app that was previously blocked. If it still won't run, enable the hidden Windows 10 administrator account and run the app within.

How to re-enable the Windows SmartScreen

When your app is installed, it's a good idea to re-enable Windows SmartScreen to protect against malicious software.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type smartscreen in the Windows search bar.
  3. Click Change SmartScreen settings.

    Type smartscreen in the Windows search bar. Click Change SmartScreen settings.

  4. Click the drop-down arrow in the Security row.
  5. Click Change settings beneath the Windows SmartScreen row.

    Click the drop-down arrow in the Security row. Click Change Settings beneath the Windows SmartScreen row.

  6. Click Get administrator approval before running an unrecognized app from the Internet.
  7. Click OK.

    Click Get administrator approval before running... Click OK.

How to enable the hidden administrator account and install your app

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Type net user administrator /active:yes and hit Enter on your keyboard. The line "The command completed successfully" should appear.

    Click Command Prompt (Admin). Type "net user administrator /active:yes" and hit Enter on your keyboard.

  4. Right-click the Start button.
  5. Hover over Shut down or sign out and click Sign out.

    Right-click the Start button. Hover over Shut down or sign out and click Sign out.

  6. Sign in to the Administrator account. It is located at the bottom left of the login screen.
  7. Run the app that was previously blocked.

The app should now be installed and ready to use on your regular account.

How to disable the hidden administrator account

  1. Right-click the Start button within your regular account (i.e. not the administrator account).
  2. Click Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Type net user administrator /active:no and hit Enter on your keyboard. The line "The command completed successfully" should appear.

    Click Command Prompt (Admin). Type net user administrator /active:no and hit Enter.

What's your experience?

Have you been blocked from running certain apps in Windows 10? Let us know in the comments section below if you used a different method for getting around this security measure.