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How to Enable or Disable Windows 10 SmartScreen Feature

SmartScreen is a feature that takes care of your computer – While browsing or downloading through the web, many unauthorized apps or files get downloaded automatically or mistakenly. But, in Windows 10 this cannot happen, Windows SmartScreen is there to prevent these unrecognized or unsafe files from downloading automatically. It will display a warning message when this kind of any app or file is downloading on your Windows 10 PC, even when you’re installing it. Certainly, you want this feature to work on your computer. The function can be activated or deactivated, and users can use it as they want. Here is how to enable or disable Windows 10 SmartScreen Feature.

How to turn on or off Windows SmartScreen feature in Windows 10

In Windows, a file or settings can be accessed in various ways. In the same way, you can open Windows SmartScreen settings from different methods. Some simple methods are given here.

From Control Panel:

In the updated version of Windows 10, Microsoft shifted the SmartScreen settings to a new place. If you haven’t updated your Windows, then this method will work on your computer.

Note: If you’re using Windows 10 Creator update or newer, use the next method.

1.    Locate the Control Panel. You can directly open it, by using the shortcut keys “Windows + X” and then press “P” button.

2.    Open ‘System and Security’ from the control panel.

3.    Then click ‘Security and Maintenance’ at the top.

4.    Now, open ‘Change Windows SmartScreen settings’ from the left side options. A small window will open on the screen.

5.    Click an option you want for Windows SmartScreen. Select “Don’t do anything” to turn it off. Or “Warn before running an unrecognized app” to activate SmartScreen feature.

6.    Then click ‘OK.’

Now, Windows SmartScreen will work as the settings you’ve chosen for it. If you’ve activated it, it will warn when you install an unrecognized app on your PC or vice versa.

From Windows Defender Security Center:

From the Window 10 Creator update, Microsoft has moved the Windows SmartScreen to the Windows Defender Security Center. And now it is a part of it. If your PC is running or Creator update or newer, then you can access SmartScreen features settings from there.

1.    Click the ‘Shield’ icon in the taskbar near speaker icon to open ‘Windows Defender Security Center.’

2.    When it opens, click the ‘App & browser control’ option. You will see SmartScreen settings on the screen.

3.    Now, click to select an option for “Check apps and files.”

You can also use SmartScreen with Microsoft Edge, select ‘Warn’ for Microsoft Edge to get a warning before downloading an unauthorized file or program from the internet.

From the Group Policy Editor:

The procedure is a little confusing, but from Group Policy, you can easily enable or disable the Windows 10 SmartScreen feature. Here is how.

1.    Open the ‘Run’ windows.

2.    Enter ‘gpedit.msc’ in the field next to ‘Open:’.

3.    Click ‘OK.’ This will open the Local Group Policy Editor window.

4.    From the left navigation panel, navigate to ‘File Explorer.’ To do so, click ‘Computer Configuration’ > open ‘Administrative Templates’ > then ‘Windows Components’ > and click ‘File Explorer’.

5.    Now, find the ‘Configure Windows SmartScreen’ in the right pane and click twice on it. Its window will open, now you can enable or disable it from easily from there.

6.    Click ‘Enabled’ or ‘Disabled’ according to your choice.

7.    Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’ to save changes.
John Villano is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at

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