Allow or Deny App Access to Downloads Folder in Windows 10

How to Allow or Deny App Access to Downloads Folder in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 build 17063, the OS has got a number of new options under Privacy. These include the ability to control usage permissions for your Library/data foldersmicrophonecalendaruser account infofile systemlocationcontactscall historyemail, and messaging. Windows 10 version 1903 'May 2019 Update' features 'Voice Activation', and Windows 10 build 19536 adds 'Downloads folder' access restriction options for installed apps.

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The new privacy page 'Downloads Folder' controls if apps can access files you store in the Downloads folder, which is usually located at C:\Users\<your username>\Downloads. The option comes with a global administrative option that can be used to turn off the Downloads folder access to all apps at once. When it is enabled, the user can customized access options for individual apps installed from the Microsoft Store. Certain apps can be blocked from reading the downloaded files, while other can be allowed to access them.

Today, we will see how to customize these permissions. We will start with the global administrative option that affects all users.

To Allow or Deny App Access to Downloads Folder in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Privacy - Downloads Folder.
  3. On the right, click on the button Change.Windows 10 App Access To Downloads Folder For All Users
  4. In the next dialog, turn off the toggle option under Downloads folder access for this device. Windows 10 Allow Deny App Access To Downloads Folder For All UsersThis will deny app access to Downloads Folder for all users.
  5. Enabling the option will allow customizing access options for individual apps.

You are done. If you disable this option, Windows 10 Store apps won't be able to read your downloaded files any more. None of your installed Microsoft Store apps will be able to process its data.

Also, you can change this option with a Registry tweak.

Allow or Deny App Access to Downloads Folder For All Users in Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CapabilityAccessManager\ConsentStore\downloadsFolder

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
  3. On the right, modify or create a new string (REG_SZ) value simply named Value.
  4. Set it value data to Deny to deny app access to the Downloads folder.
  5. A value data of Allow unblocks Store app access to that folder.
  6. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to restart Windows 10.

To save your time, you can download and use the following Registry files:

Download Registry Files

When the administrative option is enabled, users can customize the app access to that folder for individual apps.

Allow or Deny App Access to Downloads Folder Per User

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Privacy - Downloads Folder.
  3. On the right, turn on or off the option Allow apps to access your downloads folder.Windows 10 Allow Deny App Access To Downloads Folder For Current User
  4. You are done.

This option applies to the current user account only. It allows or denies access to the Downloads folder for apps installed from the Microsoft Store. When access is denied, all Store apps are prohibited from reading the downloaded files.

Note: The toggle option can be changed with a Registry tweak by modifying the string (REG_SZ) value named Value under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CapabilityAccessManager\ConsentStore\downloadsFolder
. Set its value data to one of the following values

  • Allow  - allow customizing Store app access to the Downloads folder.
  • Deny - deny Downloads folder access to all apps.

You can download the ready-to-use Registry files here:

Download Registry Files

Finally, you can allow or deny access to the Downloads folder for individual Store apps. The option Allow apps to access your downloads folder mentioned above must be Enabled.

Allow or Deny Access to Downloads Folder Per Store App

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Privacy - Downloads Folder.
  3. On the right side, check out the app list under Choose which apps can access your downloads folder.Windows 10 Allow Deny App Access To Downloads Folder Per App
  4. Every listed app has its own toggle option which you can enable or disable.

The options are stored in the Registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CapabilityAccessManager\ConsentStore\downloadsFolder. Each app is represented as a subkey.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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