The SmartScreen filter is a technology which was initially designed for Internet Explorer to protect users from malicious websites and web applications. It was integrated with IE8 and IE9 (as the successor to IE7's Phishing filter). Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft implemented Internet Explorer's SmartScreen feature directly into the operating system so files are screened for being potentially harmful.
If enabled, the Windows SmartScreen filter sends information about every application you download and run to Microsoft’s servers, where that information will be analyzed and compared with their malicious apps database. If Windows get a negative feedback about the app from the server, it will prevent you from running the app. Over time, the reputation of apps builds up in their database. However, there is an annoyance: if the SmartScreen filter does not find any info for an app you just downloaded - it will prevent you from running the apps, annoying you with messages like "Windows protected your PC by preventing this potentially malicious app from running" and so on. These messages besides the fact that Microsoft will know everything about what you run and install, make the SmartScreen filter less desirable for many users. Let's see how to disable SmartScreen in Windows 10.
Note: for files downloaded with Edge in Windows 10, you need to disable Smart Screen explicitly in the browser as described here:
You need to do the following.
- Open the Control Panel. See all ways to open Control Panel in Windows 10.
- Navigate to Control Panel\System and Security\Action Center. In the left pane, you will see the "Change Windows SmartScreen settings" link. Click it.
- The following window will appear on the screen:
- Set the option "Don't do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen)" as shown in red above and click OK.
That's it. Windows SmartScreen is turned off now.
You can also turn off messages about Windows SmartScreen if you prefer to forget completely about its existence.