What is SmartScreen?
SmartScreen is a security feature built into Windows 10, specifically the Windows Defender tool.
Each time an application is ran Windows 10 will check if it is a “good” application against their catalog of applications.
It’s a good security measure and is particular helpful at stopping malware spreading through email attachments – where some users do not understand the difference between a legitimate document and an application.
Why has SmartScreen prevented my application?
Either it’s a known bad or unknown application.
Sometimes SmartScreen will prevent applications you know are not bad – for example, it’s a CMD or VBS script you wrote, or a program from a trusted source.
How do I run an application SmartScreen has prevented?
If you’re absolutely sure you can trust the application you can run it by clicking on the ‘More info’ link and then click the ‘Run anyway’ button.
How do I completely disable Window Defender SmartScreen?
This is NOT recommended.
- In the taskbar, search for “Windows Defender” and click on it when it appears in the search results
- In the left hand menu, click on the ‘App & browser control’ icon
- Under ‘Check apps and files’ select ‘Off’
- Click ‘OK’ when prompted to apply the changes.
What are the privacy implications?
Much like anything in the Windows 10 environment – privacy is … secretive which means it’s lacking.
Microsoft have said that they are not keeping personally identifiable information such as your IP address – but they do collect it when communicating with their online system.
Personally, I think the benefits of SmartScreen out way the privacy implications – and even if you were to disable it, Windows 10 is like a leaking sieve when it comes to privacy. If privacy were a concern I would consider an alternative operating system.