Do not get confused with the name SmartScreen, it is nothing to do with your screen. SmartScreen filter is a security feature in Windows 10 to protect your computer from malicious websites and downloaded files. It comes with Microsoft Edge browser and is also part of Windows Defender security. You can use this feature to increase the protection when browsing through internet and downloading apps.
What SmartScreen Can Do for You?
If you are using Google Chrome, there are multiple ways to protect your computer with Chrome. Similarly, SmartScreen can protect you from the following situations when using with Edge browser:
- Dynamically check the websites you visit and warn if the site is potentially dangerous and can affect your computer. You can either proceed or close the page to be safe.
- Block the site, if it finds the site you visit is in the public list of phishing sites.
- Protect your computer from downloading malicious files from the internet.
- You can report a malicious site to Microsoft for adding into the blocklist.
In addition, you can block dangerous apps and verify the downloaded files for reputation by using SmartScreen options from Windows Security settings page.
How to Enable or Disable SmartScreen?
By default, the latest version of Microsoft Edge browser comes with SmartScreen option enabled. However, it can frequently stop you downloading legitimate files from internet. Though you have option for SmartScreen warning each time to proceed further, it is also possible to disable SmartScreen for Edge in Windows. You can disable it either from Edge or from Windows Security settings page.
Disable SmartScreen from Edge
- Launch Microsoft Edge browser and click on the three dots button on top right corner showing “Settings and more”. You can also press “Alt + F” shortcuts to open the menu.
- Click on the “Settings” menu from the options.
- This will take you to the browser’s settings page and click on “Privacy, search, and services” section.
- Scroll down on the right pane and check under “Security” section.
- Disable “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” option.
Disable SmartScreen from Windows Security
SmartScreen offers multiple other features in addition to protecting activities from Edge. For example, you can protect the content used by Microsoft Apps installed on your computer.
- Press “Win + I” shortcut keys to open Windows Settings page and go to “Update & Security” option.
- Go to “Windows Security” and navigate to “App & browser control” section.
- Click on the “Reputation-based protection settings” link under “Reputation-based protection” section.
- Here, you can disable “SmartScreen for Edge” option. Remember, you have to enable SmartScreen for Edge in order to use “Potentially unwanted apps blocking” option.
- However, you can continue to use other options “Check apps and files” and “SmartScreen for Microsoft Store apps”.
You can enable or disable SmartScreen any time when you need. Windows Defender will show a warning when you disable SmartScreen filters.
Therefore, we recommend you to enable this especially when you are using Edge as a primary browser. Note that reputation based protection is a new feature in Windows and you will not find this on older versions. In that case, you can find the SmartScreen options under “App & browser control” section.
SmartScreen Can’t Be Reached
Sometimes SmartScreen will not work and you will see a message that “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now”. This happens generally when you changed the default browser from Edge to another browser in your computer.
If you really want to use SmartScreen then close the warning message and go to Edge settings.
- Click “Default browser” option on the right sidebar. Alternatively, you can directly open the shortcut URL edge://settings/defaultBrowser in Edge browser.
- Under “Default browser” section, click on “Make default” button to make Edge as your default browser.
Now the SmartScreen will start working properly when you open downloaded files. If Edge is your default browser, then check the problems in Windows Defender and fix them for the SmartScreen settings to work.
SmartScreen is a useful feature in Windows 10 to protect you from malicious downloads automatically. However, it can stop you sometime when downloading files and installing apps. You can enable or disable SmartScreen for Edge as explained above.