How to Disable SmartScreen Filter in Windows 8 and Later?

"SmartScreen" filter was introduced by Microsoft in Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) web browser. It was developed to provide better security to IE users. SmartScreen filter automatically checks websites and files for malicious content and warns you if it finds something suspicious. SmartScreen filter is also present in IE9 and IE10 versions.

Microsoft has implemented the same mechanism in its latest OS Windows 8. Windows 8 comes with SmartScreen filter enabled by default. If you try to run a downloaded program from Internet, it checks the file and if it finds an unrecognized app, it blocks the program and shows following message on screen:

Windows protected your PC

Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.


If you click on OK button, the program execution is terminated. If you are sure that the program is safe, you can click on "More info" link given in the message and it'll provide 2 buttons: "Run anyway" and "Don't run".


You can click on "Run anyway" button to launch the program.

Although its a good security feature in Windows 8 but many times you might find it a little annoying. SmartScreen filter shows the same warning message for almost all 3rd party programs which are downloaded from Internet.

If you have a good antivirus program and if you think the downloaded programs are safe, you can disable this SmartScreen feature in Windows 8 to remove these irritating warning messages.

Just follow these simple steps to turn off SmartScreen filter in Windows 8:

1. Open Control Panel and click on Action Center icon. Alternatively you can open it by typing Action Center at Start Screen and it'll show it in Settings section of search results page.

If you don't see Action Center icon, click on "Security and Maintenance" icon in Control Panel.

2. Now click on "Change Windows SmartScreen settings" link given in left sidebar.


3. It'll open SmartScreen settings window. Now you can select "Don't do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen)" option and click on OK button.


4. That's it. It'll immediately turn off SmartScreen feature and you'll no longer get the warning message in Windows 8.


You can also change SmartScreen filter settings using Registry Editor. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, you'll find a string SmartScreenEnabled. If the string doesn't exist, you'll need to create it manually. Now change its value to any of following:

  • RequireAdmin (To require approval from an administrator before running downloaded unknown software)
  • Prompt (To give user a warning before running downloaded unknown software)
  • Off (To turn off SmartScreen)


What do you think about this new SmartScreen filter present in Windows 8? Do you find it useful? Feel free to share your feedback in your comment...

Also Check:

[Fix] Can't Change SmartScreen Filter Settings in Windows 8 and Later

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • LOL. Who didn't know this.

  • @zydrius32 A lot of people probably did not know that. I'll bet there is a lot of things that you don't know also.

  • this sorta reminded me of the UAC back in vista and 7...

  • I've set up 4 Windows 8 computers over the past 2 weeks, and one of the first things I do is disable the "Smart Screen".

  • I prefer to disable it during installing - you get a page for this settings.

  • Well, I prefer it off myself, but it is a good feature for amateur users.

  • yes, your tutorial was very much useful .i liked it .thanks

  • I did everything but it still gave me a message

  • I cant see SmartScreen Settings in my control panel.

  • My employer requires me to use a file handler (provided on a disk). Every time I open a file through the file handler, Windows SmartScreen prevents an unrecognised app running. Yes I can accept the "app" (a .exe file) every time, but doing this a dozen times an hour gets excessive. Ideally I would like to tell SmartScreen once and for all that this particular .exe file is trusted and have SmartScreen remember this. However this doesn't seem to be possible - or if it is SmartScreen isn't making it easy. I'm not using an online site so I can't get round it by telling IE the site is safe.

    There are issues around turning off a security device. For me SmartScreen is absolutely useless because I've had to turn it off.

  • Thanks a lot for this helpful step by step tutorial related to Disabling SmartScreen Filter in Windows 8 . I tried it and it works very fine for me.

  • I hate SmartScreen.

  • Thank you this is great like like like in the step 3 is hard to comprend for me because i have 10 years old

  • The SmartScreen filter started suddenly blocking things it never has before. I managed to find the settings and used this to verify it is off, but it still blocks (I have not rebooted yet).

    Regardless, technology like this should not be intrusive and impeding. It should prompt by default instead of simply blocking. Microsoft is not a security company. It should leave that to the professionals and stick to what it does best: OS, Xbox, Office and patching of the OS and apps.

    Let us determine what we will use to secure our systems.

  • Thank you

  • None of this information works. Action Center doesn't exist in my Win 8 updated to 10.
    The run instructions also don't work as there is no SmartScreenEnabled in the HKey.

  • VG

    ^^ Click on "Security and Maintenance" icon instead.

  • I have a problem. I have tried to download mikumikudance and it said it was blocked by smartscreenfilter, so i turned it off. I tried downloading it again but it said the same thing. Please help its for a school project due very soon

  • VG

    ^^ Also try to disable similar option in IE settings. You can also try different browser. Also you may try to restart the system to take effects.

  • windows 10 man , i can't install Nox app , the 'run anyway' button not even there

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