How to Turn Off or Disable SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10

Jul.09, 2019 16:32. Posted by to Tutorials

I have no clue what SmartScreen is only after one of my downloads was deleted automatically by it when upgrading to Windows 10. SmartScreen Filter is a Microsoft security product that originally came with Internet Explorer but is also available as a tool in Microsoft Edge, the newly designed browser that comes with Windows 10, as part of the Windows Defender security program. The filter essentially blocks malicious or suspicious websites, and prevents users from accidentally downloading harmful content.


For websites, SmartScreen scans the sites you visit for any sort of suspicious activity, and issues an alert so you're aware that proceeding to that site is not safe. If it matches an entry in Microsoft's continually updated list of such sites, it will automatically block the site so you can't access it. For downloads, it does the same thing - blocking the download if it is deemed hazardous.


Windows SmartScreen


SmartScreen Pros and Cons

One important piece of information to have is that SmartScreen Filter is not an ad blocker. Those just block annoying advertisements, but do nothing to protect your system from harmful files or websites. This is more like an anti-virus program that acts as a watchdog when you're online or trying to download something that could cause problems to your system or your precious data.


The advantages of SmartScreen Filter are obvious. It keeps your computer safe from unwanted programs and harmful websites, it makes your computer safe for kids who might click on malicious websites without realizing it, and it generally keeps you safe when browsing the web. In addition, it can spot suspicious or harmful files that are often downloaded from phishing emails carrying innocent-looking attachments. Since users don't always follow best security practices all the time, it acts as a safeguard when your own guard is down.


Enable SmartScreen Filter


There are also some disadvantages to have SmartFilter turned on in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. The biggest issue is false positive detections. For example, if you know that a website is safe to visit but SmartScreen deems is unsafe, you'll have to skip past the alert that appears on your screen. Some users will find this a little daunting and not visit the site despite knowing that it is safe. In other cases, genuine files that are not malicious may be tagged as such for various reasons. The download is subsequently blocked, which means you can't directly download and access it. It's still possible to download such files, but it can be a little annoying when these alerts keep popping up.


 SmartScreen false detection


How to Disable SmartScreen Filter on Windows 10

SmartScreen filter is enabled in default but If you dislike this feature or it gives false detection from time to time, then it is advised to disable this feature temporarily or permanently. Actually, the program is optional, which means you can turn it off through your browser.


For Microsoft Edge: Go to Settings and More…, then go to Settings > Privacy & Security. You'll see the option to turn off SmartScreen under Security when you scroll down on the Privacy & Security page.


Turn off smartscreen Windows 10 Edge


For Internet Explorer 8 and higher: click on the button called Safety and then click on Turn Off SmartScreen Filter.


For older versions of IE : Go to Tools > Safety and then turn it off the same way.


Disable smartscreen filter


Closing Words

Although you have the freedom and the choice to turn off SmartScreen Filter, it is highly advised that you keep it turned on when browsing and in general. There are tons of malicious websites out there, and hackers are constantly evolving their strategy to be smarter and more authentic-looking, which means you need a special tool to tell you if a site is safe or not. You can always temporarily turn it off for a session if you intend to visit known websites that SmartScreen might deem as unsafe, but it's much better to have it on by default.



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