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How To Disable Windows 8 SmartScreen

Windows 8 includes a security feature called SmartScreen. It warns you before running unrecognized apps and files from the Internet. If you’re an experienced power user, you know what you’re installing, and don’t need the annoyance.

Note: If you’re new to Windows 8 or an inexperienced user, I recommend leaving SmartScreen on. It does help protect you from installing malicious software, and it just might stop you from installing a shady toolbar, wallpaper, or file sharing program you thought was safe.

Windows 8 SmartScreen

Here’s an example of what you’ll see from the SmartScreen when trying to install an unrecognized app. I got this when installing the Open Source Start menu replacement for Windows 8 – Classic Shell.

Since it’s a safe program, click Run Anyway. Then you’ll be able to work your way through the install wizard like normal.

SmartScreen Prevents Classic Shell

What I find funny about this example is Classic Shell, among other Windows 8 settings, allows you to disable SmartScreen. But I digress…on to how to turn it off in Windows.

Disable SmartScreen Classic Shell

Turn Off Windows 8 SmartScreen

Use the keyboard shortcut WinKey + W to display the Settings search field and type: smart.

Settings Search

Then select Change SmartScreen Settings under the search results.

Change Smartscreen Settings

The Action Center screen comes up on the desktop. Click Change Windows SmartScreen Settings link in the left pane.

Action Center

Now select “Don’t Do Anything (Turn Off Windows SmartScreen)” and click OK.

SmartScreen Seting

After turning it off, a balloon message will pop up in the Notification area of the Taskbar. Just click to close it.

SmartScreen Balloon Notify

Also, you’ll see a warning message under Security in Action Center. Since you know what you’re doing, click the link to turn off messages about SmartScreen.

Turn of Message

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