How to Turn Off SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10

If you’re an experienced power user, you should already know what’s safe and what isn’t when it comes to downloading and installing apps.

SmartScreen is a security feature that was introduced in Internet Explorer 8 to help protect against malicious websites. Windows 8.1 was introduced to the desktop level and warned you before running unrecognized apps from the Internet that could potentially be unsafe. This security layer is built into Windows 10, too.

If you’re an experienced power user, you should already know what’s safe and what isn’t when downloading and installing apps. So, you don’t need the annoyance of the SmartScreen filter constantly popping up when you’re about to install something.

Important Note: If you’re new to Windows 10 or a novice user, I recommend not turning off SmartScreen. It does help protect you from installing malicious software. Also, Microsoft has improved the SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10 to integrate with Microsoft Edge and IE 11 to help keep you safe from malicious websites.

Microsoft Smartscreen filter

Disable SmartScreen in Windows 10

The shot below I received the other day when I was about to install VirtualBox. When it appears, it’s just a matter of clicking the “I agree…” box and the “Run anyway” button. However, when I’m trying to be productive and set up a new PC, it slows down progress and is plain annoying.

1 VirtualBox Blocked by SmartScreen

The neat thing is you can turn it off. To do that, bring up the hidden power user menu and open Control Panel, and select Security and Maintenance. Or, you can click Start and type: security and maintenance and select the result from the top.

security and maintenance Start

Now click Change Windows SmartScreen settings.

2 Control Panel Settings

Now you have three options, keep it on with admin approval to allow running the app (the default), warn about unrecognized apps but not require admin approval, or turn it off completely.

3 Turn Off

When you turn it off right away, a notification will pop up telling you how unsafe you’re being.

bugging screen

But, if you don’t want to be nagged about the fact you turned SmartScreen off, click Turn off messages about Windows SmartScreen under the Security section.

Turn off Messages

Disable SmartScreen Filter for IE or Microsoft Edge

I find SmartScreen most annoying when installing desktop programs, and not so much with the browser. If you’re an IE or Edge user, it’s probably best to leave it on. Even the most seasoned techie can accidentally click a malicious link or ad. But you can turn it off if you want. In IE 11 click Settings (gear icon) > Safety > Turn on SmartScreen Filter.

IE Settings

Then select the option to turn it off and click OK.

turn off in IE

Microsoft Edge makes turning it off a bit easier. Open Edge and go to Settings > View Advanced Settings. Then scroll down to the bottom under Privacy and Services and turn off Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter.


If you have a problem downloading a valid file, one of the troubleshooting steps we cover is turning SmartScreen Filter off. You can learn more about download issues in our guide: How to Manage and Troubleshoot Downloads in Windows 10.


Remember, if you’re not bothered by the SmartScreen messages and want to keep every security advantage you can in Windows 10, leave it on. If you have kids, parents, or grandparents running Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 – leave it on for the desktop and definitely in IE 11.

For those of you who know what you’re doing, it’s nice to stop SmartScreen from popping up when you install software that you know is safe. Especially Open Source programs and other utilities. You can always turn it back on again if you think you’ll need it.



  1. Taylor Devin

    April 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for the information. Windows smartscreen just appears from nowhere reminding you about updates and restricts you from doing any other options but to click the “Update.”

  2. Brandy

    May 27, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Is it okay to run windows smart screen and mcafee live safe at the same time?

  3. Aakash

    August 30, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I cant find the windows smart screen option in the control panel in windows 10 of Micromax alpha

  4. gary tiedeman

    March 6, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    none of these work smartscreen still running in taskmanager and I’ve don’t the regedit as well it still runs. changed value to “0”

  5. guest

    March 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Windows 10 is the world’s biggest trojan, and this is one of many examples:

    By default, Smartscreen reports every application that you launch — even Microsoft apps that shipped with the OS. (You can see this with Malwarebytes Firewall.) On my copy of Windows, you cannot limit this monitoring to installers or the first run for new applications — and Windows does not ask permission before it reports your activities. The absence of transparency and control on this platform demonstrates that the primary purpose is surveillance, not security.

    Yes it certainly would be “neat” if you could turn SmartSurveillance off. But on my copy of Windows, that is not possible because “Change Windows Smartscreen settings” does not appear as shown in the illustration. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg where unauthorized telemetry is concerned. I am sick of this battle with Microsoft to regain control of my computer: time to switch to Ubuntu.

    • another guest

      June 3, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Surveillance disguised as Security ~Agreed!
      Using Firefox this morning, just browsing and watching youtube videos. Smartscreen.exe connects:
      x2 to Microsoft
      x4 to Microsoft
      x2 to

      I had discord running in the background. I’m not keen on “sniffscreen” sniffing around in my business!

      Created 3rd party firewall rules to block future connection attempts. <Might even do it in HOST file too.

  6. Jojo

    March 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Smartscreen settings are now in Windows defender

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