How to bypass 'Windows protected your PC' message in Windows 10

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Microsoft has included various protective and security tools in Windows 10, and for the most part these are very welcome. But there are times when the operating system is a little over-zealous, and the protection becomes intrusive and restrictive. A good example is the SmartScreen filter which has been designed to safeguard your computer against potentially dangerous software downloaded from the internet.

You'll know when this kicks in as when you try to run or install a particular app, you'll see a message that reads "Windows protected your PC" and the operation is blocked. In some instances you'll be able to easily bypass the block, but this is not always the case. So what can you do? Here's how to get around SmartScreen.

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You could, of course, disable SmartScreen filtering of apps completely, but this is something of a drastic step -- this is a protective tool that is there to help keep you safe after all. While completely disabling SmartScreen is not a brilliant idea, you can do it if you really want to.

Use the following steps to disable SmartScreen:

  1. Click the Start button and open Settings
  2. Open Update and Security
  3. Move to the Windows Security section
  4. Click App & browser control
  5. Under the Reputation-based protection heading, click the Reputation-based -protection settings
  6. Disable the Check apps and files setting by moving the toggle to the Off position

A better option, however, is to leave SmartScreem enabled, but unblock individual apps you know can be trusted on an as-needed basis.

The steps to disable SmartScreen protection for an individual app you know to be safe are very simple:

  1. Right click on the executable in question and select Properties
  2. Move to the General tab
  3. Toward the bottom of the dialog, check the Unblock box in the Security section
  4. Click OK

That's all there is to it; you should now be able to run the app that was previously blocked.

Image credit: Kent Weakley / Shutterstock

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