How to disable the ‘Windows protected your PC’ error in Windows 10

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Home » How To » How to disable the ‘Windows protected your PC’ error in Windows 10

Microsoft tries to develop and offer dedicated features and processes in order to secure the Windows 10 system. And the built-in Windows Defender SmartScreen security software is there to protect your data and your credentials each time a new app or program is installed.

While this default security solution ensures relatively complex protection, in some situations its functionality can become quite annoying.

In that respect, we can now discuss the Windows Defender SmartScreen security warning messages which are displayed quite a lot, even when it’s not really necessary.

For example, when you try to install or run a new app and you receive the “Windows protected your PC” and “prevented an unrecognized app from starting” warnings.

If you know that this particular app is safe and will do no harm to the Windows 10 system there is no actual reason for receive those warnings which aren’t letting you with too many options; in fact, you can apparently choose only the ‘don’t run’ option.

Anyway, during the lines from below, we will learn how to disable the Windows Defender SmartScreen security software. But first, let’s see how to get past the “Windows protected your PC” and “prevented an unrecognized app from starting” warning.

What do I need to do when the “Windows protected your PC” prompt pops in Windows 10

  1. Allow app when “Windows protected your PC” message appears
  2. Scan for malware
  3. Disable the Windows Defender SmartScreen security software

1. Allow app when “Windows protected your PC” message appears

The first step would be to allow an app to freely work in the background without Defender preventing it. This is a rather simple task and here’s what you need to do:

  1. When you receive the warning message, don’t click on the ‘Don’t run’ option.
  2. Instead, click on the More info link, displayed beneath the warning message.
  3. Now, a new prompt will be displayed.
  4. If you are sure that the app that tries to access your system can be trusted, click on Run anyway.
  5. Keep in mind that if admin privileges are required, the app will still not run on your computer.

2. Check the Security at a glance

The second step is to check all the boxes (if possible) in the Windows Defender’s “At a glance” section. Sometimes, due to a bug, Windows Defender will show a variety of incoherent prompts from time to time. The best way to deal with it is by simply checking all the boxes or dismissing the ones you can’t follow through with. An example would be my disliking of the OneDrive. Just dismissed the suggestion and it doesn’t pop anymore.

3. Disable the Windows Defender SmartScreen security software

  1. Click on the Windows Search icon – is the Cortana button, the one located near the Windows start icon.
  2. In the search box type Windows Defender Security Center and then click on the result with the same name.
  3. The Windows Defender Security Center interface will be now displayed.
  4. From there go to the App & browser control field, located in the left sidebar.
  5. Scroll down and find Check apps and files.
  6. Turn off this feature.Windows protected your PC
  7. You can confirm these changes only if you are the Windows 10 admin.

So, that should be all. Now the Windows Defender SmartScreen security software is disabled so you will no longer receive the “Windows protected your PC” and “prevented an unrecognized app from starting” warnings.

Don’t forget to install an antivirus or antimalware program instead as otherwise, you will risk in experiencing a malware attack. If you have further questions don’t hesitate and contact us by using the contact form from below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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