Why is Windows Defender blocking ExplorerPatcher?

It causes security or performance issues, according to Microsoft

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windows defender blocking ExplorerPatcher

Modifications to Windows are getting trickier with each passing day, as Microsoft introduces more checks. The latest in the series is Windows Defender blocking ExplorerPatcher!

Upon closely monitoring the issue, it appears that Microsoft is blocking customization apps on the latest version of Windows 11. As a result, you will see an ExplorerPatcher block notification from Windows Defender. This has been going on since February’24, as is evident from the GitHub forum post.

Even StartAllBack users are reporting similar problems!

We reported earlier that ExplorerPatcher could no longer get the Windows 10 taskbar on the latest iteration. Soon, the developers dropped the functionality in the newly released version.

In recent days, we have seen several reports of the issue. For many users, Windows Defender identifies ExplorerPatcher as HackTool:Win64/ExplorerPatcher!MTB. A few were unable to update or install Windows 11 if ExplorerPatcher was installed on the PC because it caused security or performance issues.

Windows Setup throws an error when ExplorerPatcher is installed

Some reports suggest that changing the name of the ExplorerPatcher executable file (.exe) would allow you to run the application without Windows Defender blocking it. But that might trigger other issues.

So, whitelisting the app is a viable option for now!

How do I unblock ExplorerPatcher in Windows Defender?

  • Open Windows Security > go to Virus & threat protection > click on Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings > click Add or remove exclusions > choose Yes in the UAC prompt > click on Add an exclusion > choose File > go to the designated folder > select the ExplorerPatcher’s executable file > click Open.
Whitelisting an app in Windows Security

From now on, Windows Defender won’t block ExplorerPatcher, but you might still face issues while upgrading the OS if the app is installed.

The latest version of ExplorerPatcher reportedly fixes the issue, so you might consider installing it. But we can’t say with certainty that it won’t trigger problems in future Windows builds, the way ExplorerPatcher caused a transparent taskbar in KB5035853.

In my opinion, the best option is to switch to another reliable Windows customization software until the ExplorerPatcher developers figure out a fix!

What problems did you face with ExplorerPatcher? Share with us in the comments section.

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