Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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windows defender smartscreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting
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Windows Defender is a very good built-in security tool. However, it can occasionally be quite a bothersome experience due to frequent notifications and actions. Microsoft can say that’s for your own good, but that’s something a user needs to decide. Let’s take Windows Defender‘s SmartScreen which deals with third-party apps. Lots of users are not thrilled by frequent preventive blockage of apps in Windows 10.

We gave our best to explain why this is the case and how to disable SmartScreen on your own accord.

What to do when Windows Defender blocks unrecognized apps

What does this prompt means

Windows SmartScreen is part of Windows Defender which deals with unknown (uncertified) apps. If a third-party application is not certified or it’s known as a malicious piece of software, Windows will prevent it from installing or executing. If you’ve downloaded a third-party application from an untrusted source, chances are that it’ll get blocked.

This is the first line of defense against malicious software and we wouldn’t recommend disabling it. At least, if you’re not 100% sure that the applications you install are not a threat to your system. Or have an alternative way to locate possible threats.

Allowing the app to run and dismissing the prompt is a rather simple task. Just click “More” below the warning. Then click on the Run anyway and you’re good to go. After that, you should be able to run the application. Now, for some applications, this stands only for the installation part. If you want to avoid blocking during the usage, right-click on the shortcut and open Properties. Under the General tab, at the bottom, check the “Unblock” box.

How to disable SmartScreen

On the other hand, if you’re tired of SmartScreen’s methods or have a third-party tool which deals with this kind of threats, you can disable it for good. Since the introduction of Windows Security Center, you can disable this feature with ease. We made sure to provide you with the required steps below.

  1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area.
  2. Select App & browser defender smartscreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting
  3. Under the “Check apps and files” section, select defender smartscreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting

After that, you shouldn’t see SmartScreen prompts anymore. Make sure to tell us whether this was a helpful read in the comments section below.


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