How To Bypass SmartScreen Filter (Windows Protected Your PC) In Windows 8

SmartScreen Filter is a security module that is integrated into several Microsoft products such as Internet Explorer or Windows Live Messenger. It basically warns users if they are about to open a potentially dangerous website or file. A warning is displayed and it is up to the user to continue or stop at this point. The filter has been criticized in the past for being too obtrusive and annoying, criticism that it shares with the User Account Control feature.

A new version of SmartScreen Filter has been integrated into the Windows 8 Developer Preview. It is not clear yet if the feature will make it into the final version of Windows 8 in this form, or at all, but it is likely that it does. Whenever you execute a file that you have downloaded from the Internet, it is first checked by SmartScreen Filter against a database. Files that cannot be identified are blocked automatically, and a warning is displayed instead.

windows protected your pc

Windows protected your PC

Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized program from starting. Running this program might put your PC at risk.

The only two options on the screen are the highlighted OK button, and a more info link that is nearly as distinguishable from the background. A click on OK closes the message and blocks the executable from being started. If you want to start the program, you need to click on More Info. This changes the Windows protected your PC screen slightly.

windows smartscreen

Microsoft displays publisher and program information, and a run anyway button. The program will be executed on your system if you click on that button.



This feature has the potential to cost you some time and a lot of nerves. If you are running an up to date antivirus software, you probably have no need for SmartScreen Filter's additional protection.

Read also:  Change Network Adapter Priorities in Windows 10

Disabling SmartScreen Filter In Windows 8

You can disable SmartScreen Filter in the Windows Control Panel. Use Windows-Pause to bring it up, and click on Control Panel in the address bar afterwards. Select System and Security and then Action Center afterwards.

change smartscreen settings

Select Change SmartScreen Settings on the left. This opens the following menu where you can turn Windows SmartScreen off.

windows smartscreen

The following options are available:

  • Require approval from an administrator before running unrecognized programs from the Internet (recommended)
  • Give a warning before running unrecognized programs from the Internet, but don't require administrator approval
  • Turn off Windows SmartScreen

Windows SmartScreen could be Windows 8's User Account Control. A feature that aims to make the system more secure and annoys the hell out of users at the same time. (thanks Caschy for the tip)

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Responses to How To Bypass SmartScreen Filter (Windows Protected Your PC) In Windows 8

  1. Roman ShaRP February 10, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    BTW, DevPreview users could completely disable SmartScreen when customizing setup options. I did it that way, because MS security solutions were never good for me.

    And one more BTW: user disabling pesky UAC can lose ability to run Metro applications. Disabling SmartScreen in setup process doesn't lead to such complications.

  2. Morely the IT Guy February 10, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Of course, the simple way is to install Google Chrome.

    • Martin Brinkmann February 10, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      You mean to double-up on the checks? First Chrome that checks your executable files, then Windows 8?

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