Microsoft's newest operating system Windows 8 ships with the Windows SmartScreen feature enabled by default. SmartScreen is a background tool that monitors the execution of applications on the system to block the execution of the application until it has been rated by Microsoft. SmartScreen collects information about the program, including the program's file name, hash code and digital signature if available, and submits the information to a Microsoft server on the Internet (https://apprep.smartscreen.microsoft.com).
The server responds with a rating for the application that either triggers Windows SmartScreen if it is not known, or lets you continue with the program installation if the application is considered safe.
The SmartScreen message that appears, Windows protected your PC, makes it rather difficult for users to understand how they can proceed with the execution of the program. The OK button is highlighted here, but ok simply stops the execution of the program. It is necessary to click on the more info link underneath the description to bypass the SmartScreen Windows protected your PC message.
If you are an experienced user, you may not like the SmartScreen protection at all as it slows you down and may not provide additional security at all, especially if you are running up to date antivirus software on your system.
There are two options to turn off Windows SmartScreen in Windows 8. I already described one of the options in the article that mentioned that SmartScreen was reporting back to Microsoft. This option is however only available if you select a custom installation. If Windows 8 is already installed, it won't do you any good.
To turn the SmartScreen feature off on the start screen of Windows 8 do the following:
The following three options are available:
The third option turns off the feature completely so that you do not see the Windows protected your PC messages anymore when you run unrecognized applications on your operating system.
There is a faster way to go to the setting. Press Windows-W to open the Settings search app on the start screen. Enter smartscreen here and select the only option that pops ups (Change SmartScreen settings). This opens the Action Center control panel applet from where you can select to change SmartScreen options on the left.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.