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How To Securely Disable The SmartScreen Filter

The SmartScreen filter that was Initially Introduced In Internet Explorer 8, Inclusive of Windows 8 and above, Is a built-In security feature that helps prevent an array of threats such as malicious files & apps, phishing websites and more. Whilst It serves It's purpose quite well In this respect, It also sends Information about your usage to Microsoft. As such, In this tutorial, I will show you how to securely disable the SmartScreen filter In Windows 10.

Before I begin, the SmartScreen filter operates on two levels- the operating system being Windows 10 (In this article) and the web browser, namely Internet Explorer & Microsoft Edge. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be referring to everything relative to the operating system.

Without question, for the security of your overall usability, It's good practice to leave the SmartScreen filter enabled as per It's default state, especially If you do not have a keen eye for detail In Identifying potential threats. That being said, It's also an Invasion of your computing usage- as It does send certain details to Microsoft's servers.

For Instance, It checks the files/applications you execute, apps that you get from the Microsoft store, and some computer Information Is also sent. The fact Is, you never know (and never will know) for sure, exactly what type of data Is collected & sent.

If you're concerned about the collection of data, do not use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. In terms of disabling the SmartScreen filter on an OS level, I will demonstrate how to do It using the Group Policy Editor. Do note that the GPE Is only available In Windows 10 Pro, Education and Enterprise editions. So without further delay, let's get this started.

Step One:
The first thing we need to do, Is access the Group Policy Editor. Open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.

Step Two:
The Group Policy Editor will now open, so navigate to the following directory.
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Then on the right pane, double-click Configure Windows SmartScreen.

Step Three:
To the left of the window, select the Enabled radio button and then via the drop-down menu, choose Turn off SmartScreen as shown below.

Step Four:
When your configuration looks like the Image below, simply hit OK to finalize the process.

Step Five:
Let's make sure the change has taken effect. I've navigated to the System and Maintenance setting In Control Panel, and shall click the Change Windows SmartScreen settings link.

Last Step:
As you can see, a message of This setting Is managed by your system administrator Is displayed, and every SmartScreen option Is grayed out. Essentially, It cannot be enabled by any user who happens to be sharing your PC.

Final Thoughts:
Although the SmartScreen filter helps keep the security of your computer Intact by blocking malicious requests and warning against potential threats, It's data collection Is certainly a cause for concern. As mentioned toward the start of this article, there's no way you can be absolutely sure of the nature of Information sent to Microsoft's servers. And the truth Is, you never will.

To reverse the change and have the SmartScreen filter operate as per It's original state, refer to Step Three above, select the Not Configured radio button and hit OK.


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