Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now

Most cyber-attacks involve downloading an infected software on the system. The malware is disguised as a genuine application, and thus many internet users are deceived into downloading them. Microsoft is aware of this. Microsoft introduced a feature called Windows SmartScreen to prevent such attacks.

The Windows SmartScreen filter offers protection to Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer users from internet based attacks by blocking malicious websites, phishing attacks, socially engineered malware, Drive-by-download attacks as well as web-based attacks that exploit software vulnerabilities, and displays warnings for Malvertising and Tech Support scam sites.

Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now

Windows SmartScreen may block any app or link that it finds suspicious. But at time you may receive a message, Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now. If you see this messages, here is what you can do.

Windows SmartScreen can't be reached right now

If you trust the website or the app, click on the Run anyway button to proceed. If in doubt, click on Don’t run. If you need to troubleshoot this, follow these suggestions.

1] Check Internet connection

Most important – ensure that your Internet or WiFi connection is working fine, for SmartScreen requires your computer to be connected to the Internet to work. If it is not connected, it will display this message.

A rare occurrence could be that Microsoft servers itself are down as a result of which you see this message. In this case, you should try after some time.

2] Check SmartScreen settings

On Windows 10 v1703, open Windows Defender Security Center > App and browser control. Here check that the SmartScreen settings are set to their defaults:

  • Check apps and files – Warn
  • SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge – Warn
  • SmartScreen for Windows Store apps – Warn.

Windows SmartScreen cant be reached right now

If you are using earlier versions of Windows, you can configure SmartScreen filter settings by typing the following in the Run box and hitting Enter:

C:\Windows\System32\SmartScreenSettings.exe

3] Ensure that Windows Smart Screen is enabled

This post on how to Turn Off or On SmartScreen Filter will show you how to enable SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer. If your SmartScreen Filter is turned off then the post will also show you how to enable SmartScreen Filter using Group Policy or Registry.

If you use Microsoft Edge, click open its Advanced settings and ensure that Windows Defender SmartScreen is turned On.

4] Scan Windows for virus

It could be that the Smart Screen filter has been disabled by malware. You should, therefore, scan your computer with Windows Defender or your installed antivirus software.

Though these steps should be helpful in most cases, in case they don’t fix the issue, I suggest you wait and try the next day again.

You might want to read these SmartScreen posts too:

  1. SmartScreen filter cannot check this website
  2. How to bypass SmartScreen filter
  3. Prevent bypassing of SmartScreen filter warnings.
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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.