How to bypass SmartScreen filter and download files in IE or Edge

At, times, when you try to download a file from the Internet, your Internet Explorer or Edge browser, may stop it from being downloaded. This is the SmartScreen Filter in action, trying to protect you. SmartScreen offers protection from phishing attacks, socially engineered malware, and drive-by-download attacks too.

If you do not wish to use this feature or if you find that your SmartScreen feature is disabled, then this post will show you how to enable or disable SmartScreen Filter. It is a great feature to keep your computer protected and secure, and it is best always to keep it turned on.

Read: Windows SmartScreen filter, Download Reputation, XSS Security features.

Quickly bypass SmartScreen filter

bypass SmartScreen filter IE

But at times, when you go on to download a file from the Internet using Internet Explorer, the SmartScreen filter will stop you from downloading or opening it. Now if you are very sure that file and the source from where you are downloading it is safe, you may want to bypass the SmartScreen filter quickly, without having to go through the detailed process to turn off or disable the SmartScreen.

Normally when you click on a link to download a file, you are asked – Do you want to save file from website – Open | Save | Cancel. You would normally click on Save to save the download to your Downloads folder.

But at times when you click Save to download it, you may see a message – File is unsafe to download and was blocked by SmartScreen Filter.

Read: SmartScreen filter warning messages explained.

Now as I mentioned, if you are very sure that file and the source from where you are downloading it is safe, you can quickly bypass the SmartScreen filter as follows:

Click on the View downloads button to open the View Downloads window. Here clicking on Options will only let you change the download directory, so it is of not any use to us now.

What you should do is right-click the blocked download. This will open up a context menu that will offer you several options.

Select the one that says Download unsafe file. The download will start. If you wish, you can also report that this file is safe.

The procedure is the same for Edge browser.

bypass SmartScreen filter edge

Hope this small tip makes life easier.

If as an administrator, you do not want this happening, you can prevent bypassing of SmartScreen filter warnings.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, 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.


  1. Turner

    Didn’t work. Once I did that it started downloading and then get an error saying “SmartScreen Filter reported (file name) as unsafe”. How do we get around this now?

  2. See the image. Click on the ‘Download unsafe file’ link. But be sure that the website where you are downloading from is a trustworthy website.

  3. Rabbid Bunnies

    Thank you! I joined this site just to say that! — I knew my download was safe, I just had to convince my computer of it!

  4. Luke Pring

    Thx! It worked

  5. MIKLO

    Once again trying
    to protect us from ourselves, after a file is downloaded there are many
    things that can be used to prove or disprove if the file is safe. Virus Total
    is a good site to check any file online, although it has a limit on file size. It’s
    your computer make sure you are confident as to whether the file is clean or
    may contain malware, when and if a file has a virus, Trojan, worm or any other
    unwanted things this is the time to take action if it is allowed to go further
    into your system it can reek havoc on your system or pass it along to many
    other unwitting subjects. USE EXTREME CAUTION it’s your responsibility, and bad
    things do sneak into computers unfortunately. Have fun & enjoy. 🙂

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