At, times, when you try to download a file from the Internet, your Internet Explorer or Ege Legacy 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.
TIP: This post will show you how to prevent users from bypassing SmartScreen warning in Microsoft Edge Chromium.
Bypass SmartScreen filter
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 the 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.
Read: Windows SmartScreen filter, Download Reputation, XSS Security features.
Using Group Policy Editor
If your organization would like to stop or prevent bypassing of SmartScreen filter warnings in Microsoft Edge Legacy or Internet Explorer browser on Windows 10, you can do so using the Group Policy Editor.
Run gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to the following setting:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components> Internet Explorer
Here, in the right side, you will see a Prevent Bypassing SmartScreen Filter Warnings setting. Double-click on it and select Enabled.
This policy setting determines whether the user can bypass warnings from SmartScreen Filter. SmartScreen Filter prevents the user from browsing to or downloading from sites that are known to host malicious content. SmartScreen Filter also prevents the execution of files that are known to be malicious. If you enable this policy setting, SmartScreen Filter warnings block the user. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the user can bypass SmartScreen Filter warnings.
Just for your information, here you will also see a Prevent Bypassing SmartScreen Filter Warnings about files that are not commonly downloaded from the Internet setting.
Remember to click Apply after you have made the changes.
Microsoft Edge Legacy
The procedure is the same for Edge browser.
Using Group Policy Editor.
Run gpedit.msc to open the Gropu Policy Editor and navigate to the following setting:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components> Microsoft Edge
Here on the right side, you will see a Don’t allow SmartScren Warning overrides setting. Double-click on it and select Enabled.
This setting lets you decide whether employees can override the SmartScreen Filter warnings about potentially malicious websites. Turning this setting on stops employees from ignoring the SmartScreen Filter warnings and blocks them from going to the site. Turning this setting off, or not configuring it, lets employees ignore the SmartScreen Filter warnings about potentially malicious websites and to continue to the site.
Just for your information, here you will also see a Don’t allow SmartScren Warning overrides for unverified files setting.
I hope this small tip makes life easier.