How to Turn Off or Disable SmartScreen Filter in Windows 10

Is your SmartScreen Filter turned off? Or do you get the message SmartScreen Filter cannot check this website? If that is so, this post will show you how to enable or disable SmartScreen Filter on Windows 10/8/7 using the UI, Group Policy or Registry Editor.

For those who don’t know what SmartScreen is, it is a feature that helps detect phishing websites, and can also help protect you from installing malicious software or malware. So whenever you encounter a suspicious site, a warning will be displayed on the browser window to notify the user about the sites nature and whether user trusts the site owner/publisher to continue further on the URL provided.

Read: SmartScreen filter warning messages explained.

Enable or Disable SmartScreen Filter

Disable SmartScreen

Turn on or Turn off SmartScreen Filter using UI

Open Microsoft Edge browser > Settings > Privacy & Security.

Turn Off or Disable SmartScreen Filter

Here toggle the Windows Defender SmartScreen switch to the Off position.

You can also open Internet Explorer, go to  Tools > Internet Options

Disable or Turn Off SmartScreen Filter

Go to Advanced tab and scroll down for Security Category. There if you want to enable/disable the feature, you can accordingly check the box captioned “Enable SmartScreen Filter” then press OK.

Now after you enable the feature, every time you encounter a suspicious URL it will display a message as shown below.

If you don’t want to use this feature, you can just uncheck the checkbox to disable the same, but it’s highly recommended since phishing attacks are increasing day by day, increasing the potential threat to confidential information of email accounts.

You can also open Windows Defender Security Center > App & browser control. To turn it off for Apps, under Check apps and files, select Off. To turn it off for Edge, under SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge, select Off.

Do note that when you do this, you leave your computer vulnerable.

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

You can also quickly bypass SmartScreen filter and download files in IE or Edge, without turning off SmartScreen Filter.

SmartScreen Filter is turned off

If your SmartScreen is turned off or you receive the message that, then follow these steps.

Enable or Turn on SmartScreen Filter using Group Policy

turn on or off SmartScreen Filter

Run gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to the following setting:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

In the right pane, double-click on Configure Windows SmartScreen to change its settings. In recent Windows 10 versions, it is called Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen.

This policy setting allows you to manage the behavior of Windows SmartScreen. Windows SmartScreen helps keep PCs safer by warning users before running unrecognized programs downloaded from the Internet. Some information is sent to Microsoft about files and programs run on PCs with this feature enabled. If you enable this policy setting, Windows SmartScreen behavior may be controlled by setting one of the following options: Require approval from an administrator before running downloaded unknown software, Give user a warning before running downloaded unknown software or Turn off SmartScreen. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, Windows SmartScreen behavior is managed by administrators on the PC by using Windows SmartScreen Settings in Action Center.

Enable SmartScreen Filter using Registry Editor

Run regedit to open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:


In the right pane, you may find DWORD value EnableSmartScreen. Delete this DWORD.

The values for this key are as follows:

  • 0 : To turn off SmartScreen
  • 1 : Give user a warning before running downloaded unknown software
  • 2 : Require approval from an administrator before running downloaded unknown software.

You might want to read these posts too:

  1. Windows SmartScreen filter, Download Reputation, XSS Security features
  2. Enable or Disable SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer
  3. SmartScreen filter cannot check this website
  4. 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.