How To Disable / Turn Off Windows SmartScreen in Windows 8

In this article we explained what Windows SmartScreen is and what it does. Below we will show how to disable / turn off the SmartScreen function in Microsoft Windows 8. This is normally not recommended, but there may be situations when you want to disable Windows SmartScreen temporarily. For example, if you are a developer and frequently download test versions of your software, then it may be little annoying to see the Windows protected your PC warning message (like in the picture below):

Windows SmartScreen: The 'Windows protected your PC' warning message

every time you download and try to start your application (app) or make an installation of it. But by following the steps in the tip below you can turn off Windows SmartScreen, so the warning message is not showed anymore.
How to disable Windows SmartScreen
Follow the steps below to disable the Windows SmartScreen function in Windows 8:

1. Switch to Windows Desktop (the classic desktop), if you are not there already.

2. Press the Windows key and C to open up the charms bar (it will be shown to the right in the screen). You can also move the mouse button to the upper right or lower right of the screen. The charms bar will appear then also.

3. In the charms bar that is shown on the screen, click on Settings. The following options will now be shown:


4. Click on the Control Panel option. The Control Panel for Windows 8 will now be opened.

5. In the Control Panel, click on the System and Security option. It will look like:
Control Panel - System and Security
6. After that, click on the Action Center option. The following window will now be shown:
Action Center

7. Click on Change Windows SmartScreen settings in the left sidebar. A settings dialog box for Windows SmartScreen is now shown:
Windows SmartScreen settings

The Windows SmartScreen settings dialog box contains the following three options:
1. Get administrator approval before running an unrecognized app from the Internet (recommended)
2. Warn before running an unrecognized app, but don’t require administrator approval
3. Don’t do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen)
8. If you want to turn off the Windows SmartScreen function completely, so no warning message is shown on the screen anymore, you can select the third option (Don't do anything) in the settings dialog box.

9. Press OK and then close the Action Center window.

That's all you needed to do. Windows SmartScreen is now turned off in your computer! If you want to turn it on again, follow the steps above and select the first or second option at step 8.
There is another way to go to the Windows SmartScreen settings dialog box above, that may be faster. Press the Windows key and W, type "smartscreen" in the Search field, click on Change SmartScreen settings option to the left, and click on the Change Windows SmartScreen settings option in the left sidebar in the Action Center window. The same settings dialog box is shown.

Don't turn off Windows SmartScreen permanently
Windows SmartScreen is an effective protection against malware, so you should only disable it temporarily. However, if you use a test computer or run a test system virtually, then it is not necessary to turn it on, so long you are careful and don't download files that you don't recognize.

See also:
Windows SmartScreen - Anti-Malware Protection in Windows 8
Related products:
SamLogic Visual Installer
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The information in this article is also valid for Windows 8.1.

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Article written by: Mika Larramo