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How to enable SmartScreen for safe browsing on Edge

Microsoft offers us the possibility to enable or disable the Windows Defender SmartScreen function of our Edge browser, either from the Group Policy Editor or from the Windows Registry Editor, so we are going to tell you what steps we must follow to it below.

What is SmartScreen and how it helps us protect ourselves

Windows Defender SmartScreen is a security protocol that is included by default in Windows 10 to verify that all downloads are from trusted sites. In this way, it helps us to provide an early warning and protection system with respect to certain web pages that may cause identity theft attacks or attempt to distribute malware and potentially malicious files through our downloads.

As we surf the net with Microsoft Edge, SmartScreen is responsible for analyzing the pages and determines if it can be suspected. In that case, it will show us a warning and advise us to act with caution by not considering it safe. In addition, it is responsible for comparing the files we download from the Internet with its own list of malicious software and programs to notify us about those that it believes are not trustworthy and may pose a risk.

However, this help can sometimes also work against us and warn us of false problems. For example, on occasion we may try to download or run a file or application that counts as a source a website that SmartScreeen considers and classifies as dubious. In this case, Windows 10 will show us a warning window indicating that an unknown application was prevented from starting. In the event that we are sure that the file is safe, this warning can be quite annoying.

Therefore, in case we do not want to use this protection or we already have a protection system installed, we can disable it through the Group Policy Editor or using the Windows registry editor. Likewise, it will be possible to reactivate it when we consider it appropriate.

Download Group Policy Templates for Edge

When we talk about the Group Policy Editor, we do it on a little-known application that is integrated into Windows 10. With it we can customize the configuration of our computer. For this, it is important to have the most current version of the Group Policy Templates for Microsoft Edge. These must be downloaded for free from Microsoft’s servers by clicking here. On this page we must download a file and unzip it on our PC. To do this, we must press the “Obtain policy files” button.

Once downloaded we must add the template to the Group Policy Editor. To do this we must access through the command «Execute», pressing the shortcut «Windows + r» and typing gpedit.msc and press «Enter». Next, click on “Computer Configuration” and then on “Administrative Templates”. Now, we right-click on “Administrative Templates” and select “Add or remove template from the context menu”.

Local Group Policy Editor add or remove templates

In the new window that opens, we must select “Add” and navigate to the location where the downloaded Edge templates file is located. From the group of files we must follow this route.

windows / adm / es-ES

Now we will select the file msedge.adm and click on «Open». Finally, we close the “Add or remove templates” window to continue.

Add msedge file to group policies

To find all the entries of the Edge Group Policy Editor we must navigate to the following path:

Configuración del equipo / Plantillas administrativas / Plantillas administrativas clásicas (ADM) / Microsoft Edge

With this we can now use the Windows Group Policy Editor to be able to activate or deactivate Windows Defender SmartScreen of our Edge browser.

Enable or disable Windows Defender SmartScreen

If we want to deactivate or re-enable Windows Defender SmartScreen of our Edge browser, we can do it through the Group Policy Editor or using the Windows 10 Registry. Both options are perfectly valid, so we can choose the one we want the most or simply the one that we feel most comfortable with when using it.

Using the Group Policy editor

To access the Group Policy Editor we must press “Windows + r” and write gpedit.msc and press Enter. Later we must navigate to the route:

Configuración del equipo / Plantillas administrativas / Plantillas administrativas clásicas (ADM) / Microsoft Edge – Configuración de SmartScreen

Policy Editor SmartScreen Settings

Once here we must select the option “Force Microsoft Defender SmartScreen to verify downloads from trusted sources” and click on “Policy settings”.

Force Windows Defender SmartScreen Checks

Next, a new window will appear. If the status is “Not configured” or “Enabled” it means that SmartScreen is activated, while if its status is “Disabled”, it means that this function is deactivated. Therefore, we select the desired option and click “OK” to save the changes.

Force SmartScreen checks

Using the Windows 10 Registry Editor

In the event that we want to use the Windows Registry Editor to activate or deactivate SmartScreen, we must follow the following steps. First we will launch the Run command, pressing Windows + r and we will write regedit. Once in the Registry we must navigate to the following route:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Policies / Microsoft / Edge

Edge registry editor

In case the Edge subgroup does not appear within the Microsoft folder, we must right-click on Microsoft, choose “New” and “Key” and assign it as a name Edge.

Next, we right-click on «Edge» and select «New» and «DWORD Value (32 bits)», which we will name as:

SmartScreenForTrustedDownloadsEnabled 

Edge registry editor valuable information

Now we right-click on the file and select Modify. By default the value data is set to “0”. If what we want is to disable SmartScreen we must keep it at 0. In case we want Activate For this function we must set «1» as value data and click on OK.