Running an Executable File Blocked by Windows SmartScreen

“Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.”

Are you getting that warning every time you run an executable file (.exe) on your Windows 8 or 8.1 PC? Like you, I often get the same Windows SmartScreen warning especially when I install manual patches for the online games I play on my Windows 8.1 computer.

Before I get that error, I usually encounter a warning first on Internet Explorer 11 where I usually surf the internet, and download stuff aside from Google Chrome. The warning is like this:

This program is not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer

I always get that warning bar every time I download new game patches, and other not commonly downloaded files which are safe. It usually appears after running security scan. The technology behind it is no other than the SmartScreen Filter. In Windows 8, SmartScreen is applied to desktop level as well. It works like Norton File Insight. It analyzes an executable file, and it checks if it is a trusted, safe, or commonly downloaded file. If not, a warning like below will most likely occur:

Windows SmartScreen

That warning just notifies the user. Windows does not remove the file automatically. In some antivirus programs like Norton, the file will most be likely deleted or quarantined.

Whether the file is ran normally (double-click), or as an administrator will not help. Windows will keep showing the warning. Redownloading the file on other web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, et cetera will not help as well. Once the file is blocked, Windows 8 will keep on nagging.

Now, spite of the “false detection” caused by imperfect “SmartScreen” feature, the good news is you can still run or install a program by simply following the steps below.

Bypass Windows SmartScreen

Click on the More info link while you are on the same screen above. After that, you will be provided with two options: “Run anyway” and “Don’t run”. On the same screen, you will see the details of the file. Click the first option to continue running the executable file.

Run anyway

Now, proceed with the installation as usual.

Easy right?


Various Contributors (April 7, 2004) “.exe – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” Wikipedia. Retrieved on May 23, 2014 from

Various Contributors (May 18, 2012) “Microsoft SmartScreen – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” Wikipedia. Retrieved on May 23, 2014 from

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