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Regarding Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access

by edwardnav / October 20, 2017 8:43 AM PDT

Recently I posted that having done "this", I could not 'save' a document in LibreOffice. Once I turned this option "off", I was able to save my document. Later I turned the "controlled folder access" "ON" and everything seemed fine. Maybe an "issue" on my end. However, today I opened a Microsoft Works spreadsheet and encountered the same situation, could not save the spreadsheet. Once I turned "OFF" the controlled folder access, I was able to save my "Microsoft Works spreadsheet".

I think there might be an issue here or maybe again, its my computer. I haven't run a "chkdsk /f/r/x" yet. Maybe next step.

Windows version 1709, os build 16299.19

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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No fix yet but I did get an update on Paint.Net
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 20, 2017 2:17 PM PDT
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Seems "Controlled Folder Access" is useless right now
by jhajin / October 20, 2017 6:08 PM PDT

I was excited to hear this important feature was part of the 7109 update. I turned it on and hope it would work as advertised. Microsoft states that most of the applications on your machine would already be "white-listed", and I believe I read Microsoft would include a cloud-based white list also.

I turned the feature on and it seems almost ALL my application need to be manually added through the "Allow an app through Controlled folder access" function.

Even Microsoft's Office (2016) apps had to be manually added - Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and more, Quicken, a couple of PDF apps, Picassa 3, Epson and Canon scanner apps, and lots more are blocked! Chasing all over the drive to locate the EXEs to unblock are a real pain.

Suggestion to MSFT: When the "Unauthorized Changes Blocked" notification comes up, link me to the folder with the EXE that needs to be white-listed. And even BETTER, ask me it I want to add it to the white-list and do it for me if I agree.

Another problem . . . software updates crash a lot because a folder is blocked. On some updates, your warned the update has completed but some files were blocked. What files and where? Did the update complete successfully?

This feature has great promise, but IMHO it's not ready. I thought this stull was tested!

I turned it off - not worth the trouble. Another disappointment.

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So its "NOT"
by edwardnav / October 21, 2017 6:17 AM PDT

a "Microsoft Works" issue or a "LibreOffice" issue, but a Windows Defender Issue.

Thanks for replying

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Not recognizing third party apps....
by rcrosby57 / October 21, 2017 9:34 AM PDT

Even though the concept is suppose to protect our computer from any harm, but I wonder if this is another attempt for Microsoft to not allow users to buy third party apps....especially, when it comes to word processors, or other apps that Microsoft already sells.

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I don't think MS is against thrid part apps
by jhajin / October 21, 2017 7:14 PM PDT

MS NEEDS third party apps to keep Windows relevant. After all, CFA doesn't even recognize MS apps! And If it wasn't for the flood of third party apps early on, Windows wouldn't be what it is today. I think this issue is just poor programming and testing. Probably released too early.

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To me this is the old security versus ease of use issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 21, 2017 9:40 AM PDT

Imagine if you had to enter your login/password more often? While you could argue it's for security you lost everyone on ease of use.

To ask to add the app to some list may seem painful it's only for a few times and as you get them all setup then you are getting your security if you are willing to put in the effort.

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It doesn't HAVE to be that way
by jhajin / October 21, 2017 10:26 AM PDT

Are you using the CFA feature? Do you have more than a few programs installed on your machine? Windows already knows what programs I have installed on my PC so it shouldn't block them. And they certainly know their own programs are not to be blocked.

Yes, we know security can be an irritation at times, but if it's implemented poorly no one will use it. There are several instances of great security done in a "no-inconvenience" way. What you're talking about is poor programming.

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Sadly you can't use what's installed on the PC. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 21, 2017 10:37 AM PDT

Because most folk have malware/adware you can't use that approach. Also, security blogs and researchers will blast Microsoft for failing to implement this in the most secure way known. That, trust no one, ask and verify.

As to "their own programs" if that was allowed, then you just gave malware, trojans and such a pass key to the kingdom. So a whitelist won't work either.

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It can be done - easily.
by jhajin / October 21, 2017 6:44 PM PDT

I can think of several ways to accomplish and program this. Are you saying Microsoft has no way to even recognize their own software EXEs? A white list can be built to recognize good EXEs by using a checksum on the original and comparing it to runtime. How does anti-virus software work? Pretty much same idea. CFA is a great idea and sorely needed - this will be easily "fixed" if MS cares to pay attention.

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How Controlled folder access can be made user friendly
by david9991 / January 10, 2018 9:34 AM PST

I agree great promise BUT currently unusable.
When I tried it the
a) it was difficult to discover the path of the Exe file as it was often shortened by the use of ... to replace Likely to be impossible for many non IT users
b) many programs write to the documents folder etc and this can cause many unexplaned crashes if they are prevented from doing so.

I suggest that when a failure is detected the Application is paused and the User is prompted to add the exe to the list of authorised exes.
If the exe is added the file is saved otherwise the application is aborted.

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Fix for using Libreoffice with Controlled Folder Access
by lanten77 / December 22, 2017 10:14 AM PST
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