Fed's New Rate Hike Eye Infections Money-Saving Tips Huawei Watch Ultimate Adobe's Generative AI Tips to Get More Exercise 12 Healthy Spring Recipes Watch March Madness
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

How to tell Microsoft Edge to let you download a file it's blocking

You can override SmartScreen and its protections.

Matt Elliott/CNET

One of the ways Windows Defender keeps your computer safe from internet evils is by employing its SmartScreen tool to keep you from downloading potentially harmful files or visiting malicious sites. On some occasions, however, you may find SmartScreen overstepping its bounds and blocking you from downloading a file you know to be safe.

I don't recommend turning SmartScreen off completely because it is helpful in preventing you from downloading a malicious file or app, but you can disable it in Microsoft's Edge browser if you want to override its protection and go ahead and download a file it doesn't recognize.

Disable SmartScreen in Edge

You can disable SmartScreen in the Windows Defender Security Center app in total or just for Edge, but for the latter it's faster to do so right within Edge itself, particularly if you are already using Edge. Here's how to toggle SmartScreen off and on in Edge:

  • Open Edge and click the triple-dot button in in the upper-right
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the right-hand panel and click Settings
  • Scroll down to the bottom of Settings and click View Advanced Settings
  • Scroll down to the bottom of Advanced Settings and toggle off Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with Windows Defender SmartScreen
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With SmartScreen off, you are on your own about which files to download in Edge, but I would urge you to go back and toggle SmartScreen on when you have finished downloading your file. And, of course, only turn it off to download files you know to be safe.

Windows Defender setting

In Windows Defender, you can also change Edge's SmartScreen to merely warn you when you are about to download a file it deems suspicious instead of it outright blocking it. You'll be able to click through the warning and override SmartScreen's concerns and download the file. To do so, open Windows Defender Security Center, click App & browser control and choose Warn for SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge.