What is Windows defender smartscreen and how to disable it?

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Last updated : March 20, 2020

Windows Defender smart screen is the cloud based protection provided by Microsoft against Phishing pages, harmful files and malware.

Smart screen filter has been integrated in most of the Microsoft products like Outlook, Internet explorer, Microsoft Edge, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

You can find out the Windows Smart screen option in Windows defender security center from Windows 10.

Also read :

what is windows defender smartscreen

How does Windows defender smart screen works?

Whenever we visit some site or download some file from internet, we are putting our computer in risk of getting infected from virus, malware and other internet threats. Windows defender smart screen plays the vital role to defend against phishing or malicious sites,harmful app downloads and app installer.

Protection against phishing or malicious sites:

When the user is visiting the web page Windows defender smart screen analyze the web page against the list of malicious and phishing sites from its cloud repository. If the site is listed over the list, then the warning shown to the user before accessing the site.

Protection against harmful app downloads and app installer:

Whenever user is about to download files from the internet or install the application from the app installer Windows defender smartscreen runs the test against the file or app installer whether the file is in blacklisted list. If the file is been listed in the Microsoft repository then the user will be prompted with the warning message.

Why Windows defender smartscreen is using CPU and memory?

We can witness Windows smartscreen is running in background in Task manager. Most of the time it will be idle with 0% memory usage or will less MB of CPU usage. Windows will automatically close SmartScreen process when it is not been used. So It is not neccessary to check all the times in Task manager.

Whenever file is downloaded from the internet, Windows kick starts the smartscreen process by itself if its not running. By then, we can see bit of the CPU memory will be used by SmartScreen process for the calculation of hash of the downloaded file which will be send to Microsoft servers for further malware and virus checks.

Apart from this, SmartScreen process will be running upon usual anti virus scan schedule when Windows defender is enabled as the anti virus program. Ideally, CPU memory used by smartscreen will be comparatively small. Although the process is quick, it may take some time if the larger files are needs to evaluated.

Why Windows defender smartscreen is using CPU and memory

Advantages of Windows defender smartscreen:

  • Protection against phishing and malicious sites.
  • Protection against harmful downloads and app installer
  • Constant diagnostics and learning from Microsoft to improve the suspicious list to provide more security.
  • Integration with Windows OS. Provides better security over the malicious apps tries to download and install unwanted software.

Can I disable Windows Smartscreen?

Windows smartscreen provides strong protection against Phishing, malicious sites and file and app downloads. We will never recommend to disable smartscreen as it provides the strong security feature.

Even though if you disable Windows smartscreen, smartscreen process will initiate automatically whenever you sign in to the system. Anyhow, only small amount of CPU and memory will be used by Windows smartscreen. Taking security and memory usage in consideration, it is not recommended to disable smartscreen even though if you are using other anti virus applications.

In case, still if you want to disable Windows smartscreen we have provided the detailed steps here – How to disable Windows defender smartscreen?

Is SmartScreen malware?

Windows smart screen is an legitimate component provided by Microsoft to protect against phishing or malicious sites,harmful app downloads and app installer. Even though, it is a trusted component we always recommend you to run the full anti-malware scan to keep your system protected.

To run the full scan, do the following steps:

  • Go to Windows defender security center in your Windows 10.
  • Select Windows security in the left pane.
  • Click on open Windows security in right pane option.
  • In the pop up, select the shield option in the left pane.
  • Then click on scan options, select full scan radio button and click on scan now.
Is SmartScreen malware - Run full scan

Now your Windows defender will perform the full scan and helps to remove the malware or any other virus found in your system.

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