Windows 10 “This app has been blocked for your protection”

Last Updated on June 26, 2016

While opening a “.exe” file from the file explorer, Windows 10 occasionally throws an error saying “This app has been blocked for your protection, contact the administrator“. Even running the aforementioned exe file with administrator privileges doesn’t remove this error. In this post, we will be discussing the steps to get rid of this error and avoid it in the future.

So, what’s happening is that Microsoft has developed a lot of internal methods of recognizing malware and other harmful software applications from decades of feedback from the Windows OS. Using the information from this data, the Windows OS tries to guess which types of files are harmful and which ones are not. This depends on the file location, the website from which it is downloaded and the permissions that the application demands. How actually this works internally cannot be known unless Microsoft makes that information public. Now, let’s get to the steps of fixing the error.

Fixing the error “This app has been blocked for your protection, contact the administrator.”

First, we will try to disable the Windows SmartScreen which is, quite frankly, more of an annoyance than a security feature. It basically blocks the users from executing the apps which it thinks are not safe. But most of the time, the SmartScreen shows false positives. To disable the SmartScreen follow the steps below:

disable windows smartscreen

  • Press Windows key and then type Smartscreen in the search box.
  • Select “Change Smartscreen settings“. Press enter.
  • On the left sidebar, click on “Change Windows SmartScreen settings“.
  • On the pop-up box, select the “Don’t do anything (turn off Windows SmartScreen )” radio button. Click OK.
  • Now, in the same Security and Maintenance window, under Security, click on “Turn off messages about Windows SmartScreen“. This will disable the repeated messages from the Action Center to enable SmartScreen.

Now after these steps are done, try to open the exe file you were trying to open. If it works, then your work is done. You don’t need to go any further. However, if not, then continue further for the solution.

Enable True Administrator Mode for all accounts

Another solution to fix this problem is to enable true administrator mode for the current account. What that means is that Windows by default doesn’t give true administrator access to even the first admin account on the PC. To enable that, we have to use the Group Policy editor and tweak some settings. Let’s get to the steps.

run all admins in admin approval mode

  • Press Windows key and type “Group Policy Editor” (without quotes). Press enter. Accept the UAC prompt if it shows up.
  • In the Local Group Policy Editor, go to the Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options. Here open the “User Account Control“: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode”.
  • On the box, select Disabled. Click on OK.
  • Restart your PC.

This will fix the This app has been blocked for your protection, contact the administrator error from Windows 10. If it worked for you, please let us know in the comments section. If there is an error in the process, please let us know so that we can fix that.



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Written by Utkarsh

Utkarsh Bhatt is a certified tech expert and software engineer for a Fortune 500 Company. He was born in 1995, making him one of the oldest members of the team at EFX. Utkarsh loves solving technical issues and is always the first to jump on any problem that needs solving. When he’s not coding or debugging, he enjoys playing video games (especially Super Smash Bros.) and watching cartoons.

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