Some Windows users have been contacting us for help after the Windows SmartScreen feature blocks Microsoft’s apps from opening. Affected users state that the Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now. The error happens when they try to open apps from the built-in Windows suite (Maps, Alarms, Photos, Mail, etc.).
What is Windows SmartScreen
SmartScreen is a cloud-based anti-phishing and anti-malware element included in all Windows 8 (8.1) and Windows 10 versions. This security component is also used with Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Outlook.com.
Whenever SmartScreen is down or unreachable on an end-user PC, the machine will not download anything through official and unofficial channels.
What are the causes for the Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached error?
After reviewing the issue and looking at various user reports, we got a pretty good idea of which factors might lead to this apparition. Below you have a record of culprits that are most likely accountable for the Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached error:
- Corrupted Windows account: Certain differences with your Windows account might trigger this issue. Users in a comparable situation have resolved the issue by creating a new Windows account
- The SmartScreen is disabled from Windows Defender Security Center: This particular error can occur if the user or a third-party request has disabled the SmartScreen filter.
- The SmartScreen is down due to an MS issue: Since SmartScreen is a cloud segment, there were situations in the past where this security component was down for all users for a couple of hours until maintenance was complete.
- A proxy entry causes the error: Several users have reported that the issue was resolved as soon as they disabled their proxy from the Networking setup.
How do I enable SmartScreen on Windows 10?
When you use the new Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps you identify reported phishing and malware websites and make informed download decisions. In most cases, You can enable the SmartScreen. But in some cases, such as on a work or school network, this setting may be managed by a system administrator, and the setting can’t be changed.
To turn the SmartScreen on or off in the new Microsoft Edge:
- Select Settings and go to more > Settings > Privacy & services
- Scroll down to Services, and turn the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen on or off.
How do I bypass Windows SmartScreen?
Although you can use the More info option and by clicking the Run anyway button, you can prevent the SmartScreen from blocking an app by using these steps:
- Firstly open File Explorer.
- Go to the folder with the App that you’re trying to install.
- Double-click on the installer to install.
- Close the “Windows protected your PC” dialogue.
- Right-click on the installer and choose the Properties option.
- Click on the General tab.
- Under the “Security” section, tick the Unlock option.
- Click on the Apply button.
- Click on the OK button.
Once you’ve completed the steps, you can now double-click the .exe file to install the application without getting the security warning. However, suppose the application hasn’t been digitally signed correctly by the developer. In that case, you’ll still see a User Account Control alert, but if you know the App can be trusted, you can proceed with the installation.
How do I remove Regedit SmartScreen?
Windows 10 Home users do not have to enter the Group Policy Editor. Nevertheless, you can use the Registry Editor to disable the SmartScreen filter.
- Hunt for “regedit” in the Start menu and begin it as an administrator. Go to the below location.
- To stop the SmartScreen filter, build a new DWORD value by choosing “New” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value.”
- Name the value as “EnableSmartScreen.” Double-click on the created value and set its Value Data to “0.”
- To start the SmartScreen filter, first set the Value Data of “EnableSmartScreen” to “1.”
- Now you need to place the SmartScreen blocking level. For that, right-click on the right side and select “New -> String Value.” Name the value as “ShellSmartScreenLevel.”
- Double-click on the new string value and place either “Warn” or “Block” as the value data.
Warn: It shows an alert message, but you can bypass it.
Block: It shows an alert message and blocks you from running the application or file.
How do you fix SmartScreen can’t be reached right now?
If you are currently facing this issue, then this article will help you to resolve it. Below we are mentioning some collection of steps to help you resolve this issue as soon as possible. For the best results, follow the steps in the order that is mentioned here.
Solution 1: Make sure you have enabled the SmartScreen – Windows Defender SmartScreen is unreachable
- Press Windows icon + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type “ms-settings:windows defender” and hit Enter to open the Settings app’s Windows Security tab.
- Now click on the Open Windows Defender Security Center button below Windows Security.
- Inside Windows Defender Security Center, tap on App & browser control.
- Ensure that the Check apps and files are set to Warn. Then, check if the same is true for SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge and SmartScreen for Microsoft Store apps.
- If SmartScreen was stopped, reboot your computer after operating the adjustments and see if the error is fixed at the next startup.
If the problem persists, then try the following method mentioned below.
Solution 2: Verify whether the SmartScreen is under maintenance – SmartScreen can’t be reached
Another easy method to fix this problem is to check whether the SmartScreen is scheduled for any maintenance. Whenever the SmartScreen is under maintenance, the servers are unreachable for a lot of reasons.
Before going for any possible steps or some troubleshooting options, first, check whether the official website of Microsoft or the Microsoft Community has announced any scheduled maintenance programs. If you do not answer this question, then the best site you will get the correct answer is the Microsoft Answers Forum or the Microsoft Official Twitter account. You can also do online research about this topic to get the answers you are looking for. If the SmartScreen is under maintenance, then you could relax and try after some time.
If you confirmed that the SmartScreen is not under maintenance, then go for the next step.
Solution 3: Disable the Proxy Server – If applicable – Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached
Many users have stated that the issue has been resolved as soon as they disabled the proxy. It is because some of the proxies interfere with the SmartScreen and make it unusable. To disable the proxy server, follow these steps:
- Press Windows icon + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type “ms-settings:network-proxy” and hit Enter to open the Settings application’s proxy tab.
- Now inside the proxy tab, scroll down until you find the manual proxy setup. Also, make sure that the toggle associated with using the proxy server is set to off.
- Now restart your computer and check if the issue has been resolved. If not, continue with the following method associated with the article.
Solution 4: Create a new Windows User account – Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached Windows 10
Many users have claimed that the issue is gone as soon as they created a new Windows User account. But this will make you lose some of the settings set to your account. Many users stated that this is the most usable method.
- Press Windows icon + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type “ms-settings:other users” and hit Enter to open the Family and other people tab in the accounts selection.
- Now click on add someone to this PC or computer.
- Click on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
- Add all the details like Username, Password, E-Mail, Country, and Date Of Birth and click on the Next button.
- Once you have finished creating a new account, now open the start menu, click on the account icon, and select sign-out.
- The sign-in windows open the account using the details you have used earlier to create a new account.
- After logging in, check if the issue persists or not.
Solution 5: Check Internet or Wi-Fi connection – SmartScreen not working Windows 10
Sometimes if your SmartScreen cannot be reachable or becomes unreachable due to internet connectivity issues. Ensure that you have an active internet connection or Wi-Fi connection as SmartScreen requires the internet to work. If your internet connection or Wi-Fi connections are not working fine, then you will get this message.
Solution 6: Scan your computer – Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached Windows 10
If all the above methods are not working, then try scanning with your antivirus software. Sometimes the virus that is present in the computer prevents you from entering the SmartScreen. To scan with the antivirus software and eliminate the virus.
Solution 7: Change settings through group policy settings – Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached
- Start the run box by pressing Windows key + R.
- Type gpedit. msc and tap on entering.
- Now open computer configurations.
- Now go to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.
- Open File Explorer by double-clicking on it. Locate Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen.
- Check if this option is enabled or not.
- Now double click on Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen and disable it.
- Now tap on Apply and then on OK.
Other Troubleshooting options – Change Windows SmartScreen settings missing.
You can also perform other troubleshooting options that are very simple and easy to use.
- Sometimes the issue can be fixed easily by rebooting your computer or PC.
- You can also fix this issue by upgrading your computer or PC to the latest version by installing all the pending updates.
- Make sure that the Windows Defender is also updated and running with the latest version of spyware detection. Make sure that it is running. Also, make sure that you are connected to the internet and check the internet’s speed as it is working correctly.
- Permanently delete unwanted or temporary files by periodically deleting them. When the system files are complete, then it may start misbehaving due to instability. So clearing all these unwanted stuff makes your system stable and speed, which helps to operate normally.
- Disable all the third-party antivirus apps or possibly uninstall them. In most cases, this third-party antivirus software will prevent the SmartScreen from opening.
These methods will help you fix the Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached issue. The solutions provided here are easy and can be used in no time. So you can instantly fix this issue. But it would be best if you were patient in finding the solutions.