Windows 10 Defender – Controlled Folder Access

Introduction

Windows 10 Defender comes with a security feature called controlled folder access. This feature is to protect folders from unauthorized changes by malware and other unfriendly applications.

On activation of the feature, it’s mainly the user folders that get protected which often leads to unwanted locking of the folder which in turn keeps applications from running properly.

You can add exceptions to the controlled folder access similar to the firewall or anti virus protection.

How can I change the settings ?

If you’re using a 3rd party security and anti virus protection instead of Windows Defender, it may look different for you or not be there at all.

Option 1

Click on Start –> Settings –> Update and Security –> Windows Security (left hand side) –> Virus & Threat Protection –> Ransomware protection.

Option 2

Click on  Start and type Controlled Folder Access until you see the option appear. Then click on it.

  • On and off slider: Turns controlled folder access on or completely off.
  • Protected folder allows to add extra folders to check. The ones added by default can’t be removed. Folders you’ve added yourself can.
  • Allow an app through Controlled folder access allows you to add applications that are allowed to change the folders despite the protection.

How do I add exceptions  ?

    1. Make sure your on a Windows account with administration rights
    2. Click on Allow an app through Controlled folder access
    3. Click on the + symbol next to Add an allowed App
    4. Navigate to the application which you want to add as an exception and choose the .exe or .com file
    5. Click yes on the security warning
    6. The application will now show as an exception added and can change the folders.