SmartScreen is a useful feature built into Windows 8 and 10. Many users see the SmartScreen process in Task Manager but have no idea about its function. What does SmartScreen do? This post from MiniTool will show you more information about the process.

Many Windows users report that they see SmartScreen process in Task Manager occasionally but don’t know what SmartScreen is. Is it a virus? Some users are worried about this. Well, first, SmartScreen is not a virus. On the contrary, it helps protect your PC from virus infection by blocking the download of malware or files from malicious websites.

If you want to learn more information about the Windows Defender SmartScreen or SmartScreen.exe, please keep reading.

What Is SmartScreen

Smartscreen, also known as Windows Defender Smartscreen (with its smartscreen.exe), is a very useful security feature that belongs to the Microsoft Windows operating systems. Originally introduced in Windows 8, this utility aims to prevent you from downloading malware. Now, Windows 10 has an improved version of this utility. When you open Task Manager, you may see the process SmartScreen running in the background.


How does SmartScreen work?

Well, every time you download an application or file from the Internet, the SmartScreen filter will check it against Microsoft’s database.

If the app or file has been seen before and it is known to be safe, it can pass through SmartScreen filter. If the app has been seen before but it is known to be dangerous, then Smartscreen will block the malware to protect your computer from virus infection.

However, if the file has never been seen before, and Windows is not sure if it is safe, Windows will prevent the application from running and give you a warning that it may be dangerous, but you can also choose to bypass this warning.

SmartScreen is performed by the Antimalware Service Executable process if you are using the default antivirus program Windows Defender on your computer. It helps to keep your computer safe. So you should always keep it enabled.

Fixed: Antimalware Service Executable High CPU Usage
Fixed: Antimalware Service Executable High CPU Usage

This article will show you what Antimalware Service Executable is and how to fix the antimalware service executable high CPU usage in Windows 10.

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Can I Disable SmartScreen?

Some Windows users asked: SmartScreen process is always running in the background and this will consume my system resources. I want to disable it. Can I disable the SmartScreen feature?

Well, it is not recommended to disable SmartScreen, as it is a very useful security feature that can help protect your PC from malware. And it only uses a tiny amount of system resources. So there is no need to disable the SmartScreen. However, if you insist to disable the SmartScreen filter, you can follow the steps below to disable it in Windows 10.

Step 1. On your computer, type “security at a glance” in the Windows 10 Cortana search box located in the Taskbar and then you can click the best match to open the Windows Defender Security Center.

Step 2. On the Windows Security window, choose App & Browser Control option.

select App & Browser Control

Step 3. Under the “Check apps and files” section, toggle the switch to “Off” to disable the feature immediately in Windows 10. Then close the window.

set Check apps and files to Off

Tip: If you want to disable SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge and Microsoft store apps, you can also toggle the relevant switch to “Off” on this page.

You may be interested in this post: How to Disable or Remove “Windows Protected Your PC” Popup?


After reading this post, now you should know what SmartScreen is. Do you have different opinions about the SmartScreen.exe? We are glad to have you share it with us.

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