Windows Defender: Howto enable Controlled Folder Access

Windows Defender recently got a new feature, it’s to protect a folder with a password so that no other person than you can open that protected folder or modify the files inside – right now we was forced to install 3rd-party software to do this. “Controlled Folder Access” – this feature is a part of “Windows Defender Security Center” application. This feature doesn’t allow users to password-protect a single file or a single folder but with the help of this feature, you can restrict users from modifying a file or creating new files inside such a protected folder.

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The new function requires the latest Windows Build, otherwise you won’t see the option! If it’s not there then it means that your Windows Build doesn’t support it, in this case just wait till you get the update.

Steps to enable Controlled Folder Access

  1. Double-click on Windows Defender Security Center’s shield icon present in Taskbar notification area (system tray). It’ll open the main program window.
  2. After opening the program, click on “Virus & threat protection” section.
  3. Now click on “Virus & threat protection settings” link.
  4. Scroll down and you’ll find an option “Controlled folder access” which is turned off by default.
  5. Now click on “Protected folders” link and on next page, you can add desired folders to the list by clicking on “Add a protected folder” button.

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Test the feature

Open an app or 3rd party software and then open a file present inside a protected folder, Windows will immediately show a notification in Action Center:

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Disabling the feature

If you want to remove an app from allowed apps list, click on that app name and then click on “Remove” button. In case you want to disable “Controlled Folder Access” feature, just set the toggle button mentioned in step 4 to OFF again.

Final words

The function is very useful and I hope it’s secure but I have a bad feeling about it, bypassing such restriction was in the past very easy, however I see this a small step forward and it was about time to add this into Windows. We will see how secure it really is if someone really take a closer look at this function – but let’s be positive and give Microsoft a tanks for it cause the feature is better than nothing, on the other side why do you leave you laptop alone or not create a guest account?

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