With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has brought many interesting features. Now you can use People Bar from the taskbar, set bandwidth to download Windows Updates, use Mixed Reality Viewer, Currency Converter in Calculator app, apply Color Filters on the desktop screen, use Emoji Panel, annotate and highlight PDF using Microsoft Edge, and more. Microsoft has also taken care of privacy and security of its users. Therefore, it has improved the native Windows Defender Antivirus and added ‘Controlled folder access‘ feature in Windows 10. This feature helps to protect your important folders and files from ransomware attacks or any changes.
With Controlled folder access, if some unauthorized app, program, or application tries to modify the protected folder (including any file and sub-folder), it will simply stop the program from doing that. Let say if you try to rename a protected file, edit its content or do anything via some third-party software, then at the time of saving the changes, you will receive an error. This Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 is really effective. The only thing is that it remains turned off by default. So, this guide will help you to turn on Controlled folder access In Windows 10 and then configure it to protect important files and folders.
When Controlled folder access is enabled, it automatically protects system folders that include Documents, Pictures, Video, Music, Favorites, and Desktop. You can’t remove these folders from the protection list. But, you can add more folders as well remove them from that list.
Before you proceed, you should also have a look at these important points:
- Controlled Folder Access feature works only when Windows Defender Antivirus is set as your primary antivirus. If you use some other antivirus, then you can’t use this feature. In that case, you first need to remove your antivirus, restart PC and use Windows Defender Antivirus.
- Once a folder is added to the Controlled Folder Access list, then you need to manually allow an app through Controlled Folder Access. Only authorized or allowed apps are able to do changes to protected files and folders. This guide also covers steps to allow an app through Controlled Folder Access. So, you don’t need to worry.
Now everything is clear, let’s see the steps.
Steps To Enable Controlled Folder Access In Windows 10:
I’m assuming that you are already using Windows Defender Antivirus and it is running in the system tray.
1). In Search box, type windows defender security center and press enter. It will open Windows Defender Security Center window.
2). In Windows Defender Security Center, click on ‘Virus & threat protection‘ option. It is available on the left side.
3). Now tap on ‘Virus & threat protection settings‘ option avilable on the right side.
4). Look for Controlled folder access section. There you will see a button to turn on Controlled folder access. Use it.
5). Now Controlled folder access is enabled and it will start protecting system folders. To add other folders, select ‘Protected folders‘ option.
6). Tap on ‘Add a protected folder‘ button. Now you can add any folder of your choice in the protection list.
To remove a folder from protected folders list, you can click on a protected folder and then press Remove button.
7). Once the Controlled folder access is enabled, all the software installed on your PC and other programs won’t be able to modify any of the protected folders. Only trusted Microsoft apps are allowed through the protection. So, you need to manually add applications that you trust to access protected folders. For this, go back to step 5 where you turned on Controlled folder access. You will see ‘Allow an app through Controlled folder access‘ option. Select it.
8). Tap on ‘Add an allowed app‘ button. A window will open. Use that window to select EXE or COM file of your app or installed program. This will help you add your trusted app to allowed list.
9). When you don’t want to use this feature or temporarily disable Controlled folder access, then you can repeat step 1 to 4 and turn off Controlled folder access.
So, this is a step by step guide to help you use Controlled folder access in Windows 10. Those who use Windows Defender Antivirus, this feature is surely helpful. Ransomware attacks, malicious apps and other tools can easily corrupt or modify your important data. Keeping that in mind, Microsoft has added this security feature in Windows Defender Antivirus. I really appreciate this step. You may try it.