Windows 10: Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10  

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    Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10

    Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10

    How to Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Security System
    15 Apr 2018
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 28,534

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    How to Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings in Windows 10


    Starting with Windows 10 build 16232, Controlled folder access is introduced in Windows Defender Antivirus.

    Controlled folder access makes it easier for you to protect valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware.

    Controlled folder access monitors the changes that apps make to files in certain protected folders. If an app attempts to make a change to these files, and the app is blacklisted by the feature, you’ll get a notification about the attempt. You can complement the protected folders with additional locations, and add the apps that you want to allow access to those folders.

    Allowing apps can be useful if you’re finding a particular app that you know and trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature.

    You can add additional folders to the list of protected folders, but you cannot alter the default list, which includes folders such as Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop. Adding other folders to Controlled folder access can be handy, for example, if you don’t store files in the default Windows libraries or you’ve changed the location of the libraries away from the defaults.

    This tutorial will show you how to change Windows Defender Controlled folder access settings to protect your files and folders from unauthorized changes by unfriendly applications in Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to change Controlled folder access settings.


     CONTENTS:

    • Option One: To Turn On or Off Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access
    • Option Two: To Add or Remove Protected Folders for Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access
    • Option Three: To Add or Remove Allowed Apps through Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access





    Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10 OPTION ONE Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10
    To Turn On or Off Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access


    Turning on or off Controlled folder access will modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exploit Guard\Controlled Folder Access

    EnableControlledFolderAccess DWORD

    0 = Off
    1 = On


    1. Open the Windows Defender Security Center, and click/tap on the Virus & threat protection icon. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-1.jpg
Views: 17881
Size:  43.7 KB

    2. Click/tap on the Virus & threat protection settings link. (see screenshot below)

    Starting with Windows 10 build 17093, you will need to click/tap on the Ransomware protection link instead.

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-2.png
Views: 8238
Size:  58.1 KB

    3. Turn On or Off (default) Controlled folder access for what you want. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-3.png
Views: 17867
Size:  39.5 KB

    4. Click/tap on Yes when prompted by UAC to approve.

    5. When finished, you can close Windows Defender Security Center if you like.






    Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10 OPTION TWO Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10
    To Add or Remove Protected Folders for Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access


    The list of added protected folders is stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exploit Guard\Controlled Folder Access\GuardedFolders


    1. Open the Windows Defender Security Center, and click/tap on the Virus & threat protection icon. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-1.jpg
Views: 17881
Size:  43.7 KB

    2. Click/tap on the Virus & threat protection settings link. (see screenshot below)

    Starting with Windows 10 build 17093, you will need to click/tap on the Ransomware protection link instead.

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-2.png
Views: 8238
Size:  58.1 KB

    3. Click/tap on the Protected folders link under Controlled folder access. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access_Protected_Folders.png
Views: 17814
Size:  38.7 KB

    4. Do step 5 (add) or step 6 (remove) below for what you would like to do.


     5. To Add a Protected Folder

    A) Click/tap on the Add a protected folder + button. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Add_protected_folder-1.png
Views: 17726
Size:  21.5 KB

    B) Navigate to and select the folder (ex: "Documents") you want to add, click/tap on Select Folder, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    You can also select network shares and mapped drives.

    Name:  Add_protected_folder-2.png
Views: 17760
Size:  49.7 KB


     6. To Remove a Protected Folder

    You will not be able to remove the default folders.

    A) Click/tap on a listed folder (ex: "Documents") you want to remove, click/tap on the Remove button, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Remove_protected_folder.png
Views: 17774
Size:  27.7 KB


    7. Click/tap on Yes when prompted by UAC to approve.

    8. When finished, you can close Windows Defender Security Center if you like.






    Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10 OPTION THREE Change Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access Settings - Windows 10
    To Add or Remove Allowed Apps through Windows Defender Controlled Folder Access


    The list of allowed apps is stored in the registry key below.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exploit Guard\Controlled Folder Access\AllowedApplications


    1. Open the Windows Defender Security Center, and click/tap on the Virus & threat protection icon. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-1.jpg
Views: 17881
Size:  43.7 KB

    2. Click/tap on the Virus & threat protection settings link. (see screenshot below)

    Starting with Windows 10 build 17093, you will need to click/tap on the Ransomware protection link instead.

    Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-2.png
Views: 8238
Size:  58.1 KB

    3. Click/tap on the Allow an app through Controlled folder access link under Controlled folder access. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Allow_app_through_Controlled_folder_access-1.png
Views: 17769
Size:  38.7 KB

    4. Do step 5 (add) or step 6 (remove) below for what you would like to do.


     5. To Add an Allowed App

    A) Click/tap on the Add an allowed app + button. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Allow_app_through_Controlled_folder_access-2.png
Views: 17742
Size:  30.2 KB

    B) Navigate to and select the app (ex: "notepad.exe") you want to allow, click/tap on Open, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Allow_app_through_Controlled_folder_access-3.jpg
Views: 17782
Size:  96.3 KB


     6. To Remove an Allowed App

    A) Click/tap on the listed app (ex: "notepad.exe") you want to remove, click/tap on the Remove button, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Remove_Allowed_app_through_Controlled_folder_access.png
Views: 17827
Size:  37.9 KB


    7. Click/tap on Yes when prompted by UAC to approve.

    8. When finished, you can close Windows Defender Security Center if you like.

    9. Sometimes you may need to restart the computer to apply if an added app is already in memory.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Posts : 19,785
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       21 Oct 2017 #1

    Tried it for about 15 minutes then turned it off again

    It was blocking OneDrive & File Explorer from making changes, and if I need to white list Microsoft's own built in software, to me anyhow, disaster is preprogrammed

    Oh, and it even blocked me from restoring something from the recycle bin!
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 28,534
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17650
    Thread Starter
       21 Oct 2017 #2

    Yep, it'll literally block everything for a protected folder until allowed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 19,785
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       21 Oct 2017 #3

    Brink said: View Post
    Yep, it'll literally block everything for a protected folder until allowed.
    That makes it only good for work PC's(running SAP) and kiosk mode then(both where there will be no changes or deletions made), because it doesn't at least present you with a link to the .exe to white list something, like restore from recycle bin, or to whatever OneDrive process.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 28,534
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17650
    Thread Starter
       21 Oct 2017 #4

    It would be nice if it had some sort if UAC style Yes/No to approve for a controlled folder instead of just this below.

    Name:  Controlled_folder_Unauthorized_changes_blocked.png
Views: 16742
Size:  33.4 KB
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 3,149
    10.5 Home 1803 x64
       21 Oct 2017 #5

    Has not the registry path and value changed or is it just for Home?

    Code:
    reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Windows Defender Exploit Guard\Controlled Folder Access" /v "EnableControlledFolderAccess" /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 28,534
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17650
    Thread Starter
       21 Oct 2017 #6

    TairikuOkami said: View Post
    Has not the registry path and value changed or is it just for Home?

    Code:
    reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Windows Defender Exploit Guard\Controlled Folder Access" /v "EnableControlledFolderAccess" /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f

    It's the registry key and value you posted now. The only issue is that you have to take ownership of the key before you'll be able to modify the value of the DWORD.

    Thank you for the heads up.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    25 Oct 2017 #7

    Hi Brink, I've just read this post:
    Controlled folder access is greyed out - Windows 10 Forums
    I don't have the FCU, but am wondering if the option would be greyed out if a 3rd party AV were installed and real-time scanning by Defender were disabled. What do you think?

    Configure Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 6,897
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       25 Oct 2017 #8

    Hi Brink.

    Was on this thread. Member reported you needed to reboot to make changes and mentioned that sub processes may be doing the saving. Might be worth checking on reboot comment and adding mention of sub process in a "Tip"

    Controlled folder access problems

    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 28,534
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17650
    Thread Starter
       25 Oct 2017 #9

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi Brink, I've just read this post:
    Controlled folder access is greyed out - Windows 10 Forums
    I don't have the FCU, but am wondering if the option would be greyed out if a 3rd party AV were installed and real-time scanning by Defender were disabled. What do you think?

    Configure Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News

    That would be a very good possibility if the 3rd party AV disabled Windows Defender.

    If it has a "This setting is managed by your administrator" message above this setting, then a group policy has been configured for it instead.

    Computer configuration > Administrative templates > Windows components > Windows Defender Antivirus > Windows Defender Exploit Guard > Controlled folder access
    Last edited by Brink; 25 Oct 2017 at 10:12.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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