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Network protection is a feature that is part of Windows Defender Exploit Guard starting with Windows 10 version 1709. It helps to prevent users from using any application to access dangerous domains that may host phishing scams, exploits, and other malicious content on the Internet.

If you enable Network Protection and it blocks a connection, a notification will be displayed from the Action Center.

You can also use audit mode to evaluate how Network Protection would impact your organization if it were enabled.

For more information, see also:

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection for all users in Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable Network Protection.
Note   Note
You can test Network Protection by visiting the fake malicious domain below provided by Microsoft.

SmartScreen Test

CONTENTS:
  • Option One: Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection using a REG file
  • Option Three: Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in PowerShell


EXAMPLE: Connection blocked by network protection
Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_notification.png
Views: 453
Size:  14.9 KB






Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10
Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Local Group Policy Editor

Note   Note
Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two or Option Three below.

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender Antivirus\Windows Defender Exploit Guard\Network protection

Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_gpedit-1.jpg
Views: 441
Size:  43.5 KB

3. In the right pane of Network protection in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Prevent users and apps from accessing dangerous websites policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 (enable), step 6 (audit mode), or step 7 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 5. To Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection

A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Block in the Options drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)


 6. To Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection using Audit Mode Only

A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Audit Mode in the Options drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)


 7. To Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection

A) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

NOTE: Not Configured is the default setting.

Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_gpedit-2.png
Views: 467
Size:  45.9 KB

8. When finished, close the Local Group Policy Editor.






Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10
Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection using a REG file

Note   Note
The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Windows Defender Exploit Guard\Network Protection

EnableNetworkProtection DWORD

(delete) = Disable
1 = Enable
2 = Audit Mode

1. Do step 2 (enable), step 2 (audit mode), or step 4 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Enable_Windows_Defender_Network_Protection.reg

download


 3. To Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection using Audit Mode Only

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Enable_Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_Audit_Mode.reg

download


 4. To Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Disable_Windows_Defender_Network_Protection.reg

download

5. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7. When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8. Restart the computer to apply.

9. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.






Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in Windows 10
Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection in PowerShell

1. Open an elevated PowerShell.

2. Copy and paste the command below you want to use into the elevated PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

(Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection)
Set-MpPreference -EnableNetworkProtection Enabled

Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_PowerShell-1.png
Views: 440
Size:  8.6 KB

OR

(Enable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection using Audit Mode Only)
Set-MpPreference -EnableNetworkProtection AuditMode

Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_PowerShell-3.png
Views: 440
Size:  8.7 KB

OR

(Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Network Protection - DEFAULT)
Set-MpPreference -EnableNetworkProtection Disabled

Name:  Windows_Defender_Network_Protection_PowerShell-2.png
Views: 438
Size:  8.6 KB

3. Close the elevated PowerShell.

4. Restart the computer to apply.


That's it,
Shawn