Published by


Brink's Avatar
Administrator

Posts: 30,611

Show Printable Version 


How to Enable or Disable Windows Defender Exploit Guard Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10


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

Controlled folder access helps you protect valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware. It is part of Windows Defender Exploit Guard.

Controlled folder access in Windows Defender Security Center reviews the apps that can make changes to files in protected folders. Occasionally, an app that is safe to use will be identified as harmful. This happens because Microsoft wants to keep you safe and will sometimes err on the side of caution; however, this might interfere with how you normally use your PC. You can add an app to the list of safe or allowed apps to prevent them from being blocked.

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 donít store files in the default Windows libraries or youíve changed the location of the libraries away from the defaults.

For more details about Controlled folder access, see:

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the Controlled folder access feature of Windows Defender Exploit Guard in Windows 10.

You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable Controlled folder access.


 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: Turn On or Off Controlled Folder Access in Windows Defender Security Center
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off Controlled Folder Access in PowerShell
  • Option Three: Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Four: Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access using a REG file


EXAMPLE: Windows Defender Exploit Guard Controlled Folder Access








Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10
Turn On or Off Controlled Folder Access in Windows Defender Security Center


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

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\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: 247
Size:  48.0 KB

2. Click/tap on the Manage ransomware protection link under the Ransomware protection section. (see screenshot below)

Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-2.jpg
Views: 240
Size:  61.6 KB

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

Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-3.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  53.6 KB Name:  Windows_Defender_Controlled_folder_access-4.jpg
Views: 242
Size:  57.5 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.






Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10
Turn On or Off Controlled Folder Access in PowerShell

1. Open an elevated PowerShell.

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

(Default - Turn off Controlled folder access)
Set-MpPreference -EnableControlledFolderAccess Disabled

OR

(Turn on Controlled folder access)
Set-MpPreference -EnableControlledFolderAccess Enabled

3. You can now close the elevated PowerShell if you like.

Name:  Turn_OFF_Controlled_folder_access_PowerShell.png
Views: 243
Size:  17.3 KB Name:  Turn_ON_Controlled_folder_access_PowerShell.png
Views: 242
Size:  17.0 KB






Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10
Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Local Group Policy Editor


If this option is enabled or disabled, it will prevent turning on or off Controlled folder access using Option One and Option Two.

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

All editions can use Option Four 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\Controlled folder access

Name:  Controlled_folder_access_gpedit-1.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  67.1 KB

3. In the right pane of Controlled folder access in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Configure Controlled folder access policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

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


 5. To Use Default Controlled Folder Access Settings

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

Not Configured is the default setting.


 6. To Always Enable Controlled Folder Access

A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Block in the "Configure the guard my folders feature" drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshots below)


 7. To Always Disable Controlled Folder Access

A) Select (dot) Enabled, select Disable (Default) in the "Configure the guard my folders feature" drop menu, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshots below)

Name:  Controlled_folder_access_gpedit-2.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  99.6 KB Name:  Controlled_folder_access_gpedit-3.jpg
Views: 242
Size:  93.4 KB

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






Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10 OPTION FOUR Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10
Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access using a REG file


If this option is enabled or disabled, it will prevent turning on or off Controlled folder access using Option One and Option Two.

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

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

EnableControlledFolderAccess DWORD

(delete) = Default
0 = Disable
1 = Enable


1. Do step 2 (default), step 3 (enable), or step 4 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Use Default Controlled Folder Access Settings

This is the default setting.

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

Default_Controlled_Folder_Access.reg

download


 3. To Always Enable Controlled Folder Access

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

Always_Enable_Controlled_Folder_Access.reg

download


 4. To Always Disable Controlled Folder Access

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

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


That's it,
Shawn