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How to Enable "Controlled Folder Access" in Windows 10


How to Enable "Controlled Folder Access" in Windows 10

How to Enable "Controlled Folder Access" in Windows 10

Ransomware is a malware infection in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is demanded before the ransomed data is decrypted and access returned to the victim.

Ransomware is rampant today, and you need to take additional care to secure your Windows computer, apart from just installing an antivirus software.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (v1709) introduced Controlled Folder Access feature in Windows Defender Security Center.

If you enable Controlled Folder Access on any folder, your system will keep monitoring all the changes in real time and let you know if any unauthorized access is occurring. Moreover, if an unauthorized process tries to access that protected folder, it will be blocked immediately, and you will be notified right away. The benefits of using Controlled Folder Access for your home and work computers are tangible for anyone that's fearful of losing crucial files to a ransomware infection.

If you want to give Controlled Folder Access a go, below are the basic steps to enable it on your PC.

1. Press the Start Menu button and type "Windows Defender Security Center" and click the "Windows Defender Security Center."  You can also open the Windows Defender Security Center app by clicking the shield icon in the notification area ( system tray).

2. In the "Windows Defender Security Center" click the "Virus & threat protection" option from the main window.

3. Click "Virus & threat protection settings" option from the next window.

4. From the next Window that opened  locate the "Controlled folder access" section. To enable the feature, just click the On/Off toggle.

If you enable Controlled Folder Access, all your Library folders such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop will be protected automatically. These are the default folders. However, the best part is that you can add any other folder to the list.

5. Click the "Protected folders --> Add a protected folder" and add all the folders you want to restrict access to.

6. Click "Allow an app through Controlled folder access"  and whitelist the applications that are allowed to access, edit, create or remove files from protected folders.

If you have enabled Controlled folder access and on a folder and if any unauthorized app or process tries to access it and change its contents, the attempt will be stopped and you will see a Unauthorized changes blocked notification in the bottom right corner of your screen.
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