How to add folder to Controlled Folder Access in Windows 11

In Microsoft Defender antivirus, a “Controlled Folder Access” option helps protect your valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware.

By default, many system folders and default locations are protected by Microsoft Defender Controlled folder access. Microsoft does not allow you to delete these system folders but does allow you to add other folders to this list that you want to protect.

Adding other folders to this managed folder access can be helpful if you don’t store files in the standard Windows libraries. You can also add network shares and mapped drives.

In addition, environment variables and wildcards are supported. Finally, controlled folder access helps protect your files and data from ransomware, as only trusted apps and services can access your protected folders.

The following folders are added to controlled folder access by Windows by default. The documents folders, both under the user profile and in the public profile. Furthermore, the images, videos, music, and favorites folders are also added for both the user and public profiles.

How to add a folder to controlled folder access in Windows Security

To add a folder:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Click Settings on the menu.
  3. On the left, click Privacy & Security.
  4. Click Windows Security and then click the “Open Windows Security” button.

Open Windows security settings

On the left, click on “Virus and Threat Protection” and in the right-hand section, navigate to the bottom and click on “Manage ransomware protection”.

Manage ransomware protection

Ensure “Controlled Folder Access” is enabled. Then click on “Protected Folders.”

Turn on Controlled Folder access in Windows 11

Click the “Add a protected folder” button to add a custom folder. The protected folder will then be protected and added to the list of protected folders.

Add a protected folder to controlled folder access in Windows 11

If you wish to remove a protected folder from controlled folder access, click on the folder and click on the “remove” button that becomes visible.

remove folder from controlled folder access in Windows 11

Confirm the removal of the protected folder.

Also read: Enable periodic scanning in Windows defender.

I hope this has helped you. Thanks for reading!

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