How to Enable or Disable Smart App Control in Windows 11

Smart App Control is a new security feature in Windows 11 introduced since Windows 11 insider preview 22567.

This new security feature helps protect Windows 11 from unknown and potentially dangerous programs. Smart App Control is protection against apps that pretend to be legitimate, yet behave like malware, for example, by displaying unwanted ads.

Smart App Control checks every app started against a cloud security service with a database. If the app is listed as safe, it will run, but if it is flagged as potentially dangerous, then Smart App Control will block the app.

If the app is not known at all in the cloud security service, then this service checks for a valid signature in the app. If the app has a valid signature, then Smart App Control will allow the app on your computer. If none or an invalid signature is found, Smart App Control blocks the app.

How to Enable or disable Smart App Control in Windows 11

We need to open the Windows security settings to manage Smart App Control. Click on the Start button and click on Settings in the menu.

Then click “Privacy & Security” on the left and then “Windows Security”.

Windows security settings in Windows 11

Next, click on “App & Browser Control”.

App and browser control settings in Windows 11

Click on “Smart App Control settings”.

Smart App Control settings

You will see three options for Smart App Control here. Namely “On” to enable Smart App Control, or “Evaluation” to learn if Smart App Control can help you by blocking apps and “Off”.

If Smart App Control is off, you cannot turn it on. This is because you have upgraded Windows to a version without a new installation. Smart App Control can only be enabled on new installations of Windows. For example, suppose Smart App Control is in evaluation mode, and you enable or disable Smart App Control. In that case, you cannot go back to evaluation without reinstalling Windows.

Here’s what Microsoft says about it on the Smart Control App help page:

“To ensure a safer experience, we can only enable Smart App Control on clean installations of Microsoft Windows 11. We want to ensure that no untrusted apps are running on the device yet when we enable or disable Smart App Control.

Therefore, you must reinstall Windows to re-enable Smart App Control after it is disabled.”

Turn Smart App Control on or off in Windows 11

I hope this has helped you. Thanks for reading!

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