How to protect Windows 11 against ransomware attacks

Ransomware is a huge problem nowadays. Every day, companies and private Windows users are hit by ransomware attacks.

In 2021, 21 trillion worth of damage was caused by ransomware. Furthermore, the cost of the damage is expected to rise to 265 trillion by 2031. So that’s huge, and that’s why ransomware protection is a must.

In Windows 11, protection against ransomware attacks has been implemented in Windows security. It is part of a package summarized as “Windows Security” and provides excellent protection against a ransomware attack. The feature that protects against ransomware is called “Controlled Folder Access”.

Controlled Folder Access, when enabled, uses a mechanism to track apps (executables, scripts, and DLL files) that attempt to make changes to files in the protected folders. Suppose the app is malicious or not recognized. In that case, the feature will immediately block the attempt, and you will receive a notification of the suspicious activity.

Here’s how to turn on and manage Controlled Folder Access in Windows 11.

How to turn on Ransomware Protection in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start button. Click on Settings from the menu. Then click on “Privacy & Security” on the left.

In the Privacy & Security settings, click Windows Security and click the “Open Windows Security” button.

Open Windows Security settings in Windows 11

Then in “Windows Security” click on “Virus and Threat Protection” on the left and then on “Manage Ransomware Protection” at the bottom.

Manage ransomware protection in Windows 11

To enable ransomware protection in Windows 11, enable the “Controlled Folder Access” feature by clicking the blue on/off button.

Turn on Controlled folder access ransomware protection in Windows 11

How to add a protected folder to ransomware protection

Now that you have enabled ransomware protection, your Windows 11 computer is protected from unwanted modification to various files. After this, you can add specific folders to the ransomware protection. The folders you add will be protected against ransomware, including all the underlying files in these folders.

Click on the “Protected folders” link to protect folders from ransomware. By clicking on the “Add a protected folder” you can add folders.

Windows 11 system folders and document folders are added to the ransomware protection by default.

Add a protected folder to ransomware protection in Windows 11

How to allow an app in ransomware protection

It sometimes happens that “Controlled Folder Access” (“ransomware protection”) blocks an app that is identified as dangerous. So you can exclude this app from protection. This way, this app can add changes to the “Protected folders”.

Go back to the protection against ransomware settings. Then click on “Allow an app via Controlled Folder Access”.

Click the “Add an allowed app” button to add an app exception to the list.

Allow an app through controlled folder access in Windows 11

How to recover data in case of a ransomware attack

In the ransomware protection in Windows 11, you can configure that certain apps and files can be restored after a ransomware attack. To do this, you will need to set up OneDrive.

Set up OneDrive to recovery files in case of a ransomware attack in Windows 11

Also read: Enable System protection in Windows 11.

I hope to have helped you with this. Thanks for reading!

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