Windows Insider

“Controlled Folder Access” Protection in Windows Defender: Security is here!

Many times we want to protect a folder with password so that no other person can open that folder and can’t view/modify the files inside it. To password-protect a folder, we need 3rd party software.

But, now Windows 10 comes with a similar feature called “Controlled Folder Access“. This feature is a part of “Windows Defender Security Center” application. This feature doesn’t allow users to password-protect a file or folder but with the help of this feature, you can restrict users from modifying a file or creating new files inside a protected folder.

You need to add the folder that you want to protect to “Protected Folders” list and Windows 10 will start monitoring and protecting the folder. You can add multiple folders to the protected folders list.

This feature adds an extra security layer to prevent unauthorized access and manipulation of your files and folders. If you also want to protect some folders in Windows 10, follow me 😉 :

01. Right click on Windows Defender Security Center from taskbar and click open. You can open it from main menu.

If you have removed the icon manually or don’t have the icon in system tray, you can open the Windows Defender Security Center by going to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Defender -> Open Windows Defender Security Center option.

2. After opening the program, click on “Virus & threat protection” section.

3. Now click on “Virus & threat protection settings” link.

4. Scroll down! You’ll find an option “Controlled folder access” which is turned off by default i.e. disabled. Enable it.

5. Click on “Protected folders” link and on next page, you can add desired folders to the list by clicking on “Add a protected folder” button.

Note: If you want to remove a folder from protected folders list, click on that folder name and then click on “Remove” button. Some system folders are always protected by this feature and you can’t remove them from the list. These default protected folders are documents, pictures, videos, music, desktop and favorites.

6. Open an app or 3rd party software and then open a file present inside a protected folder, Windows will immediately show a notification in Action Center:

Virus & threat protection
Unauthorized changes blocked
Controlled folder access blocked “app name and full path” from making changes to the folder “protected folder name and path

If you want to disable “Controlled Folder Access” feature in future, just set the toggle button mentioned in step 4 to OFF again.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. Stay protected!

About the author

Rezwanur Rahman

Rezwanur Rahman is the Software Engineer graduate from American International University - Bangladesh. He is the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) on Windows Insider program. He is the former Microsoft DX-intern and Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) Lead from Bangladesh. He is a programmer and software developer since 2012 on desktop, mobile and web platform. Subscribe and get updated for new blogs, news and updates.

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