How to Use the Microsoft Edge SmartScreen Filter

By Nancy C. Muir

When you activate SmartScreen Filter in the Edge browser, you allow Microsoft to check its database for information on the websites you visit. Microsoft alerts you if any of those websites are known to generate phishing scams or download malware to visitors’ computers. SmartScreen Filter is on by default, but if it gets turned off, to turn it on again, open Edge and follow these steps:

  1. Click the More Actions button, and then click Settings.
  2. Hover your mouse over the right edge of the pane to display the scroll bar, scroll down, and then click the View Advanced Settings button under Advanced Settings.
  3. Use the mouse to display the scroll bar at right again, and scroll down.
  4. Click the on/off button below Help Protect Me from Malicious Sites and Downloads with Windows Defender SmartScreen to On.
  5. Then press Esc to close the pane.

Once it’s turned on, SmartScreen Filter automatically checks websites and will generate a warning message if you visit one that has reported problems. However, that information is updated only periodically, so if you have concerns about a particular site, avoid browsing to it.