The ‘This app has been blocked for your protection‘ prompt appears when your system’s list of trusted authorities does not include the digital signature of the app.
It is a security feature to protect your system from harm. However, the app you want to use may actually be harmless.
So, let’s move on to the reasons and possible solutions for this issue.
Reasons for ‘This App Has Been Blocked for Your Protection’ Error
Here are some of the possible reasons for the User Account Control prompt to display this error message:
- Expired or revoked Digital Signature of app.
- Outdated Trusted Root Certificate Authority list.
- Improper operation of Cryptographic Services.
Solutions for ‘This App Has Been Blocked for Your Protection’ Error
You encounter this error when your system blocks apps from untrusted sources. As such, you can either change the permission settings or update the trusted authorities list to include the digital signature of the app to resolve this issue.
Apart from that, there may also be other methods you can take depending on the exact cause of the error. Try out the possible solutions mentioned below and see if they prove effective.
Unblock File in Properties
It is very likely that your system will block any files you download from the internet directly. You can easily unblock the file from its properties. To do so,
- Go to the file that shows this error.
- Select it and press Alt + Enter to open its Properties.
- Near the bottom of the General tab, you will see an unchecked Unblock box.
- Click on it to check the option and select Apply and Ok.
Now try running the file and check if the error remains.
Open With Command Prompt
It is possible to launch the file using the elevated Command Prompt to bypass the error. To do so,
- Go to the file, select it and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
- Then, search for Command Prompt in the search bar.
- Choose Run as administrator from the right section of the search bar.
- Press Ctrl + V. It pastes the file’s path as a command. For older Windows versions, you’ll need to manually type the file path.
- Press Enter to run the file.
Disable Windows Defender SmartScreen
Windows Defender SmartScreen is a security feature to protect your system. We don’t recommend disabling it, but you can do so if you believe the application it is blocking to be harmless.
However, make sure to re-enable this feature when you stop using the app.
Here’s how you can Disable Windows Defender SmartScreen:
- Open Settings by pressing Win + I and go to Update & Security.
- Click on Windows Security and select Open Windows Security.
- Go to App & browser control and click Reputation based protection settings under Reputation-based protection.
- Set all the options to Off.
Then, open the file showing the “This app has been blocked” prompt and check if you can launch it this time.
Disable UAC Setting in Group Policy
The UAC settings are also there for your system’s protection. So, similar to the previous method, disable such setting only to run the app and enable it afterwards.
Here are the steps to access and disable the relevant policy:
- Open the Run command and enter
gpedit.mscto launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Go to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.
- Look for and double-click on Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode.
- Check Disabled and hit Ok.
You can also disable this setting through the Registry Editor. To do so, navigate to
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System and set the value of EnableLUA as 0.
If you encounter this error while using Computer Management in MCM, change the following policy as well:
- Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Management Console > Restricted/Permitted snap-ins on the Group Policy Editor.
- Locate and double-click on Computer Management.
- Check Not Configured and hit Ok.
Restart your PC and check if the error persists.
Some applications will update their digital signatures after they are expired. So, make sure to update the application to the latest version. Report the error to the manufacturer if no later updates are available. You can also use alternative applications in the meantime.
You can also try reinstalling the app if you have the latest version. Sometimes the app can contain bugs that make your system mistake its digital signature as unauthorized.
To update/reinstall the app,
- Launch the Run command and enter
appwiz.cpl. It will direct you to the Uninstall Program tool in Control Panel.
- Search for and select the app with the error and select Uninstall or Uninstall/Change > Uninstall.
- Then download the latest installer from the official website and install the program.
Configure Cryptographic Services
One of the tasks of Cryptographic services is to verify the digital signature. You will encounter this error if this service is not running. So, follow the instructions below to configure the service.
- Open Run.
- Type and enter
- Search for Cryptographic Services and double-click on it.
- Set the Startup type to Automatic and click Ok.
- Then, press Win + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Enter the following commands:
Rename-Item -Path "C:\Windows\System32\catroot2" -NewName catroot2.old
After restarting, try launching the file again and check if the error resolves.
Restore System File Integrity
You can also try running the SFC and DISM tools to restore the integrity of your system files when you encounter this error in Microsoft apps. They have been known to resolve the issue in some cases. Even if they fail to do so, there will be no harm to your system.
Update Operating System
Your system also blocks apps for protection due to the incorrect configuration of services. These normally appear as bugs in a system or an insider build. You can easily debug this issue by installing system updates as soon as they are available.
Updating OS also updates root certificates, and new digital signatures may become authorized.
Check Automatic Root Certificates Update
By default, your system will automatically update root certificates when it encounters an untrusted source or during a system update. However, you may have unknowingly disabled such a setting. You can fix this issue by following the instructions below:
- Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Internet Communication Management > Internet Communication settings.
- Look for and double-click on Turn off Automatic Root Certificates Update.
- Check Not Configured or Disabled and click Ok.
Restart your PC and try launching the file again.
Perform System Restore
If you suddenly started experiencing this error on a previously accessible application, you can try restoring your system to an appropriate restore point. This method will remove all the errors that occurred afterward.
Follow the steps below to restore your system:
- Open the Run dialog box and enter
systempropertiesprotection. It will direct you to the System Protection tab of System Properties.
- Click on System Restore to initiate the process.
- Select a suitable restore point and follow the on-screen instructions.