Many users have already learned the unarguable benefits that come along with Windows Defender, a built-in protection from viruses in Windows 10. Even though most users opt out of this feature and choose an anti-virus that is more suitable to their needs, they still acknowledge its use. However, sometimes Windows Defender can cause issues with the system unbeknownst to the user, such as closing applications without permission and using too much CPU. In this article, you will find out how to stop Windows Defender blocking programs and fix Windows Defender exclusions not working.
There are specific problems that users face when they are playing games and Windows Defender is acting out. For example, a commonplace issue is when Windows Defender is blocking the application. Another reported problem is when Windows Defender is blocking Steam making it impossible to play the games. The solution lies in adjusting the exclusion list by adding the Steam folder to it, but then you are faced with a new problem – Windows Defender exclusion not working at all.
In the following article, we will deal with these problems and provide possible solutions.
Solution 1. If your Windows Defender is not cooperating, you should add exclusions to the list.
Certain software is deemed threatening by Windows Defender, and although Microsoft developers are trying to find a more sophisticated way for Windows Defender to do its scanning, there is still a ton of work to do. That’s why users are left with the option of adding an exclusion for the application that they know does not hold a threat to their system. Use the instructions below to set this feature:
- Step 1. Open Settings and then the Update & Security folder.
- Step 2. On the left pane, you will find the shield icon of Windows Security.
- Step 3. On the right side, you will have the option to open Windows Defender Security Center.
- Step 4. Navigate to Virus & threat protection.
- Step 5. Look at the bottom of the page for the Add an exclusion option.
- Step 6. You will have the opportunity to select the directory of the game that you are trying to use.
- Step 7. Make sure you click the Exclude this folder button so that it is not shut down by Windows Defender.
Solution 2. You can also opt to turn off Windows Defender.
This is not a recommended course of action. Windows Defender is a very handy program that serves as a protection against unwanted malicious software, and you shouldn’t disable it. That said, you can do that if you feel that you might be better off with another tool, like Auslogics Anti-Malware, for example. You should be aware, however, that when you install an antivirus, Windows Defender automatically disables itself, only running checks in the background for safety. Out of the two options, we would recommend keeping Windows Defender active on your system and using another tool that doesn’t conflict with your gaming software.
Solution 3. Switch off Controlled folder access.
This feature is part of the Windows Defender protection scheme, but it also protects folders from a third-party application. This, in turn, means that it can be the cause of the conflict between your games and these directories, resulting in the game not being able to run at all. To fix this issue, use this guide:
- Step 1. Open Windows Defender Security Center and access the Virus & Threat protection on the left side.
- Step 2. Enter the Virus and Threat Protection settings and scroll down to the Controlled folder access.
- Step 3. Manage the folder access.
- Step 4. Use the toggle button to switch the feature off.
Solution 4. Turn off the Real-Time protection.
Another feature that may be conflicting with your application is the Real-time protection as part of the Windows Defender. This feature is responsible for scanning your computer to figure out in real time if there is a threat to your system. Use these steps to turn the feature off:
- Step 1. Open the Windows Defender Security Center and enter the Virus& Threat Protection.
- Step 2. Choose Settings for the Virus and threat protection and navigate to the real-time Protection option.
- Step 3. Disable it.
Solution 5. Check if your files are being blocked.
You may have this problem because the file you are trying to access has already been blocked by Windows Defender. In order to use the file, you simply have to unblock it. Use these guidelines to unblock files that you need:
- Step 1. Open Properties of the application that you want to use (by right-clicking the icon).
- Step 2. Navigate to the Unblock option and check the Unblock button.
- Step 3. Don’t forget to apply and save the changes by clicking OK.
You can try using Game Mode on your Windows 10 as it proves to be very helpful in dealing with issues between games and Windows Defender. To enable it, use these instructions:
- Step 1. Go to Settings and then Gaming.
- Step 2. Select Game Mode and switch on the Game Mode feature.
- Step 3. Run your game and see if it works.
It’s important to keep the system updated because as part of the system, Windows Defender is also being updated and bugs are being dealt with. You might be looking for an answer to an issue that was already hacked by the developers, and all you need to do is update. If you haven’t updated for a while, use these guidelines to look for and install missing or new updates:
- Navigate to the Settings app and open Update and Security.
- Click the button that says, “Check for Updates” and wait for available updates to be installed.
We hope that this guide helped you solve the issues with your Windows Defender and you were able to access all of your applications.