Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,070
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 132 Times in 86 Posts

    Disable Win8's SmartScreen for better performance




    WINDOWS 8

    Disable Win8's SmartScreen for better performance

    By Ryan Matthew Pierson

    Can a touch-capable mouse really make working with Windows 8 experience better?
    Learning series of gestures, specially designed for Windows 8, might be better than memorizing keyboard shortcuts.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/windows-8/disable-win8-s-smartscreen-for-better-performance/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    That's one of the first things I've done in Windows 8.
    If you operate on a set of well known and hassle free application, and rarely experiment with new software, then the risk is easily negotiable.
    But if your one who is always downloading and installing things from the internet on a regular basis, then disabling smart screen wouldn't be advisable.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,753
    Thanks
    171
    Thanked 651 Times in 574 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post
    Disable Win8's SmartScreen for better performance
    What a strange headline. How does disabling SmartScreen improve Windows 8's performance? Windows 8 already gives far less notifications about running downloaded files than Windows 7. If you're lucky, it would save you a couple of clicks each week or month:

    In Windows 8, SmartScreen will only notify you when you run an application that has not yet established a reputation and therefore is a higher risk:

    We expect average users to see a SmartScreen prompt less than twice per year and when they do see it, it will signify a higher risk scenario. Telemetry data shows 92% of applications downloaded via Internet Explorer 9 already have an established reputation and show no warnings. The same data shows that when an application reputation warning is shown, the risk of getting a malware infection by running it is 25-70%. And SmartScreen gives you administrative controls to prevent your non-techie friends or children from ignoring these warnings.
    Building Windows 8: Protecting you from malware


    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post
    Can a touch-capable mouse really make working with Windows 8 experience better?
    Learning series of gestures, specially designed for Windows 8, might be better than memorizing keyboard shortcut.
    Er, that was five weeks ago.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post
    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/windows-8/disable-win8-s-smartscreen-for-better-performance/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).
    Before Windows Secrets' staff tell me I'm crazy again, does this link actually work for anyone?


    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    That's one of the first things I've done in Windows 8.
    If you operate on a set of well known and hassle free application, and rarely experiment with new software, then the risk is easily negotiable.
    But if your one who is always downloading and installing things from the internet on a regular basis, then disabling smart screen wouldn't be advisable.
    SmartScreen doesn't prevent you from downloading any file or running any program; it just warns you if an application has a bad reputation or no reputation yet.

    What's the advantage in disabling SmartScreen in Windows 8?


    Bruce

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,797
    Thanks
    117
    Thanked 799 Times in 720 Posts
    I'm with Bruce on this one. I've seen maybe 2 warnings from Smartscreen since I installed Windows 8 CP, then RP, then Pro. No noticeable performance issues. Don't see any reason to fool wit it.

    Jerry

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    328
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    What's also strange about the column is that in spite of the subject title, I got the impression Ryan was telling users - repeatedly - not to fully disable it, but rather to choose the Warn option.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,483
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts

    Which SmartScreen Filter are we talking about?

    BruceR posted (#3)
    SmartScreen doesn't prevent you from downloading any file or running any program; it just warns you if an application has a bad reputation or no reputation yet.


    What's the advantage in disabling SmartScreen in Windows 8?
    That is pure nonsense, Bruce! When applied to the Windows 8 Desktop, any Smartscreen "Notification", like the old Vista UACs, brings the user's ability to do anything in Windows 8 to a halt until the message is responded to. I don't find an easy way to control the aggressiveness of these "Notifications", although the article suggests that such controls do exist.


    I tried to play nice and to let SmartScreen Filter operate on the Wndows 8 Desktop while testing the Beta versions. I found NO WAY to let GPU-z (a stand-alone utility for monitoring graphics card performance) run without going through the notorious "notification". This is a Green Bar which totally obstructs the Windows 8 desktop, bringing productivity to a full halt, until I specifically click on a very tiny link for "options". Then and only then, I can go through an Administrator "Allow" popup, and I can only authorize this utility to run ONCE. No way to permanently stop SmartScreen Filter from interrupting my work every time I want information on my graphics subsystems.


    This is only one of several utilities I run regularly on my Administrator Desktop in Windows 8 which SmartScreen Filter always tries to block.


    With no way to permanently whitelist applications which are known to be safe, SmartScreen Filter on the Windows 8 Desktop is an annoyance worse that the old Vista UACs, which most power users I've talked to had to disable entirely.


    TWO SmartScreen Filters in Windows 8


    Let it be known, there are TWO SmartScreen Filters in Windows 8. One is inside of IE 10, and should be left alone, as it rarely sends up notifications, and even then, it's probably warning of a legitimate security risk in a Web based app or something else on a web page. All well and good, and I have not messed with this version of SmartScreen Filter.


    But the second SmartScreen Filter tries to control which programs can be installed and run on the Windows 8 desktop. For the Metro Apps, this is all well and good, as I would not want to download and install any Apps which are not approved and vetted by the Microsoft App Marketplace. I assume this vetting process is rigorous and reliable.


    However, and this is my beef with SmartScreen Filter on the Legacy Desktop, when the same strategy is applied to Legacy Desktop Applications, particularly stand-alone or portable Applications, the result is a virtual vendor lock-in. Third-party and freeware standalone Applications are frequently not on the Microsoft Whitelist. My favorite Updates Checker, KC Softwares SUMo, is even flagged as malicious. When the clean (ad-free) version is installed, it still trips the trigger every time it fires up, and the GreenBar stops my work cold.


    This is why I have left SmartScreen Filter active in IE 10, but never allowed it to install on the Windows 8 Desktop. (This is an option during installation, and a Metro Control Panel Setting after installation. The Browser filter is controlled separately from the Desktop filter. The user usually does not see levels of aggressiveness in the Metro view of these controls. Just On or Off.)


    I am using Windows 8 Pro, so I spend the lion's share of my time on the Legacy Desktop. And when in an Administrator Account doing maintenance and system testing, the LAST thing I want is a GreenBar insisting that my utilities are not safe. This is not Microsoft's decision to make -- it is my responsibility, and I prefer to keep it under my own control, thank you!


    By way of full disclosure, in the RTM and later, there are controls for the level of aggressiveness of SmartScreen Filter in Windows 8. But weakening it on the Desktop seems to weaken it in the Browser as well, if I read the article correctly. It would be nice to be able to separately control the aggressiveness levels on the Desktop, in the Metro Apps, and in IE 10. But alas, this is not the way Microsoft seems to have set things up.

    If there are reasonable ways to fine-tune SmartScreen Desktop Filtering in Windows 8, and only on the Legacy Desktop, I would like to read about them.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-12-06 at 16:40.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
    Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 134 Times in 115 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR
    Before Windows Secrets' staff tell me I'm crazy again, does this link actually work for anyone?
    Your not crazy Bruce, there's a typo in the link. Try this one: http://windowssecrets.com/windows-8/...er-performance. There's no dash between the win8 and the s, just before the -smartscreen.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,753
    Thanks
    171
    Thanked 651 Times in 574 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Which SmartScreen Filter are we talking about?
    The article was clearly about Windows 8 SmartScreen with its optional administrator approval. IE10 wasn't mentioned.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    BruceR posted (#3)
    Do you have something against the Reply With Quote button which would do that automatically?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    That is pure nonsense, Bruce! When applied to the Windows 8 Desktop, any Smartscreen "Notification", like the old Vista UACs, brings the user's ability to do anything in Windows 8 to a halt until the message is responded to.
    Er, that's what I said. There would be no point in a warning if it continued without acknowledgement. It doesn't prevent installation.

    Why like Vista? Doesn't Win7/8 UAC require a click to continue too?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I don't find an easy way to control the aggressiveness of these "Notifications", although the article suggests that such controls do exist.
    That makes it obvious you haven't tried having SmartScreen enabled since RTM. The controls are a single click from Action Center.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I tried to play nice and to let SmartScreen Filter operate on the Wndows 8 Desktop while testing the Beta versions. I found NO WAY to let GPU-z (a stand-alone utility for monitoring graphics card performance) run without going through the notorious "notification". This is a Green Bar which totally obstructs the Windows 8 desktop, bringing productivity to a full halt, until I specifically click on a very tiny link for "options". Then and only then, I can go through an Administrator "Allow" popup, and I can only authorize this utility to run ONCE. No way to permanently stop SmartScreen Filter from interrupting my work every time I want information on my graphics subsystems.
    I downloaded GPU-z yesterday with IE10 and installed it on Windows 8 with SmartScreen enabled in both: There were no warnings or extra clicks at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    This is only one of several utilities I run regularly on my Administrator Desktop in Windows 8 which SmartScreen Filter always tries to block.
    You mean "used to", not always. Didn't you expect anything to change from the Beta versions?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    With no way to permanently whitelist applications which are known to be safe, SmartScreen Filter on the Windows 8 Desktop is an annoyance worse that the old Vista UACs, which most power users I've talked to had to disable entirely.
    You don't need to whitelist. Microsoft does it for you. Automatically. Free. To make the Internet safer for everyone. Isn't that nice of them?

    Which "Free Video Player" would you choose to download, and install outside of IE, with SmartScreen disabled in Windows 8? (A safe Microsoft demo.)

    Without SmartScreen, it's guesswork. With SmartScreen, you only get warned the first time if you guess wrong. Very useful if you use a different browser or install later.

    Especially useful if that file came to this computer on a portable flash drive so that its browser protection would never have been applicable.

    So if you choose More Info, Run Anyway (OR File Properties, Unblock) you have effectively whitelisted the application permanently.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    TWO SmartScreen Filters in Windows 8
    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post

    Let it be known, there are TWO SmartScreen Filters in Windows 8. One is inside of IE 10, and should be left alone, as it rarely sends up notifications, and even then, it's probably warning of a legitimate security risk in a Web based app or something else on a web page. All well and good, and I have not messed with this version of SmartScreen Filter.
    Only that IE10 one, which examines sites as well as files, is called SmartScreen Filter.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    But the second SmartScreen Filter tries to control which programs can be installed and run on the Windows 8 desktop.
    It doesn't try; it succeeds! But that one is only called SmartScreen.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    For the Metro Apps, this is all well and good, as I would not want to download and install any Apps which are not approved and vetted by the Microsoft App Marketplace. I assume this vetting process is rigorous and reliable.
    It hasn't been called Windows Marketplace for a year or two. I think you're talking about Windows Store Apps.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    However, and this is my beef with SmartScreen Filter on the Legacy Desktop, when the same strategy is applied to Legacy Desktop Applications, particularly stand-alone or portable Applications, the result is a virtual vendor lock-in. Third-party and freeware standalone Applications are frequently not on the Microsoft Whitelist. My favorite Updates Checker, KC Softwares SUMo, is even flagged as malicious. When the clean (ad-free) version is installed, it still trips the trigger every time it fires up, and the GreenBar stops my work cold.
    I don't see how "standalone", "portable", "third-party" or "freeware" are relevant to the discussion. Do you think Microsoft doesn't grant a reputation to any of those? (Like it bans free or small apps from the Window Store?)

    I downloaded Sumo today; IE10 just told me "not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer" but I still could have clicked Run from there.

    Saving the download for later and accessing from Windows Explorer did trigger SmartScreen, but after three clicks for More Info, Run Anyway, and UAC it was installing. And the installation routine takes 12 clicks, so what's three extra for some extra anti-malware assurance if you're not so aware of the file or origin?

    And you know very well how careful you have to be about exactly which version of Sumo you download to avoid loads of crap which could be regarded as malware, so perhaps that's why it hasn't earned its no-bar/click reputation for its few safe versions.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    This is why I have left SmartScreen Filter active in IE 10, but never allowed it to install on the Windows 8 Desktop. (This is an option during installation, and a Metro Control Panel Setting after installation. The Browser filter is controlled separately from the Desktop filter. The user usually does not see levels of aggressiveness in the Metro view of these controls. Just On or Off.)
    Once again you confirm that you never gave SmartScreen a chance in Windows 8 because you disabled it from the start, due to your annoyance with it on Developer Preview and Consumer Preview. Even there, a file could have been whitelisted by editing its Zone.Identifier Alternate Data Stream, either manually or with a utility program like Nirsoft's AlternateStreamView - View/Copy/Delete NTFS Alternate Data Streams, which has been possible since XP and IE7.

    Now Windows 8 has just made it much easier: Learn Where Windows 8 Stores SmartScreen Filter Information for Downloaded Files

    You're right about the installation option, but you're wrong about a Metro view of these controls after installation. (What the heck is a Metro Control Panel Setting?) If you search Metro Settings for SmartScreen you go to the Action Center shown in the article. It was only kept simple for the installation. It's not exactly levels of agressiveness either; it's off or on, plus on and only an administrator can override the warning.

    Can you imagine how useful the Warn AND Admin option would be for a computer shared by kids using USB flash drives? (Or enterprises with dumb users.)


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I am using Windows 8 Pro, so I spend the lion's share of my time on the Legacy Desktop.
    Does that follow in some way? I don't get the connection.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    And when in an Administrator Account doing maintenance and system testing, the LAST thing I want is a GreenBar insisting that my utilities are not safe. This is not Microsoft's decision to make -- it is my responsibility, and I prefer to keep it under my own control, thank you!
    You would get no green bar for any utility which has acquired a good reputation. Otherwise, there's no insistence; it just says, in effect, Unrecognized, Are You Sure?

    If that's the case, two quick clicks and you have your control and your responsibility, for ever.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    By way of full disclosure, in the RTM and later, there are controls for the level of aggressiveness of SmartScreen Filter in Windows 8.
    I don't understand what you're trying to disclose here.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    But weakening it on the Desktop seems to weaken it in the Browser as well, if I read the article correctly. It would be nice to be able to separately control the aggressiveness levels on the Desktop, in the Metro Apps, and in IE 10. But alas, this is not the way Microsoft seems to have set things up.
    I think you should read the article again. The only mention of a browser was the historical intro fact that SmartScreen started with IE8 three years ago.

    I don't think SmartScreen has or needs anything to do with Metro Apps, which must be approved in a totally different way. You already said you only want Microsoft-approved apps there, and that's what you've got.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    If there are reasonable ways to fine-tune SmartScreen Desktop Filtering in Windows 8, and only on the Legacy Desktop, I would like to read about them.
    That's what the article was about. What fine-tuning do you need? It's on or off. Admin off only if you have non-admin users you really trust not to run malicious or infected files when they get a warning. A couple of clicks a few times a year to whitelist a file permanently.

    I think the article is misguided, but at least you have the option for "increased risk of malware infection" to avoid the taxing effort of a few clicks.

    Do you wear a seatbelt or are you an advanced driver?


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2012-12-07 at 16:42.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Don't forget about UAC as well. In Windows 8 one can move the slider all the way to the bottom without actually turning it off.
    Remove the annoying screen darkener messages without loosing all of it's protection.

    In order to more fully disable UAC, one would require a registry hack accomplish it.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,753
    Thanks
    171
    Thanked 651 Times in 574 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Don't forget about UAC as well. In Windows 8 one can move the slider all the way to the bottom without actually turning it off.
    Remove the annoying screen darkener messages without loosing all of it's protection.
    Do you mean for Standard users?

    For Administrators, the bottom setting ("Never notify") does effectively turn UAC off.

    The second one up switches off the screen dimming without switching off notifications for Administrators.


    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    In order to more fully disable UAC, one would require a registry hack accomplish it.
    If you do that in Windows 8 you stop all Metro Apps from running!


    Bruce

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,483
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    BruceR posted (#8)
    Once again you confirm that you never gave SmartScreen a chance in Windows 8 because you disabled it from the start, due to your annoyance with it on Developer Preview and Consumer Preview. Even there, a file could have been whitelisted by editing its Zone.Identifier Alternate Data Stream, either manually or with a utility program like Nirsoft's AlternateStreamView - View/Copy/Delete NTFS Alternate Data Streams, which has been possible since XP and IE7.
    And this is easier than disabling Desktop SmartScreen???


    Sometimes when responding to an excessively long or disjointed post, I have to pick out only the most relevant (to my point) part(s) and discard the rest. Quote or multi-quote doesn't do the job adequately. You have done just as I do repeatedly in Post #8, Bruce.


    Maybe I could mess with SmartScreen in Windows 8 in its current release, but it isn't worth my time and effort on the Legacy Desktop. Turning SmartScreen off does me no harm, as I know what's on my computer (on the desktop side of Windows 8) and I know when something isn't doing what it usually does. Then it's time to worry, and never before. In the browser, it's an entirely different matter.


    And yes, folks get Win 8 Pro so as to be able to spend more time on the Legacy Desktop and less time messing with the Metro/RT garbage. I'd wager that's the Number One Reason folks go Pro.
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #12
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,753
    Thanks
    171
    Thanked 651 Times in 574 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    And yes, folks get Win 8 Pro so as to be able to spend more time on the Legacy Desktop and less time messing with the Metro/RT garbage. I'd wager that's the Number One Reason folks go Pro.
    Windows 8 (non-Pro) also has a fully functional desktop. Most of us have Pro because it was the only edition offered as a low-cost upgrade.

    Bruce

  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,483
    Thanks
    176
    Thanked 152 Times in 129 Posts
    I somewhat agree. However, there are (as with previous Windows versions) many administrative functions which are better supported in the Windows 8 Pro Edition than in the standard Windows 8 Edition. Given a choice, I think many of us would have chosen to go Pro because of this. Minor point really, as non-tablet users who upgraded are very likely to have ended up with Pro, often with Media Center added on. For my dual-boot arrangement, this was really the best way to go (with System Builder Pro under the PUL).

    My contrast is between Windows RT and Windows 8 (or Windows 8 Pro). Yes, both the Pro and standard editions have the Legacy Desktop fully implemented.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-12-18 at 00:55.
    -- Bob Primak --

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    I have Smart Screen Filtering turned off as well as UAC, and can still use (install/uninstall & work) every Modern UI styled apps on my Windows 8 computer.
    I am set up as the administrator of my Windows 8 computer with no other accounts to logon to.

    I highly recommend to those that are technically proficient, and the sole users of their computer, to disable both SC filter & UAC.

    UAC and SmartScreen filtering is a security layer designed into Windows 8, to a great extent, for those that are not computer proficient.
    Some of us just simply don't need it.

    Edit
    UAC cannot be turned off completely by moving the slider to the bottom. A registry hack is needed, only then will
    Modern UI apps be affected.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •