SmartScreen Filter: frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Internet Explorer‌ SmartScreen Filter.

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What is SmartScreen Filter and how can it help protect me?

SmartScreen Filter is a feature in Internet Explorer that helps detect phishing websites. SmartScreen Filter can also help protect you from downloading or installing malware (malicious software).

SmartScreen Filter helps to protect you in three ways:

  • As you browse the web, it analyses webpages and determines if they have any characteristics that might be suspicious. If it finds suspicious webpages, SmartScreen will display a message giving you an opportunity to provide feedback and advising you to proceed with caution.

  • SmartScreen Filter checks the sites you visit against a dynamic list of reported phishing sites and malicious software sites. If it finds a match, SmartScreen Filter will show you a warning notifying you that the site has been blocked for your safety.

  • SmartScreen Filter checks files that you download from the web against a list of reported malicious software sites and programs known to be unsafe. If it finds a match, SmartScreen Filter will warn you that the download has been blocked for your safety. SmartScreen Filter also checks the files that you download against a list of files that are well known and downloaded by many Internet Explorer users. If the file that you're downloading isn't on that list, SmartScreen Filter will warn you.

Use of SmartScreen Filter is governed by the Microsoft Service Agreement. For more information, read the Microsoft Service Agreement online.

For more information about what data is sent to SmartScreen Filter and how it's used, read the Internet Explorer 9 privacy statement online.

What does it mean when I see a message that says a file isn't "commonly downloaded"?

When you download a program from the Internet, SmartScreen Filter will check the program against a list of programs that are downloaded by a significant number of other Internet Explorer users and a list of programs that are known to be unsafe. If the program you're downloading isn't on either list, SmartScreen Filter will display a warning that the file isn't "commonly downloaded." It doesn't necessarily mean the website is fraudulent or that the program is malware, but you probably shouldn't download or install the program unless you trust the website and the publisher.

For more information about downloading software, see When to trust a software publisher.

For more information about safe websites, see When to trust a website.

For more information about Download Manager, see Using Download Manager in Windows Internet Explorer 9.

How do I check a website manually with SmartScreen Filter?

You can check websites from Internet Explorer by following these steps:

  1. Åpne Internet Explorer ved å klikke StartBilde av startknappen. Skriv inn Internet Explorer i søkeboksen, og klikk deretter Internet Explorer i listen over resultater.

  2. Go to a website that you want to check.

  3. Click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Check this website.

One of the sites I visit is being flagged by SmartScreen Filter, but it's not an unsafe website. What can I do?

From the warning page, you can choose to report this site as a safe site. Click More information, and then click the Report that this site does not contain threats link to go online to the Microsoft feedback website, and then follow the instructions.

How do I report a phishing website?

Follow these steps to report a phishing website:

  1. Åpne Internet Explorer ved å klikke StartBilde av startknappen. Skriv inn Internet Explorer i søkeboksen, og klikk deretter Internet Explorer i listen over resultater.

  2. Go to the phishing website.

  3. Click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Report this Website.

  4. Use the webpage that is displayed to report the website.

How do I turn SmartScreen Filter off or on?

  1. Åpne Internet Explorer ved å klikke StartBilde av startknappen. Skriv inn Internet Explorer i søkeboksen, og klikk deretter Internet Explorer i listen over resultater.

  2. Click the Safety button, point to SmartScreen Filter, and then click either Turn Off SmartScreen Filter or Turn On SmartScreen Filter.

  3. In the Microsoft‌ SmartScreen Filter dialog box, click OK.