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How to exclude an app from Exploit Protection on Windows 10

Windows Defender is often discounted as annoying and intrusive and many Windows 10 users look for ways to deactivate it. The fact is that Windows Defender is an effective tool for keeping your system safe. Its virus definitions update regularly but apart from that, it also has features that protect your system against newer, more sophisticated threats such as ransomware. Exploit Protection is one such feature that keeps harmless apps from being weaponized. If you need to though, you can exclude an app from Exploit Protection. Just do so at your own risk.

Exclude app from Exploit Protection

In order to exclude an app from Exploit Protection, you will need admin rights. Open Windows Defender and go to App & Browser Control. Scroll to the bottom and select Exploit Protection settings under the Exploit Protection section.

On the Exploit protection settings screen, go to the Program Settings tab and click the ‘Add program to customize’ option. The easiest way to add a program is to select its EXE. Go that route and in the file browser window that opens, navigate to and select the EXE of the app you want to exclude.

Once the app has been added to the list, select it, and click the Edit button.

This will open a long list of settings that you can enable/disable. If you’re looking for a particular type of setting to disable, you can do so and leave everything else unchanged. Click Apply to add the exception.

Why exclude apps?

Exploit protection rarely has a negative impact on any app’s performance however, there are still exceptions. It seems that there are certain games that have trouble running smoothly when this feature is enabled for them which is why users are looking to disable it for just those games.

What is Exploit Protection?

Exploit protection is a form of code injection. It works via a harmless app such as Microsoft Word. If you were to open a Word document, you would do so with little thought to it being malicious and for good reason. It’s a document and logically, the worst thing it can have is bad margins but if the document originated from an unknown source, chances are it has a bit of malicious code in it. This code itself can’t be executed via a file but the program i.e., Microsoft Word can be used to run it and cause damage.

Exploits look for weaknesses in apps that they can use to infect or hijack systems and the infection is spread through harmless files that the app will run. Exploit Protection counters it.


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