Windows SmartScreen is a new security feature in Windows 8. Windows SmartScreen can help you stay safer by warning you before running unrecognized programs downloaded from the Internet. All the files you download using a browser have an alternate data stream (ADS) containing the zone information indicating that they have been downloaded from the internet. Windows SmartScreen reads this ADS information and prohibits running all the programs downloaded from the internet, until they pass the online check at Microsoft servers. If you do not have an internet connection but try to run a program you downloaded earlier, then you are stopped from running it.
As shown in the picture above, when offline, Windows SmartScreen shows only two options – do not run the program and delete the program. The option to force Windows SmartScreen to run the program is hidden. Although you can turn off the Windows SmartScreen altogether, but if you want then you can easily clear the ADS zone information from the downloaded file and bypass Windows SmartScreen. Here is how :
- To clear the internet zone information in the ADS of a downloaded file, right-click on that file and choose Properties.
- Under the General tab in the Properties window, click on the Unblock button as shown.
- Close the Properties window by clicking on the OK button. Now you can run the program. Windows SmartScreen will no longer bother you when trying to run this file.
If you do not want to turn off Windows SmartScreen completely but want to bypass it for a downloaded program, then you can just clear the alternate data streams (ADS) for that file. You can clear the ADS from the Properties window of that file. But if you want to clear ADS from multiple files, then you can use the Streams program available from the Sysinternals site.