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Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app

When you try to run files downloaded from the internet, the following error may appear on your Windows 10 computer:

Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app

In some systems, the same error may pop up also when opening Command Prompt or PowerShell.

Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app

This error has nothing to do with the latest Feature Update for Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update.

Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app

To fix the error Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app:

  1. Switch out of Windows 10 S mode to the regular Windows 10 Home or Pro version.
  2. Disable Secure Boot in BIOS

Switch out of Windows 10 S mode

The Windows Defender error may be occur if you’ve installed Windows 10 S mode. It appears that some users have chosen the wrong installation routine and ended up with Windows 10 S instead of the standard version of Windows 10 Pro or Home.

You can check if you’re running in Windows 10 S mode via Activation settings page.

Windows 10 in S mode is a version of Windows 10 that’s streamlined for security and performance, while providing a familiar Windows experience. To increase security, it allows only apps from the Microsoft Store, and requires Microsoft Edge for safe browsing.

To fix the problem, you’ll need to permanently switch out of S mode. There’s no charge to switch out of S mode, but you won’t be able to turn it back on.

  1. On your computer running Windows 10 in S mode, open Settings → Update & Security → Activation.
  2. Click on the Go to the Store link, listed under the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section.

    Note: Don’t select the link under Upgrade your edition of Windows. That’s a different process that will keep you in S mode.

  3. On the page that appears in the Microsoft Store (Switch out of S mode or a similar page), select the Get button.
  4. After you confirm this action, you’ll be able to install apps from outside the Microsoft Store or run apps without being blocked by Windows Defender Security.

At Microsoft forums, some users were suggested other alternate methods to get back to the regular Windows 10 Home or Pro version. This method doesn’t come from Microsoft’s official sources. Anyway, I’m posting the methods here. In none of the following tips help, all you need to do is backup your files and clean install Windows 10.

Try changing the Product Key to switch to Pro or Home. Use the generic Pro Product Key (found in \Sources\Product.ini on Windows 10 install media):

VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T [for Pro]

An easy way to switch Product Key is to run from Admin Command Prompt, for Windows 10 Pro:

slmgr.vbs /ipk VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

If you are unable to open elevated an Command Prompt:

  • Launch launch Task Manager, click More details view, then try running a new task (cmd.exe) with Admin privileges from the File menu.

If the slmgr.vbs method does not work, use the Change Product Key in the Activation screen in Settings.

Should the change of edition or activation method fail to work, then you need to obtain the Windows 10 ISO for Home/Pro from Microsoft. Then do a clean install of Windows.

Windows 10 Home and Pro – Disable Secure Boot in UEFI/BIOS Setup

If you’re sure you’re not using Windows 10 S Mode, yet the problem occurs in regular versions of Windows 10 Home or Pro, then you may try disabling Secure boot. Disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS helped many users.

Secure Boot is a feature of many newer EFI or UEFI machines which helps a computer resist attacks and infection from malware, and prevents it from booting into anything but Windows 8/10. When your computer was manufactured, UEFI created a list of keys that identify trusted hardware, firmware, and operating system loader code. It also created a list of keys to identify known malware. When Secure Boot is enabled, the computer blocks potential threats before they can attack or infect the computer.

To disable secure boot, use these steps:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Turn on the computer, then immediately press ESC repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup Menu opens.
  3. Press F10 to open BIOS Setup for HP and Compaq PCs. The key varies for other brands. It may be DEL, F2 or the F8 key in other systems. The POST screen will tell you which key should be pressed to get into the BIOS setup page. Or you can check the motherboard manual to get that info.
  4. Check the Boot Options or similar setting in the BIOS, and disable the option named Secure Boot. Here is a screenshot that shows how the Boot Options page might look like.

    Secure Boot option in BIOS setup screen

Alternately, to get into the UEFI/BIOS firmware settings page: When Windows is running, press and hold SHIFT, and restart Windows from the login screen. This step gets you to Recovery Options. From the Recovery Options screen, go to Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → UEFI Firmware Settings.

Windows Recovery Environment — Advanced Options screen

Useful Links

Hope this temporary workaround helps prevent the annoying “Your organization used Windows Defender Application Control to block this app” error on your Windows 8 or Windows 10 computer.

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