What is Controlled Folder Access ?
Controlled folder access is a security feature introduced in Windows 10 and continued in Windows 11. It is designed to protect important folders and files from unauthorized changes made by unknown or potentially malicious applications. When enabled Controlled folder access monitors and restricts access to specified folders thereby adding an extra layer of protection against ransomware and other types of malware.
By default Controlled folder access protects system folders that are considered crucial for the proper functioning of your operating system. These include folders such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites and Desktop. However you can also add additional folders to the controlled folder list allowing you to safeguard your personal data and other important files.
Whenever an application attempts to make unauthorized changes or access files within the protected folders. Controlled folder access will generate a notification in Windows Security. You can review these notifications and if you determine that the application should be allowed access, you can add it to the list of allowed apps. This way only trusted applications can modify or access files within the protected folders.
Controlled folder access is a proactive security measure that helps prevent unauthorized modifications to your important data adding an extra layer of protection to your files and folders.
How to use Controlled folder access in Windows 10/11?
Controlled folder access is a security feature in Windows 11 that helps protect your important files and folders from unauthorized changes by unknown applications. To use Controlled folder access you can follow these steps.
Step by Step Guide
- Go to Start menu and click on the Start button or pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Type “Windows Security” and click on the top result to open the Windows Security app.
- In the Windows Security app select “Virus & threat protection” from the left-hand menu.
- Under Virus & threat protection settings click on “Manage ransomware protection.”
- If the Controlled folder access toggle switch is set to “Off” click on it to turn it “On”. You may be prompted to give permission to make changes to your device — click “Yes” to proceed.
- By default important system folders are protected. If you want to add additional folders to the controlled folder list click on “Protected folders.”
- Click on the “Add a protected folder” button.
- Browse and select the folder you want to protect then click on “Add this folder.”
- The folder will be added to the controlled folder list and any unauthorized changes to the files within that folder will be blocked.
- You can also manage allowed apps through the “Allow an app through Controlled folder access” option. Click on it then click on “Add an allowed app.” Select the app you want to allow access to the protected folders and click on “Open.”
From now on any attempt by an unauthorized application to modify or access files within the protected folders will trigger a notification in Windows Security. You can review and take action on these notifications to further enhance the security of your files.