Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

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To better protect your valuable data from malicious apps and threats like Ransomware, Microsoft introduces a new feature called Controlled folder access in the upcoming Windows 10 Falls Creators Update. When enabled, it monitors the changes that apps make to the files in certain protected folders and sends you a notification when a blacklisted app is trying to make a change to these files.

To enable the feature, Open Windows Defender Security Center by double-clicking the Windows Defender icon on the taskbar or the hidden area on the taskbar.

Windows defender icon on the taskbar - Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

Go to Virus & threat protection (the shield icon on the left), and click Virus & threat protection settings.

Windows Defender Virus threat protection settings - Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

Scroll down a little bit until finding the section called Controlled folder access and set the switch to On.

Windows Defender Controlled folder access on - Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

By default, the following folders are already being protected once the feature is turned on:

  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Movies
  • Desktop

If you have data saved in the folders that are not in the default protected list, you can add them by clicking Protected folders link and add them to the protected list in the next window. You can also enter network shares and mapped drives as well.

Windows Defender Controlled folder access protected folders - Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

You can also use the Allow an app through Controlled folder access link to allow an app that you trust but is being blocked by Controlled folder access feature to access your protected files.

Windows Defender Controlled folder access allow app - Windows 10 New Feature: Controlled Folder Access to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

With the ransomware getting so crazy lately, this controlled folder access feature Microsoft has put it out in motion is a very useful and welcomed feature that could save a lot of people’s data down the road.

Note that Controlled folder access is a new feature that first appeared in Windows 10 Build 16232 for Windows Insiders. It’s still in beta and has a long way to go and to improve until it makes its official debut in Windows Fall Creators Update.

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