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About the SmartScreen Filter

In recent versions of Windows, users who have downloaded programs from ViaThinkSoft may receive the message "Windows protected your PC" with reference to "Windows Defender SmartScreen."

What is the SmartScreen filter?

The "SmartScreen" is a technology by Microsoft whose goal is to protect Windows systems from malware. Usage statistics are used to measure the number of times a program has been downloaded and executed. It builds up a kind of reputation for the particular program: The more frequently a program has been downloaded, the more popular it is, and consequently the "SmartScreen" warning will disappear after a short time. Therefore, the message "Windows protected your PC" does only mean that you have downloaded a program that is not frequently used and probably "too new" to be detected by anti-virus software.

A reputation can alternatively be "bought" in form of a so-called Extended Validation (EV) Code Signing Certificate. During the issuance of these certificates, the identity of the software manufacturer is validated by means of identification documents, but the security of the software is never checked. The certificates costs approximately 900 Dollar each year - an amount that ViaThinkSoft as a non-profit organization cannot afford.

While software from major vendors is downloaded very frequently and thus a SmartScreen reputation develops very quickly, small software producers, whose programs are downloaded less frequently, suffer greatly under this protection, because Windows users are often concerned and delete the software right away.

To make matters worse, Microsoft deliberately made the "Run anyway" button difficult to access, and the reputation needs to be rebuilt each time a program is updated (for example, if you want to upgrade from version 1.0 to version 1.1).

How safe is software by ViaThinkSoft?

ViaThinkSoft is a group of software developers involved in the development of Windows, Linux and web applications.

The majority of our products are open-source. This means that all source codes for these programs are publicly available; thus, everyone can be sure that our software is free of any malicious features or "hidden backdoors".

Software by ViaThinkSoft is not malware. Furthermore, it is free of ads and usage statistics, and it can always be removed entirely from the system of the user.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

Thank you for your trust.

How to install our software

If the warning "Windows protected your PC" appears, click "More info", and then click "Run anyway". The program will then run normally.

Example (the screenshots are in German, but the window looks the same in other languages):