Top 7 Ways to Fix Smartscreen Can’t Be Reached Right Now Error on Windows 11

Microsoft has continuously bolstered the Windows operating system’s security by making gradual improvements to Windows Defender. It launched the SmartScreen feature with Windows 8 to protect users from installing potentially dangerous apps on their systems. SmartScreen checks if the app is on its list of unsafe apps and warns you about the risks. Microsoft even integrated the feature in Microsoft Edge to protect you from falling prey to phishing scams.

However, many users face the ‘SmartScreen Can’t be Reached Right Now Error’ on their computers. In this post, we will tackle this pestering issue with all the possible fixes to get the feature working again.

1. Check Internet Connectivity

SmartScreen relies on internet connectivity to compare the app against the list of flagged apps. If your computer doesn’t have an active internet connection, it can’t perform a check.

So, check if your router is connected to the ISP and has an active connection. If not, reboot the router and check if the internet connection is available now. After ensuring internet connectivity, reattempt the app installation.

2. Verify Microsoft’s Server Status

SmartScreen is a cloud-protection service and its servers can be down or under maintenance. You will encounter an error if you try to connect to the SmartScreen service during an outage.

So, visit the official social channels of Microsoft for information about service outages and check if other users experience the same issue. You can also visit third-party sites like DownDetector that keep track of server outages of major services. If other users also have troubles with SmartScreen, wait while Microsoft fixes the issue.

3. Disable Proxy Servers

Proxy Servers help retrieve information from a web page or server on your behalf to present that to you. But many users face the SmartScreen unreachable issue share that disconnecting the proxy server helped fix the issue. So, if you use a proxy server on your system, disable it and try to install the app again. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + I shortcut to launch the Settings app.

Step 2: Click on the Network and internet option in the left-hand side menu.

disable proxy

Step 3: Click on the Proxy option.

disable proxy

Step 4: Scroll down and locate the Manual proxy settings section. Click on the Edit button.

disable proxy

Step 5: In the Edit proxy server window, disable the toggle below the Use a proxy server option. Click on the Save button to close the window.

disable proxy

Reopen the File Explorer and retry the app installation to check if SmartScreen works now.

4. Restart Your Computer

You can also encounter the SmartSceen error due to a glitched background service. If it is not running properly, or the SmartScreen process faces a similar issue, restart your computer. It will turn off the system and restart all the necessary background services.

Right-click on the Start button to open the Power User menu. Hover over the Shut down or sign out option and click on the Restart option. Wait for the system to restart and retry the app installation to check if SmartScreen works.

restart windows

5. Perform a Clean Boot

It is common for Windows services to conflict with third-party programs. Often, this can result in errors while launching apps and accessing services. So, you’ll need to find the root cause of this issue by performing a clean boot. It will disable all third-party services at startup while retaining all the core system services. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + S shortcut, type msconfig, and press Enter to launch System Configuration.

Windows search

Step 2: Click on the Services tab.


Step 3: Click on the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ checkbox and click on the Disable all button.


Step 4: Click on the Apply button. After that, click on the OK button.


Step 5: You will see a pop-up window requesting to restart your system. Click on the Restart now button. Wait for the system to boot to the desktop.

Restart system

Next, run the app installation and check if you still see the SmartScreen error. If you don’t encounter any issues then there a third-party service is the root cause. Reopen the System Configuration tool and restart your system with some third-party services enabled. Repeat this cycle until you find the troublesome service.

6. Allow SmartScreen Through Firewall

If SmartScreen is blocked from bypassing the Windows Defender Firewall, it won’t be able to connect with the Microsoft servers and fetch details. So, you’ll need to allow SmartScreen to communicate through Windows Defender Firewall. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and press Enter.

windows search

Step 2: In the Control Panel Window, click on the System and Security option.

control panel

Step 3: Scroll down to the Windows Defender Firewall section and click on the ‘Allow an app through Windows Firewall’ option.

firewall settings

Step 4: Click on the Change settings button. Find ‘Windows Defender SmartScreen’ in the list and click on the checkbox to allow the service to connect to the internet.

allow smartscreen

Step 5: Lastly, click on the OK button and close Control Panel.

7. Create a New User Account

A misconfigured user account can result in SmartScreen errors. So, you’ll need to create a new user account with administrator privileges to download and install apps. Repeat the following steps:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R shortcut to open the Run dialog box. Type ms-settings:accounts in the text box and press Enter.

run box

Step 2: Scroll down and click on the Other users option.

create new user

Step 3: Click on the Add account button.

create new user

Step 4: Windows will ask you to create a Microsoft account. To avoid adding email or phone, click on the ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information’ option.

create new user

Step 5: Then, click on the ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account’ option.

create new user

Step 6: Type the User name and password. Select three security questions, input their answers, and click on the Next button.

create new user name

Step 7: Your new user account will appear in the Other users section. Click on the ‘Change account type’ button.

create new user

Step 8: Click on the arrow icon and select the Administrator option. Then, click on the OK button. Your new user account will now have administrator privileges.

grant admin rights to user

Step 9: Press the Windows key and right-click on the User account icon. Select the newly created account name to switch to the new account.

start menu

Step 10: Lastly, log in with the new user account and try to install an app.

Check and Install Apps With SmartScreen

Windows SmartScreen is a crucial security feature that warns you before installing sketchy apps on your system. If your system cannot access it, try all the above methods to restore the feature to a working state. Moreover, never intentionally disable SmartScreen to avoid the annoying pop-up.

Last updated on 30 March, 2023

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