Windows is trying to protect you.
Yup, Microsoft is trying to protect you. The idea is that applications you download via the store are safer than those you find elsewhere. That may be true, but it doesn’t help if the application you’re looking for isn’t in the store.
Fortunately, you can take responsibility for your own safety with a simple setting change.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Not Microsoft verified?
Microsoft’s warning when installing non-Microsoft Store apps is for protection, but it can be bypassed. To install apps like EaseUS Todo, change settings to allow app installs from anywhere. This option, found under Settings > Apps > Advanced App Settings, gives you more flexibility but comes with the responsibility of making safe choices.
Click on Change my app recommendation settings in the message. If that’s not present, doesn’t work, takes you to the wrong location (as it did for me), or you just want to take a different path, visit:
Settings > Apps > Advanced App Settings > Choose where to get apps
You have four choices of settings:
- Anywhere, but let me know if there’s a comparable app in the Microsoft Store
- Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that’s not from the Microsoft Store
- The Microsoft Store only (Recommended)
My guess is that you have it set to one of the latter two, possibly even the last, most restrictive one.
Which setting to choose
Anywhere: If you’re confident in your ability to only download trustworthy software, choose this setting. This is what I set it to.
Anywhere, but let me know if there’s a comparable app in the Microsoft Store: If you’re interested in potentially more secure apps already present in the Microsoft Store.
Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that’s not from the Microsoft Store: If you want to be warned, but still want to make your own decisions.
The Microsoft Store only (Recommended): If you’re uncertain, or if your machine is regularly used by someone else whom you can’t really trust.
It’s not about the download
What I found interesting is that the warning came up after I had downloaded the installer and only when I tried to run it.
What this means is that it may come up any time you attempt to install software, regardless of when, or even how, you acquired it. Run the installer at any time and you may get the warning.
Honestly, for most folks, changing the setting to “Anywhere” is probably just fine. Ultimately, that’s the equivalent of not having this protective feature, and is exactly what happened in previous versions of Windows.
While I have you, consider subscribing to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.