This article will explore the causes of this issue and provide effective solutions.

The notification that sometimes also manifests as An administrator has blocked you from running this app” comes up when you try launching or installing a new program. It occurs due to the actions of Microsoft Defender and the User Account Control (UAC) software in trying to keep your PC safe from potential threats.

That said, if you are not sure if the file you are trying to run is safe, it’s not advised to try and bypass the This app has been blocked by your system administrator message. However, if the message comes up even when you try installing and/or launching trusted software, then you may want to learn how to unblock apps to get that fixed. 

But first, let’s explore the causes of the error message.

Causes of “This App Has Been Blocked by Your System Administrator”

The “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error can be triggered by several reasons:

  • Lack of admin rights: One common cause is when the app doesn’t have the necessary administrative permissions to run.
  • Microsoft Defender settings: Microsoft Defender settings may block the app if it’s flagged as potentially unsafe.
  • SmartScreen: Windows SmartScreen may prevent the app from running if it’s not recognized as trusted.
  • Recent Windows updates: Sometimes, newly installed Windows updates may interfere with certain applications, leading to this error.
  • Antivirus software interference: Third-party antivirus programs may mistakenly identify the app as a threat and block it from running.

Now that we know what triggers the error, let’s find out how to unblock an app if an administrator has blocked you from running this app.

How to Fix “This App Has Been Blocked by Your System Administrator”

Fix 1: Unblock the file

Unblocking the file is the first step to take if you’re getting the “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error. Follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the file to open the context menu.
  • From the context menu, select “Properties.”
  • In the Properties window, navigate to the “General” tab.
  • Locate and check the “Unblock” box within the General tab.
  • Click “Apply” and “OK” to close the Properties window.
  • Try running the file again to see if the error message persists.
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Fix 2: Disable Windows SmartScreen

Windows has the SmartScreen feature, which is a cloud-based component that wards off phishing and malware attacks. It cross-references downloaded files against a list of programs and software websites that have been reported to be unsafe. You are also notified if the file you are trying to execute is not known to be trusted and popular amongst Windows users.

To disable SmartScreen and see if it is behind the error, here’s what you have to do:

  • Press Windows key to open the Start menu.
  • In the search bar, type “Smartscreen” and select “App and browser control” from the results.
  • In the Windows Security Center that opens, go to “Check apps and files” (“Reputation-based protection settings” in Windows 11) and select “Off.”
  • Now, try running your file again to see if the issue has been fixed.
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To avoid exposing your PC to malicious items, please ensure that you re-enable Windows SmartScreen after you’ve succeeded in running your file. Simply follow the steps indicated above, but select “On” instead of “Off” when you get to Step 3.

Fix 3: Run the file as administrator

Try running the file as administrator to resolve the “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error. Here’s how:

  • Locate and right-click the file, then select “Run as administrator.”
  • Click “Yes” in the UAC window.
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Fix 4: Execute the file via the Command Prompt

You can get through the error message by using the elevated Command Prompt to run your file. Simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Right-click on the file and select Properties from the context menu.
  2. In the General tab, highlight and copy the entry under Location. For example, “C:\Users\Public\Downloads.”
  3. Now, in the search box, type “cmd”, right click the first option, and select “Run as administrator” from the menu.
  4. Paste the file location you copied in Step 2 in the elevated Command Prompt window.
  5. Minimize the elevated Command Prompt and go back to the file’s Properties window (as shown in Step 1). Copy the name of the file (it is the entry in the box at the top of the page. For example, “auslogics-anti-malware-setup.exe”).
  6. Maximize the elevated Command Prompt. Type “\” and then paste the entry you copied in Step 5. You will now have the location and name of the file. It should be something like this: C:\Users\Public\Downloads\auslogics-anti-malware-setup.exe.
  7. Press Enter on your keyboard to execute the command. See if the error message will still appear.
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Fix 5: Run the app using the hidden administrator account

Using the hidden administrator account might enable you to successfully run your application. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Run the Command Prompt as administrator by following the steps in the previous fix.
  • Copy and paste the following command in the elevated Command Prompt window and press Enter to execute it:
net user administrator /active:yes
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Once you’ve done so, the “The command completed successfully” confirmation should appear.

  • Sign out of your current user account. To do this, simply click the Windows icon displayed in the taskbar. Now click on your user logo and select “Sign out.”
  • Now, sign in to the administrator account.
  • Try running the file you were having issues with.
If you wish to disable the hidden administrator account after you’ve successfully executed the file, open the elevated Command Prompt, then copy and paste the following entry into the window, and then press Enter: net user administrator /active:no

Fix 6: Temporarily Disable Your Antivirus Program

It may well be that it is the third-party antivirus program on your PC that is throwing up the “An administrator has blocked you from running this app” or similar message.

So, the first thing you have to do is to add an exception for the application you are trying to launch. To find this setting, we suggest consulting your antivirus program’s user manual or simply look it up on the web.

You also have the option of completely disabling the antivirus software if you are unable to find a way of adding an exception for the problematic app. But keep in mind that it is important to have a strong and trusted security program active on your PC at all times to keep you safe from potential threats. In this regard, we recommend Auslogics Anti-Malware.

Scan your PC for malware with the Auslogics Anti-Malware
Scan your PC for malware with the Auslogics Anti-Malware

Fix 7: Reset or repair a Microsoft Store app

If it’s a Microsoft Store app that is triggering the “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error, try resetting or repairing the app by following these steps:

  • Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  • In the Settings window, navigate to Apps.
  • Click on Apps & features from the left sidebar (In Windows 11, select Installed apps).
  • Scroll through the list of installed apps to find the Microsoft Store app that’s causing the error.
  • Click on the app, then on Advanced options below the app’s name (In Windows 11, click on three vertical dots next to the app and select Advanced options).
  • In the Advanced options menu, you’ll see options to reset or repair the app. Choose either Reset or Repair depending on your preference. The reset option will revert the app to its default settings, while the repair option will attempt to fix any issues with the app.
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  • Follow any on-screen instructions that may appear to complete the reset or repair process.
  • After resetting or repairing the app, it’s a good idea to restart your PC to ensure the changes take effect.
  • Additionally, make sure the app is up to date by checking for updates in the Microsoft Store.

Fix 8: Remove the admin block in the Windows Registry

Removing the admin block through the Windows Registry is another proven solution to fix the “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press Windows key + R, type regedit and press Enter.
  • In Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

  • Look for the entry named “EnableLUA.” Double-click on it and change its value to 0.
  • Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
  • Check if the app can start now.
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Important
Tweaking registry settings is a risky business, where even a tiny typo can cause system instability and lead to unintended consequences. Proceed with this method only if you are absolutely confident about what you’re doing.

Fix 9: Modify the Group Policy settings

If nothing else worked, try adjusting the Group Policy settings to disable Admin Approval Mode and other UAC policies. Note that this fix doesn’t work for Windows Home edition. If you own a Pro version, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows key and R simultaneously to open the Run utility.
  • In the dialog box, type gpedit.msc and hit Enter to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • In the Local Group Policy Editor, go to the following path: Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.
  • Double-click on the “User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode” entry.
  • In the pop-up window, select the “Disabled” option.
  • Click on the Apply button, then close the window by clicking OK.
  • Test whether you can run the file without encountering the error now.
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“This App Has Been Blocked by Your System Administrator” Fixed

Now you know how to unblock an app if an administrator has blocked you from running this app. From simple fixes, like unblocking a file and disabling Windows SmartScreen, to complex ones, like making changes in the registry and Group Policy settings, now you have all the tools to get rid of the “This app has been blocked by your system administrator” error for good.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to drop them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

FAQ

No, typically, you need administrator privileges to unblock an app. However, some methods may allow you to unblock certain apps without administrator privileges, depending on the security settings and permissions.
If you cannot unblock the app, try alternative methods such as running the app using the Command Prompt, disabling antivirus programs temporarily, or repairing/resetting the Microsoft Store app.
Yes, an app can be blocked again after unblocking, especially if it triggers security measures or violates system policies.