Allow Apps Through Controlled Folder Access in Windows 11
The security feature protects files from unauthorized access by malware. Microsoft is positioning the new feature as a protection mechanism against ransomware trojans.
This feature requires Windows Defender and active real-time protection. Controlled Folder Access was first introduced in Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) and is not part of older versions of the operating system.
System administrators and general users can manage the Controlled Folder Access feature using Group Policy, PowerShell, or the Windows Defender Security Center app .
Controlled folder access
Microsoft describes the managed folder access security feature as follows:
All applications (any executable file, including .exe, .scr, .dll, and others) are evaluated by Windows Defender Antivirus, which determines whether an application is malicious or safe. If an application is found to be malicious or suspicious, it will be prevented from making changes to any files in all protected folders.
This means that the feature uses Windows Defender to identify the process as malicious. If the Windows Defender checks do not recognize the process as malicious or suspicious, access to protected files will be granted.
This feature works differently than other anti-ransomware tools, such as Hitman Pro Kickstart, Bitdefender Anti-Ransomware, or WinPatrolWar. The latter take a more proactive approach when protecting important files and folders.