How to fix “Administrator manages this setting” in Windows 10

Sometimes, due to a lack of Windows Update or Windows Defender problems, you may receive an error message that says “Your administrator is managing this setting,” even though you are logged on as is. This can prevent you from turning off your smart screen or, in some cases, from launching non-Microsoft applications.

You do not need to be an installation expert to fix this problem, but it does involve minor technical changes. We will go through these fixes one by one from the most obvious solutions to modify the registry steps.

What is the “Administrator manages this setting” problem?

Contrary to what it may look like, “This setting is managed by an administrator” is not related to whether you are logged on as an administrator. It is more related to unpredictable bugs that affect Windows Defender.

There are various signs of this error. For example, when you launch the “Windows Security” settings from the search box menu and go to “Reputation-Based Security,” some of the options appear in gray.

Here, one of the settings, “Check applications and files”, is disabled. This is a very important setting because SmartScreen scans for unrecognized applications and files, and you cannot control your computer without using this driver.

Similar settings can be disabled for real-time protection or automatic sample transmission. To solve these problems, we examine various troubleshooting steps.

1. Check for Windows updates

The first thing to do is check your system for pending Windows updates. As many of these updates accumulate, it is possible that some programs, including Windows Defender, may be affected. Continue and run these updates, which will remove any old errors from your system.

2. Disable other antivirus software

If you have a third-party antivirus program, it can affect Windows Defender. You may need to temporarily disable it to clear the error. Note that Windows Defender itself is a highly reliable antivirus and compatible with existing Windows 10 systems.

3. Solve with Registry Editor

If the first two steps do not resolve the issue, one of the best ways to resolve the “Administrator manages this setting” is to modify the Windows Defender registry. We will temporarily delete the Windows Defender registry files.

Type “regedit” from the Windows search box to start Registry Editor. It is best to run it in administrator mode.

With Registry Editor open, navigate to the path that appears on the screen below.

Administrator Regedit Windows Defender Select an option
Windows Defender from Regedit

Right-click Windows Defender, and then click Export. Create a new folder on your desktop or elsewhere where this file can be exported. Here the folder name is “Regedit Check”.

Export the Windows Defender key registry file to the folder that you just created. It is in .reg format. Make sure that the key name is typed in the same way as in Registry Editor.

Repeat the process for all the subkeys in Windows Defender. As shown here, we export the “Policy Manager” registry file. Make sure that the subkey name is typed exactly as it is in Registry Editor.

Depending on Windows 10, there may be more subkeys. Save for each product.

Once the backup is created, you will need to remove the “Windows Defender” key as described here. Don’t worry about losing files – it’s just temporary; therefore, we made a backup.

You will receive a warning message asking, “Are you sure you want to permanently delete this key and all its subkeys?” »Click” Yes “to continue.

Setting the Regedit Management Policy Delete subkeys
Remove keys and subkeys

Issue Resolved: “This setting is managed by an administrator”

Restart the system and return to reputation protection. You will see that you can now turn SmartScreen on / off freely because the “Check Applications and Files” screen has been re-enabled.

Enable the Smart Admin Reputation screen
Check apps and files and smart screen enabled

In “Virus and Threat Protection Settings”, real-time and cloud protection are also re-enabled.

Administrator real-time threat protection enabled
Real-time threat protection enabled

We deleted the Windows Defender registry files to get the results. Now is the time to restore them. To do this, return to the backup folder and first double-click the Windows Defender registry file. You will receive a warning screen asking if you want to add files to the registry. Click “Yes” to continue and the old Windows Defender registry files will revert.

Administrator Regedit option Import deleted files
Import deleted registry files

What should I do if Windows Defender is turned off?

Sometimes, in very rare cases, Windows Defender is grayed out / disabled instead of showing the connected state. Of course, you must first upgrade your Windows system (step 1), which will fix the problem automatically.

If that doesn’t work, go back to the Windows Defender key and look for the “turn off antispyware” option, which may not be available if your system is working properly. Right-click to continue.

You will get the “Edit” option, which will take you to the next screen where the “DWord” value must be changed from “1” to “0”.

After making the above change, you should be able to use Windows Defender again.

There are many other Windows errors that you can easily resolve. For example, some systems display an invalid “parameter is incorrect” or “could not find this item” error. If you have other issues with Windows 10, please share them with us in the comments via the screenshot link.

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