SmartScreen can’t be reached right now? 7 best fixes

Many Windows users have encountered a frustrating issue when their system fails to connect to Microsoft’s SmartScreen service, receiving the message “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now.”

In this article, we’re going to explore the possible solutions for the “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now” error message. So, if you’ve recently encountered this problem, keep reading, and hopefully, you’ll find the solution you’re looking for.

How to resolve the error “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now” in Windows 11

The “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now” error in Windows typically indicates that your system is unable to connect to the Microsoft SmartScreen service, a tool designed to help protect your PC from unrecognized apps and malware. This issue can arise due to network problems, system configuration issues, or settings within Windows Security.

Here are the effective solutions to tackle and resolve this issue:

Solution 1: Check Your Internet Connection

A stable internet connection is essential for SmartScreen to communicate with Microsoft’s servers. Here’s how to troubleshoot your connection:

  1. Restart your router or modem to refresh your internet connection.
  2. Try connecting to a different network if possible, to rule out network-specific issues.
  3. Disable VPN connections if you’re using any, as VPNs can sometimes interfere with SmartScreen’s ability to connect to its service.

Solution 2: Verify SmartScreen Settings

Incorrect settings or configurations in Windows Security might prevent SmartScreen from operating correctly. Here’s how to check and adjust SmartScreen settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > App & browser control.
  2. Ensure that Check apps and files is set to Warn or Block, which allows SmartScreen to screen apps and files as intended.

Solution 3: Use Windows Update to Check for System Updates

Keeping Windows up to date ensures that all services, including SmartScreen, function correctly. Here’s how to check for and install system updates:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Click Check for updates and install any available updates, which might include fixes or improvements for SmartScreen connectivity. SmartScreen can't be reached right now

Solution 4: Temporarily Disable Firewall and Antivirus Software

Sometimes, firewall or antivirus settings may block the connection to SmartScreen services. Temporarily disabling these can help determine if they’re the cause:

  1. Disable your antivirus software temporarily from its application settings. Refer to the software’s help documentation for specific instructions.
  2. Turn off Windows Firewall: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall > Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off. Temporarily turn it off for both private and public networks. Remember to re-enable these protections after testing. SmartScreen can't be reached right now

Solution 5: Reset Internet Explorer Settings

Since SmartScreen is closely integrated with Internet Explorer settings, resetting them can sometimes resolve connectivity issues:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Tools icon, and select Internet options.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and click Reset. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, click Reset again.
  3. After Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close and then OK. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Solution 6: Configure DNS Settings

Switching to a public DNS server can improve network stability and connectivity issues with Microsoft services. Here’s what you should to:

  1. Open Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
  2. Right-click your active network connection and select Properties.
  3. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and click Properties.
  4. Choose Use the following DNS server addresses and input a public DNS, such as Google DNS ( and for IPv4; 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844 for IPv6).
  5. Click OK and restart your network connection.

Solution 7: Perform a Network Reset

If the issue persists, performing a network reset can refresh all network components and potentially resolve the issue:

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Advanced network settings.
  2. Scroll down and click on Network reset. SmartScreen can't be reached right now
  3. Click on Reset now and confirm. Your PC will restart, and all network adapters will be reinstalled, and settings returned to their default state.

Navigating through the “SmartScreen can’t be reached right now” error can be a hassle, but with the right approach, it’s a solvable issue. By trying out the solutions outlined in this guide, you stand a good chance of resolving the problem and getting SmartScreen back to its protective duties.

Remember, maintaining an updated and secure system is key to preventing similar issues down the line.

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