Is there a way to remove "Documents" from protected folders (Controlled folder access) in Windows 10?

I have Controlled folder access feature on, but by default all user's folders are protected - Desktop, Documents, Images and so on. It's not possible to just remove one of users profile folder (particularly Documents) from protected folders list.

I need to remove "Documents" folder from protected list (from protection), because most of my games can't save game right now - saves are stored in Document folder.

As You can see on 2nd screen - there is no remove button for "Document" folder.

Adding app to exclusion is not the solution - doing so is just like turning folder protection off.

I can remove manually added folder

It's not possible to remove "Documents" folder

  • Unfortunately, you can't remove the default folders. That's by design, to protect your operating system from something malicious that tries to do the same thing. On the other hand, you can add applications that are allowed to make changes to the Documents folder, including your games. – Run5k Mar 11 '18 at 18:45
  • Do you have any source for that info? I know I can add exclusion - but as You understand from my post - I don't want to this. Either way I just could turn off folder protection... Thats not my intention. – integratorIT Mar 12 '18 at 10:00
  • What exactly does that feature do? I know that I've not had a game that had trouble saving to the documents folder. If they do save to "My Games" you could create a symlink to put that folder somewhere else but it depends on the game. – Seth Mar 12 '18 at 10:42
  • "Do you have any source for that info?" My source can be found at the hyperlink within my previous comment. While I can empathize with your frustration, I wouldn't say that "Adding app to exclusion is not the solution - doing so is just like turning folder protection off." Quite frankly, if you could remove Documents from Controlled Folder Access, that is essentially like turning folder protection off, also. From my perspective, the bottom line is this: do you actually trust your games applications? If so, you are willing to grant them additional access, one way or another. – Run5k Mar 12 '18 at 11:39
  • @run5k - I don't trust games so I don't add them to exclusions. I need to remove My Documents from protected folders because games saving game data in MyDocuments folder. D00d - removing only MyDocuments from under protection is not turning entire protection off - what you are talking about? – integratorIT Aug 25 '18 at 8:05

The protected folders feature is a function of Windows Defender Security Center > Virus and threat protection > Ransomware Protection. All you need to do is turn off the Ransomware protection and use another app like Malwarebytes to handle your ransomware concerns.


You don't really want to exclude your Documents folder from the Protected Folders feature---that would defeat its purpose. Ransomware works by encrypting your personal files, and requires you to pay the perpetrators to give you the password to decrypt them. If you're like most people, you keep a fair number of your personal files in your Documents folder.

  • I don't keep ANY of my personal files in MyDocuments becaouse any malicious software target system folder in first place by default. – integratorIT Aug 25 '18 at 8:06

According to this article, you cannot do this. HOWEVER, you can add exceptions for apps that need to write to protected folders via the "Configure allowed applications" (GPO) or "Allow an app through Controlled folder access" (local setting). More information on that in the link above. If this solution does not work in your case, then Controlled Folder Access is too limited to do what you want it to do.

  • Did You read all topic? " Adding app to exclusion is not the solution - doing so is just like turning folder protection off." – integratorIT Sep 18 '18 at 17:59
  • Did you read my response? Because I directly answered your primary question in the first sentence. You asked, "Is there a way to remove "Documents" from protected folders..." I answered, "you cannot do this". I then went on to offer a workaround, not because you asked for it, but because you are not the only person that comes to StackExchange looking for answers. Also, I noticed someone already answered your question with roughly the same answer I gave, and you asked for a source. I at least provided a source directly from Microsoft. – Rich Sep 19 '18 at 18:14
  • I dont see any reply in this topic made by "Rich" but this one. Are you using multiple accounts on superuser? And beside of "you cannot do this" - out of box - this does not mean that it cannot be done because You saying that, I think it definitely can be done, but requires some tricks at maybe registry or file level that we don't know yet. I dont like opeple with that attitude - "It cant be done" - sorry... – integratorIT Nov 7 '18 at 6:26

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