Stopping BitDefender from blocking your applications

BitDefender is a popular and reasonably effective security solution for Windows computers, but sometimes it gets things wrong and blocks you from using applications that don’t present any threat — applications you need to get the job done.

Unfortunately, the BitDefender user interface can also make it difficult to fix this problem. It’s hard to understand what the various categories of “Protection” mean in the BitDefender control panel.

So if you’re trying to get an application to run and BitDefender won’t let you do it, try these steps below. (These instructions are based on BitDefender 2018, but may still work for later updates.)

1. If you have a separate administrator account on your computer, log into that account.

(Note: If you don’t have a separate administrator account, and you’re doing your daily work using an administrator account, you’re making it a lot easier for hackers to take over your computer.) 

2. Launch BitDefender (for example, double click the BitDefender logo on your desktop). 

3. In the BitDefender window that appears, click the Protection tab on the left side of the window. 

4. In the upper right portion of the Protection tab, click Settings in the Advanced Threat Defense pane. 

5. Click the blue “Add Exceptions …” option. 

6. In the file tree that appears, navigate to the application you’re trying to use. (It’s usually in the Program Files folder or the Program Files (x86) folder.) 

7. Click the checkbox beside the application, then click OK. 

8. Confirm that the application shows up in the EXCEPTED APPLICATIONS list in the Advanced Threat Defense window. 

9. Click the “Return to Protection” option. 

10. Try running your application and see if it works now. 

11. If it doesn’t work, go back to Step 4 and make sure you’ve added the right application, and that there are no other application programs associated with that application that also have to be added. (Some applications actually have a series of “exe” files in their Programs folder that need to be added individually.) 

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