Why does Defender give "Protected folder access blocked" notification for Excel and also not block it?

Mark_391 6 Reputation points

Why would I get a "Protected folder access blocked" notification from Defender when I open an xls under the conditions listed below?

The app is EXCEL.EXE, the folder is D:\Documents\Receipts.

  1. I've accessed the same xls in that same folder many many times in the past and gotten no "blocked" notification so apparently it has not been necessary to add EXCEL.EXE to the Controlled Folder Access "allowed app" list in the past.
  2. D:\Documents has always been on the CFA protected folders list.
  3. Even though the message said access was blocked, the xls opened fine.

I have made no changes since this happened. I did not add Excel.exe to the allowed list, but I can now open the xls without any Defender notifications coming up.

Sure I can ignore the incident, but any ideas about what happened? This block notification should not have happened. On top of that, nothing got blocked.

Windows 10 Pro 19042.685
Office 2019

Windows 10 Security
Windows 10 Security
Windows 10: A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.Security: The precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, espionage, or another threat.
2,509 questions
{count} votes

1 answer

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. Dale Kudusi 3,221 Reputation points

    Maybe one of the EXCEL.EXE processes is host to a 3rd party service, which Windows Security is not trust of.
    You could try adding Excel.exe to the allowed list.

    If the Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
    Note: Please follow the steps in our documentation to enable e-mail notifications if you want to receive the related email notification for this thread.

    0 comments No comments