‘Documents’ is likely the folder containing the most sensitive documents you have on your computer. It can contain work or personal documents, banking details, and password databases for example. As such it’s a good idea to restrict apps from being able to access your Documents unless they need it. The Settings app offers a privacy control that can be used to block apps from the Windows Store from accessing your Documents. This guide will walk you through the process of blocking apps from having access to your Documents.
The privacy controls are listed under “Documents” in the Privacy section of the Settings app. To open the page directly, press the Windows key, then type “Documents library privacy settings” and hit enter.
There are three settings on the Documents privacy page. The topmost option, “Allow access to document libraries on this device” is used to block all apps from being able to access the documents folder and affects all users on the device. This setting may require administrative permissions to change. If you receive a User Access Control (UAC) prompt, click “Yes” to apply the change.
The second setting “Allow apps to access your documents library” is also used to block all apps from being able to access your Documents. However, this setting only affects the current user and does not require administrative permissions to change.
The final group of settings “Choose which apps can access your documents library” is a list of all apps installed that have requested permissions to access your documents folder. With these settings, you can control which apps can access your Documents on an app-by-app basis.
To change any of the settings, just click the respective slider. For the first option, that affects all users on the device, you’ll need to click “Change” to open a small popup window that contains the slider.
Tip: These settings only apply to apps installed through the Microsoft Store. Third-party software installed from the internet can’t be managed in this way.
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