Winstep Forums

If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!
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Author:  winstep [ Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:24 am ]
Post subject:  If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

I still can't believe I have to write this. It seems some Anti-Virus vendors are convinced that the solution to protect their customers from problems is by creating even more problems, but of a different kind.

If you are getting Access Denied errors when installing a Winstep application or updates downloaded by the Winstep Update Manager are failing to run, this will explain why:

Winstep applications - like many others - need a place to store data (such as icons, downloaded updates, themes, etc...) that the application (or even the user himself) might want to modify and that is also accessible to all users on that computer. Winstep stores that type of data in


BitDefender - there may be others - seems to be assuming that EVERY application writing to the Public Documents folder is ransomware trying to encrypt your personal documents.

This despite the application doing the writing NOT having been flagged by their system as malware - that's how much they (DON'T) trust their own engine.

If this wasn't bad enough, what is their solution? They SILENTLY block access to the Public Documents folder, even though that folder is *intended* to contain data that needs to be written to.

The level of stupidity in this is astounding - high up there with Symantec reporting software it hadn't seen before as a WS.Reputation.1 threat and actually quarantining it, making users believe the software was infected with something when, in reality, all that was happening was that the AV hadn't run enough times into that file yet to create an entry for it in its own 'reputation' database.

What the likes of BitDefender are trying to do is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, or throwing the baby out with the bath water. What's their next step? Block ALL programs from running? That would sure make for a secure system (and an unusable one too, but, for them, that seems to be secondary lol).

The fact that they are blocking access to the Public Documents folder silently shows how little faith they have on their own software catching malware BEFORE it actually harms your system, and how desperate they are to pin the weird behavior spawning from this on 3rd party applications to disguise their own incompetence.

So, if you do get an Access Denied error when installing Winstep software or an update fails to launch, you need to open BitDefender and remove the Public Documents folder from the protected folders (Safe Files) list.

Winstep software is not the only running into this kind of stupid issues. Another example (with more detailed instructions on how to fix this issue) can be found HERE.


Switch to Eset Smart Security. Do it NOW.

Their AV software is really good: I have been using it myself for years and am actually a beta tester for them (although I don't beta test much eheh) and despite their level of protection being top notch I have NEVER seen them doing anything stupid like what this other so called 'AV Solutions' are doing.

Click HERE if you would like to read on how I got invited to be a beta tester for them back in 2006 and how impressed I was - and still am after all these years - with them.

Other than that single false positive which led me to contact them, I have never again run into any problems between Eset and Winstep software (or any other legit software, in fact) - and it's been 12 years.

Author:  Marks_menu [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

I actually love BitDefender and the issue is crazy simple to address. Whenever BitDefender blocks an install it lets you know and provides an opportunity to by-pass the block indefinitely. It takes all of 5 to 10 seconds. Not to mention that the service can be turned off entirely if you like or just applied to the folders you choose. In the end, BitDefender is still one of the very best antivirus programs out there.

Author:  winstep [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

Yeah, that would be THE way to do it. Except from all the reports I got, that is NOT how BitDefender does/did it: instead, it SILENTLY blocked the installation (no warning and no prompt), leaving the user thinking that the problem was with the application he was trying to install rather than a 'feature' of the security software already installed on his PC.

Author:  Marks_menu [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

Then I would have to agree with you...that would be a real problem, not to mention really irritating.

Not sure why it works like that for me, perhaps it is a Windows notification issue, rather than a BitDefender issue. I have selectively turned off most notifications except for a few and BitDefender is one of them I keep on. The warning I get appears in the lower right-hand corner like a tooltip titled "Safe Files, adn says, "The application (-------.exe) attempted to change a file in a protected folder and was blocked." This is displayed with two buttons which say "Keep blocking" and "View Details". The second option allows you to see what was blocked and unblock it if you choose.

Also I am running BitDefender Total Security. It is quite possible that other BitDefender products may address the issue with less tact...

Author:  winstep [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

... or maybe they changed it in the latest updates so it now warns users, when it previously didn't.

I wouldn't know since I run Eset and not BitDefender - but what I can tell you based on the multiple reports I got at the time is that it previously gave no warning whatsoever, and forced users to dig deeper into settings to solve the problem (i.e.; exclude that particular Winstep folder from the ransomware protection). So yeah, it was really irritating for everyone including me. :)

Author:  Marks_menu [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

If this is a new problem, then it may be an issue of another BitDefender product, but I know that the "block" feature has worked this way for me throughout my 2018 install and I just updated to the 2019 version about 3 weeks ago, but it functions the same.

I just double checked to make sure I had in fact, kept notifications from BitDefender on and I did. It is only 1 of about 5 programs which I allow to notify me about anything.

Not sure this will help anyone but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Author:  winstep [ Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

Well, this thread is from Jan 2018, so over a year old. Back then I got a lot of people experiencing this problem, which is why I decided to post this thread and sticky it.

As I said, maybe they changed things some time ago as I don't get users reporting this issue nowhere near as frequently as they did a year ago, but it still happens from time to time, although I'm not sure what they are running - I just direct users to this thread and normally don't hear back from them (which usually means the thread helped them solve their issue).

Author:  justposted [ Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

Well, two years after the original thread and BitDefender has just done this to me! Don't know why, given that it has been running happily for the last few months without being flagged. Added Nexus to the Exceptions list and now working as normal.

Author:  winstep [ Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

You should let them know. :)

Author:  DBalaur [ Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you are running BitDefender you MUST read this!

I grew up using Bitdefender so kinda stuck with it, but I finally experienced this "overzealous" protection just 2 weeks ago. I was deleting some files in Documents, and because I'm accessing and deleting the files using the default Windows Explorer, Bitdefender decided to QUARANTINE explorer.exe.

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