Windows 11 Host VirtualBox Install Error “This app can’t run because it causes security or performance issues”

I have recently upgraded to Windows 11 out of curiosity. Despite the more or less negative first impression, I decided to continue to use it. One of the first applications I install is VirtualBox to try out different Linux flavors and stay current in that world. To my surprise, the VirtualBox installer (version 6.1.26) would not start. Windows was complaining about issues with this software.

> This app can’t run because it causes security or performance issues > on Windows. A new version may be available. Check with your software > provider for an updated version that runs on this version of > Windows.

Well, I checked because it was the latest version of VirtualBox. I found hints on the Internet that VirtualBox does run on Windows 11, albeit without indicating what these persons had done.

A little bit discouraged, I clicked the "Learn more" button. You never know; it might actually be helpful – or a complete waste of time. In this instance, it was of great help. It redirected me to the following Microsoft page discussing the "A driver can’t load on this device issue". It also contains a very convenient link to the corresponding location in the Windows Defender application. Somehow I cannot reproduce that link for your convenience so you must visit Microsoft’s site yourself.

Be aware. There may be a security risk associated with disabling this setting. I have not yet dug deeper to ascertain the whole picture. I figured it must have been disabled or not existed on Windows 10 at all, and I was fine there. Windows will ask you several times to grant administrative rights to perform the operation and require a reboot.

After that, VirtualBox was installed and ran just fine.

Curious, I wondered if I could disable the setting once VirtualBox was installed.

Well, I could not. Windows will try and fail. If you click "Review incompatible drivers", it will show you which component prevents the change. And sure enough, it is VirtualBox.

We will see if Oracle’s VirtualBox team can figure this out, but I would assume so. For now, this works for me.

I hope this has helped you. Thank you for reading.

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