Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are a category of software that can cause your machine to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other software which may be more harmful or annoying.
Windows Security has reputation-based protection that can help protect your PC from potentially unwanted applications. Potentially unwanted app blocking was first introduced in the Windows 10 May 2020 update, and is turned off by default for consumers. (Enterprise customers may have it turned on by default)
The potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) mostly come bundled with the primary app downloaded by the user, and they’re not necessarily dangerous. According to Microsoft, these apps are considered PUAs: Adware, Torrent (Enterprise PCs only), miners, bundling software, marketing software, and apps with poor industry reputation.
Last year, Microsoft added a feature to Windows 10’s Settings app that lets you instantly block potentially unwanted apps using Windows Defender SmartScreen. This feature is not exclusive to Edge browser and it can be enabled for the entire operating system, allowing Microsoft to block unwanted apps.
What is the process?
- Open the Start menu and search for Settings.
- Select Update & Security.
- Select Windows Security.
- Using the left sidebar options, navigate to App & browser control tab.
- Look for “Reputation-based protection settings”.
- Toggle the “Potentially unwanted app blocking” option to enable or disable it.