How to protect Windows 10 PC from Potentially Unwanted App

Microsoft has finally introduced the Potentially Unwanted App (PUA) feature on Windows 10 2004, May 2020 Update. The company has first coined and used this concept on Chromium Edge last year. With the new featured update, Windows Security now holds the capability to block PUA or PUP (potentially unwanted programs).

Windows 10 19H1 or prior version users may get native support to this feature in upcoming Tuesday patches. The company has added a new title “Reputation-based Protection” inside Windows Security. Moreover, this stays “Turned On” by default and looks for any malicious apps or programs continuously. Let’s explore how to enable/disable this feature on Windows 10 PC –

How to Block Potentially Unwanted App in Windows 10

To protect your Windows 10 PC from the potentially unwanted app, use the below steps –

  • Jointly press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
  • Select Update & Security followed by Windows Security.
  • On the next screen, click App & Browser Control thereafter “Reputation-based protection settings” on the right pane.
  • Scroll down to the “Potentially Unwanted app blocking” section and turn on the toggle switch.
  • Make sure to check the boxes left of “Block apps” and “Block downloads“.

protect Windows 10 PC from Potentially Unwanted Apps

Note: You may check the third-party apps that Windows Security has blocked clicking “Protection history“. This is available just below the Potentially unwanted app blocking section. Have a look at the above snapshot –

How to manage PUAs on Windows 10

In general, whenever Windows Defender blocks a PUA, you will automatically receive a notification in the Action Center. Clicking the notification will guide you about the app-related threats or its security level. If you are well-versed with the program that you have downloaded and are going to install, hit “Start Actions“.

Usually, Windows Security offers three options i.e. Remove, Quarantine, or Allow PUA on the device. Choose what suits you the most. In case you are not aware of the application, better make it quarantine and watch over for any errors or issues on the system. 

For Edge Browser Users

If you use Chromium Edge as the default web browser on Windows 10, you may block PUAs using its settings as well. All you need is to reach out to the following path and turn on its setting.

Edge Settings > Privacy and services > Services > Block Potentially Unwanted apps

Potentially Unwanted Apps FAQs

1. What does Block Apps mean?

Blocking Apps empower Windows Security to take action on third-party apps that it finds insecure or not safe to use. The in-built defender will double-check the running apps or even the software that you are downloading for any bugs or issues.

2. What do Block Downloads imply?

Enabling this allows Windows Defender to look for potentially unwanted applications that one is going to download on Microsoft Edge Browser.