Windows 10 now blocks Potentially Unwanted Apps (PUA) by default

Windows 10 now enables potentially unwanted app blocking by default to add another layer of security.

Windows 10 PUA enabled
Windows 10 PUA enabled
  • Windows 10 will now protect your PC from Potentially Unwanted Apps starting August 2021.
  • These apps are not malware, but they can slow performance and install other harmful apps.

Microsoft says that Windows 10 devices will now be protected automatically from Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA). On Windows 10, PUA is what defines low-reputation applications that are not considered malware, but they can significantly slow down your device, display unwanted advertisements, or software that can install other malicious programs.

The feature is not new. It first appeared as a feature part of the Windows Security app with the release of the May 2020 Update, but it was an optional feature. However, now, Microsoft is flipping the switch to enable the feature by default moving forward, but only for devices using Microsoft Defender Antivirus. If you use a third-party anti-malware solution, this feature won’t be enabled by default.

If you want to take control of the Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) feature, you can use this guide, which includes all the steps to enable or disable the setting and review the apps that have been blocked.

You can check whether the PUA is enabled on Windows Security > App & browser control, click the Reputation-based protection settings option, and ensure that the “Potentially unwanted app blocking” option is turned on.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].