Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 will automatically block potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) by default starting this month.

“Starting in early August 2021 we’ll begin turning it on by default to make it easier for you to keep your systems performing at their best,” Microsoft announced today.

Windows 10 users who do not wish to block PUAs by default can turn the feature off by opening the Windows Security setting screen, clicking on App & browser control, and selecting Reputation-based protection settings.

At the Reputation-based protection settings screen, you can disable the ‘Potentially unwanted app blocking‘ setting.

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The ‘Block Apps’ option will enable Microsoft Defender’s built-in PUA scanning and blocking feature. The ‘Block downloads’ will control whether the ‘Block potentially unwanted apps’ setting is enabled in the new Microsoft Edge browser. When enabled, SmartScreen will block PUAs and PUPs as they are downloaded.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are a category of software that can cause your device to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other software which may be more harmful or annoying. PUA isn’t malware, but it is software that you often don’t need and probably don’t want. 

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