Microsoft starts blocking Potentially Unwanted Apps by default


Nip the evil in the bud? Microsoft added a Potentially Unwanted Apps blocking feature in its OS recently, with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update debuting this security feature.

This threat is also more commonly known as PUP — Potentially Unwanted Programs.

And the company has now turned on a shield against it by default.

Previously, while this security option was there, users had to manually enable it on all Windows 10 devices. Now, any machine running at least the May 2020 Update will automatically block PUAs without any user input.

And this includes version 21H1 of the operating system, too. No longer will users be required to dig deep in the settings and manually enable this option, with most of them not even being aware that this type of advanced protection was available on their machine.

Redmond explains that this change will come into effect early August, so in theory we are a few days away from when the switch would be turned on:

“In the Windows 10 May 2020 Update we added Potentially Unwanted App blocking for everyone running Windows 10, but customers who wanted to use it still had to turn it on.

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. If you’d like to turn it off, or back on, for any reason you can do so by going to the Windows Security app > App & browser control > Reputation-based protection.”

A welcome change for the average Joe, this.

Because as Microsoft details, Potentially Unwanted Apps is a different kind of threat to malware, in that this category of software causes your device to so run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other more harmful or annoying software that you neither want nor need.

No indication whether something like this will happen on Windows 11, but chances are that the company might go with it in the upcoming operating system, too.