How to Activate PUA Protection to Block Unwanted/Harmful Programs

Microsoft has enhanced the capabilities of the Windows built-in antivirus by adding an additional feature ‘PUA Protection’ to Windows Defender. The tool works as a guard by blocking the potentially unwanted programs from entering the system. Although Windows Defender Antivirus already protects the system and files from various types of viruses and threats. With the addition of this feature, Windows Antivirus became more powerful, now it also detects and blocks the harmful programs. You can enable the PUA (Potentially Unwanted Antivirus) Protection feature on your computer to prevent the programs unwanted program from entering to your device. This will also identify and block the applications that may have the chances containing infected files or affect your device performance. If you want to use the feature in your PC, then here is the guide activate PUA Protection in a system.


How to activate PUA protection in a system to block unwanted or harmful programs

Windows Defender is the first antivirus that your system has when you don’t have an additional antivirus program installed in your PC it protect your device and data against malicious attacks. You can boost the protection by enabling the PUA protection in Windows Defender Antivirus. Here is how.

  1. Launch ‘Start.’

  2. With your keyboard, type ‘Windows PowerShell.’

  3. And press ‘Enter.’

  4. Wait for the searches to appear, right click on the first result.

  5. And then click ‘Run as Administrator.’

  6. Wait for the Windows PowerShell window to appear on the screen.

  7. Now, type following the command “Set-MpPreference -PUProtection 1” into it.

  8. And press ‘Enter.’

The command will run and activate the PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) protection in the Windows Defender Antivirus. Now, add the application to your system without worrying. Windows Defender detects and blocks the potentially harmful programs.

How to check and test the PUA Protection feature

If you want to check how PUA Protection feature works or working correctly or not, go with the below steps. This will also determine whether it has been activated in your computer.

Before following the steps, make sure your computer is connected to the internet because you’ve to download a test file.

  1. Connect your computer to the internet.

  2. Open a browser and paste this URL address into the search

  3. Click on the large ‘Download the Potentially Unwanted Application ‘test’ file’ button. It is at the center of the webpage.

Now, wait if the PUA Protection feature has been enabled correctly on your computer, it will automatically detect and block the malicious program from running in your system.

How to deactivate PUA protection in your system

If you want to disable the PUA protection feature and allow all the applications to run on your computer, then you need to rerun the command in Windows PowerShell. Here is how.

  1. Launch ‘Start.’

  2. Search and open ‘Windows PowerShell.’

  3. Enter the command “Set-MpPreference -PUProtection 0” into it.

  4. And press ‘Enter.’

The command will run and disable the PUA protection in Windows Defender Antivirus. Instead of disabling the feature, you can unblock and run the applications that are blocked by Windows Defender.

How to unblock and allow the programs blocked by PUA protection

Follow these steps to unblock and allow the blocked application to run.

  1. Launch ‘Start.’

  2. Search and open ‘Windows Defender Security Center.’

  3. Open ‘Virus and threat protection’ from the left menu.

  4. Then click on ‘Threat history’ text.

  5. Choose the file or app from Quarantined threats.

  6. And click on the ‘Restore’ button.

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Kellie Minton  arrived on the cyber security scene in the early 2000s when virus and malware were still new and slowly evolving. Her longtime affair with writing with an interest in the cybersecurity industry, combined with her IT degree, has contributed to experience several aspects of security suite industry such as blogging at  .

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