Windows 10 will soon be aggressively blocking dubious downloads

You will have the option to allow crypto miners and other auxiliary applications on your PC, but Microsoft will tell you if they are a bad idea. […]

Windows 10 helps you to protect your computer (c)

Noisy Microsoft will Windows 10 Block Potentially Unwanted Applications by default from the beginning of August – bundled applications that you probably don’t want. The change was in one Support-Dokument from Windows Latest announced.

If you download a lot of third-party utilities, you may have already come across a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA), also known as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). These terms mostly describe a bundled piece of adware or – worse – a small additional application that is slowing down in the background Cryptocurrency mines.

You may not even know where the PUA comes from. Sometimes it is the developer himself who added the PUA for additional revenue, or a website that collects the utilities and goes to the Download offers. Either way, the PUA is an application that you have never asked for and that you probably don’t want either.

Microsoft is now a little more aggressive with PUAs. Microsoft has already told you about the Windows 10 May 2020 updates offered the possibility to automatically filter PUAs, although this function was deactivated by default. “From the beginning of August 2021, we will switch on this function by default to make it easier for you to get the most out of your systems,” said Microsoft.

Filtering apps can of course lead to errors. After all, you might want one Kryptominer for a little extra income, or download an app that will distribute updates via an attached BitTorrent client that you know and accept. If so, you can use the Microsoft Activate and deactivate the mechanism known as “reputation-based protection” in the Windows 10 settings menu. Go through the menu “Windows 10Settings “or the Windows 10 search field to the” Windows Security “app and then to” App and browser control “>” Reputation-based protection “.

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Here you will find the settings for the reputation protection of Windows 10 (c) Mark Hachman / IDG

Under Block Potentially Unwanted Apps, you’ll see two toggle options: Block Apps and Downloads To block. Both have similar functions. Block downloads works at the browser level, but only with Microsoft Edge. Block apps is used to block apps from being downloaded in Chrome or another browser, as Windows Defender does not examine these apps until they are downloaded.

There is also a “master” toggle that allows you to completely disable reputation-based protection, but this is not recommended. Starting this month, reputation-based protection will be turned on by default.

Microsoft quarantines the PUA when it is detected. There you have the option of deleting them, leaving them in an isolated “quarantine” status or allowing them on your system (c) Microsoft

Note that enabling apps or Downloads block does not block all apps or downloads, only blocks those that are Microsoft classified as suspicious. Microsoft quarantines all detected PUAs and lets you decide whether you want to install them on your device. Microsoft is merely using the information it has about the app to kindly advise you that it may not be a good idea.

* As Managing Editor of PCWorld, Mark Hachman’s focus is on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other things.


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