Windows 10 and Windows 11: Block unwanted apps with Microsoft Defender – Here’s how


On Windows 11 and Windows 10, you can automatically block potentially unwanted apps. We show you how to activate the Microsoft Defender feature.

In addition to viruses, ransomware and the like, the Windows Defender built into Windows 11 and Windows 10 can also detect and block so-called “Potentially Unwanted Applications” (PUA). This is not malware in the strict sense, but advertising software or programs that could bother you in other ways.

The definition is a bit vague and can also affect programs that Microsoft classifies as questionable, although you actually want to use them. System cleaning and repair tools such as some registry cleaners are also classified as PUAs for this reason.

You can disable, enable, or customize the app blocker based on your preference. You have the choice of blocking only the execution of “Potentially Unwanted Applications” or their download via a web browser.

Please note: In this guide we use screenshots from Windows 10. However, the steps are the same on Windows 11 as only the window design has changed. The specified menus, key combinations and buttons are identical.

Now you know where to find and set the Windows Defender app blocker. In a separate guide, we will show you how you can manually run apps that have been blocked as a result.

Incidentally, Windows Defender also offers switchable, extended malware protection and, via a trick, the option of planning scans.

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