How to Turn On or Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps in Windows 11. Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are a category of software that can cause your machine to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other unwanted spy tools.

When Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on, it can help block PUA apps and files and any attempts to download, run, or install them. If you try to download a suspicious app, SmartScreen will show you a warning screen and clearly identify the suspected threat and gives you a chance to stop before anything bad can happen.

These protections are built into Windows and it works with Microsoft Defender Endpoint on your device and in the cloud. Protection such as Controlled folder accessReal-time protectionTamper protection and Ransomware protection, Phishing protection are included with Microsoft Security.

Below is how to turn off or on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps blocking in Windows 11

How to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted apps in Windows 11

As mentioned above, Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are a category of software that can cause your machine to run slowly, display unexpected ads, or at worst, install other unwanted spy tools.

Turn on or off SmartScreen for Potentially Unwanted Apps:

In the search box on the taskbar, type Windows Security and then select Windows Security in the list of results.

open windows security app

In Windows Security, select App & browser control tile as highlighted in the image below.

windows 11 app and browser control microsoft defender

On the App & browser control settings page, under Reputation-based protection, click on Reputation-based protection settings link as highlighted below.

windows 11 microsoft defender reputation base protection

On the Reputation-based protection settings page, under Potentially unwanted app blocking, toggle the button to On of Off to enable or disable PUA with Microsoft Defender.

Also turn on both the Block apps and Block downloads settings.

windows 11 smartscreen for potentially unwanted apps

You can close Windows Settings app when done.

Turn On or Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for PUA in Edge

When you are done with turning on Defender SmartScreen PUA in Windows Security app, go to your Edge browser and also turn on Defender SmartScreen PUA in Edge.

Below is a post that shows you how to do that.

How to turn On of Off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for PUA in Edge

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to enable or disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for potentially unwanted apps in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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