However, this feature is enabled for Enterprise users. Even Enterprise users have to choose to use this feature themselves.
Suppose you are using Windows Defender as an active antivirus solution and want it to protect your system from unwanted applications like bundled adware, spyware, etc. Please follow these steps.
Turn on Windows Defender to scan for PUA
To allow Windows Defender to scan and protect the system from potentially unwanted applications, you need to add a Registry entry. To do that, press “Win + R”, type
regedit, and hit the Enter button.
The above action will open the Windows Registry. Here, navigate to the following key in the left pane.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software Policies Microsoft Windows Defender
Once you are here, we need to create a new key. To do that, right-click on the “Windows Defender” key and choose the option “New” and then “Key”.
Once the new key has been created, rename it “MpEngine”, and press the Enter button.
Now we need to create a new value in the original key. To do that, right-click on the right panel and select the option “New” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value…”
Name the new DWORD value
After renaming it, double-click on it to open the Edit Value window. Here, enter the new value data as “1” and click the Ok button to save the changes.
Just reboot your system, and you are good to go. From this point, Windows Defender will protect you from any unwanted programs.
If you want to remove specific files and folders from being scanned by Windows Defender and classified as PUA, you need to exclude them manually. To get started, open the settings panel by pressing the shortcut “Win + I.” Select the option “Update and Security”.
Navigate to Windows Defender in the left pane, and then click the “Add an Exclusion” link under the category Exclusions.
The above action will open the “Add an Exclusion” window. Here, depending on your requirements, click on the option “Exclude a File” or “Exclude a Folder” to add the exclusion.
Feel free to comment below, sharing your thoughts and experiences on how to use Windows Defender to protect your computer from potentially unwanted programs.