Potentially unwanted applications

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are not necessarily intended to be malicious, but may affect the performance of your computer in a negative way. Such applications usually require consent before installation. If they are present on your computer, your system behaves differently (compared to the state before their installation). The most significant changes are:

New windows you haven’t seen previously (pop-ups, ads)

Activating and running of hidden processes

Increased usage of system resources

Changes in search results

Application communicates with remote servers

When a PUA is detected, you will be able to decide which action to take:

1.Clean/Disconnect: This option ends the action and prevents the potential threat from entering your system.

2.No action: This option allows a potential threat to enter your system.

3.To allow the application to run on your computer in the future without interruption, click More info/Show advanced options and then select the check box next to Exclude from detection or Exclude signature from detection.

Potentially unwanted applications - Settings

While installing your ESET product, you can decide whether to enable detection of potentially unwanted applications, as shown below:


To enable or disable the detection of Potentially unwanted, unsafe or suspicious applications at a later time, modify this option, press F5 to open the Advanced setup window and click Computer > Basic in the advanced setup tree.


Potentially unwanted applications - Software wrappers

A software wrapper is a special type of application modification that is used by some file-hosting websites. It is a third-party tool that installs the program you intended to download but adds additional software, such as toolbars or adware. The additional software may also make changes to your web browser’s home page and search settings. Also, file-hosting websites often do not notify the software vendor or download recipient that modifications have been made, and often hide options to opt out. For these reasons, ESET classifies software wrappers as a type of potentially unwanted application to allow users to accept the download or not.

Potentially unwanted applications - Registry cleaners

Registry cleaners are programs that may suggest that the Windows registry database requires regular maintenance or cleaning. Using a registry cleaner might introduce some risks to your computer system. Additionally, some registry cleaners make unqualified, unverifiable or otherwise unsupportable claims about their benefits and/or generate misleading reports about a computer system based on the results of a "free scan". These misleading claims and reports seek to persuade you to purchase a full version or subscription, usually without allowing you to evaluate the registry cleaner before payment. For these reasons, ESET classifies such programs as PUA and provides you the option to allow or to block them.

Potentially unwanted content

If PUA detection is enabled in your ESET product, websites that have a reputation for promoting PUAs or that have a reputation for misleading users into performing actions that might have negative implications on their system or browsing experience will be blocked as potentially unwanted content. If you receive a notification that a website you are attempting to visit is categorized as potentially unwanted content, you can click Go Back to navigate away from the blocked web page or click Ignore and continue to allow the site to load.