Potentially unwanted applications

A potentially unwanted application is a program that contains adware, installs toolbars or has other unclear objectives. There are some situations where a user may feel that the benefits of a potentially unwanted application outweigh the risks. For this reason, ESET assigns such applications a lower-risk category compared to other types of malicious software, such as trojan horses or worms.

Warning - Potential threat found

Potentially unwanted applications - Settings

Potentially unwanted applications - Software wrappers

Warning - Potential threat found

When a potentially unwanted application is detected, you can decide which action to take:

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

2.Ignore: 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 Advanced options and then select the check box next to Exclude from detection.


When a potentially unwanted application is detected and cannot be cleaned, an Address has been blocked notification will be displayed. For more information about this event navigate to Tools > Log files > Filtered websites from the main menu.


Potentially unwanted applications - Settings

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



Potentially unwanted applications may install adware, toolbars, or contain other unwanted and unsafe program features.

These settings can be modified in your program settings at any time. To enable or disable the detection of Potentially unwanted, unsafe or suspicious applications, follow these instructions:

1.Open your ESET product. How do I open my ESET product?

2.Press the F5 key to access Advanced setup.

3.Click Antivirus and enable or disable options Enable detection of potentially unwanted applications, Enable detection of potentially unsafe applications and Enable detection of suspicious applications according to your preferences. Confirm by clicking OK.


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.

Please see this ESET Knowledgebase article for an updated version of this help page.