In May 2020, Microsoft Defender Antivirus gave all users the ability to turn on turn on protection against potentially unwanted applications (PUA). Since then, we have had great uptake and now see more users protected than ever before.
Torrent programs allow users to share files between computers using a peer-to-peer network (P2P). While there are legitimate uses for these programs and networks, they are often used to break copyright and pornography laws by sharing movies, photographs, and music. We got feedback from our enterprise customers that they would like to be aware of this type of application and block it in their networks. In response, we updated the definition of PUA to detect Torrent programs for all our customers.
However, since releasing the updated PUA to our non-enterprise users, Microsoft Defender Antivirus has received a lot of feedback that they don't want to detect Torrent programs. Therefore, we will no longer detect and block torrent applications as PUA for non-enterprise customers.
Changes to the Microsoft PUA detection criteria will come into effect on February 16th, 2021.
Some Torrent applications may continue to qualify as PUA for other reasons. For example, some Torrent app installers offer other programs during their installation process. This practice is known as “Bundling” and is considered PUA by our criteria.
If you think you're going to be affected by this change or have concerns, let us know through the File Submission Page.
We are very excited by this change and believe this is how our users can have the best Windows experience.
Learn more about Potentially Unwanted Apps and how Windows 10 blocks them from this article.