How to Enable Adware or PUA Protection in Microsoft Security Essentials

microsoft security essentials

You can enable PUA or adware protection in Windows Defender using different methods explained in the article How to Enable PUA, PUP or Adware Protection in Windows Defender. But, if you’re still using Windows 7 and relying on Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) for real-time antivirus protection, this post has the info on how to enable adware, PUP or PUA protection in MSE.

There are two methods (using the registry) for enabling PUP, PUA or adware protection in Microsoft Security Essentials. For MSE and Forefront client, you implement the registry value “PUAProtection” or “MpEnablePus” in a different branch than the one used for Windows Defender. And, the PowerShell method (Set-MpPreference cmdlet) that I posted earlier doesn’t work in Windows 7.

Enable PUA Protection in Microsoft Security Essentials

Option 1:

Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Microsoft Antimalware

Create a DWORD value named PUAProtection and set its data to 1.

Exit the Registry Editor.

Option 2:

Go to this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Microsoft Antimalware\MpEngine

Note: The key “MpEngine” need to be manually created as it doesn’t exist by default.

Create a DWORD value named MpEnablePus and set its data to 1.

enable pua protection in microsoft security essentials





Exit the Registry Editor.

Update the definitions or restart Windows for the change to take effect.

That should block adware or PUAs from being downloaded or run.

enable adware protection in microsoft security essentials

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enable adware protection in microsoft security essentials

Yes. It does work — tested on Windows 7 with MSE — Microsoft Antimalware client version 4.10.205.0.

Since Windows 7 still has the majority of the OS market share (of 48%+) and MSE topped the antivirus product market share with 17% as of Jan 2015 (can’t find the latest report for 2016, though), I hope many people would find this post useful.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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