Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA)


Type :


Aliases :

Application.generic.[variant], Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA), Potentially unwanted Software (PUS), Unwanted software, grayware, PotentialRisk.PUA/[family].Gen


A program that has behaviors or aspects that can have an undesirable or unwanted impact on your privacy, security or productivity, but does not meet the stricter definition of a harmful program.


The F-Secure security product will block the file from running.

If you are aware of the risks involved in using the file and consent to its use, you may change the settings of your F-Secure security product to allow the file to run. You may also change the settings to exclude it from scanning.

Note: You need administrative rights to change the settings.

A False Positive is when a file is incorrectly detected as harmful, usually because its code or behavior resembles known harmful programs. A False Positive will usually be fixed in a subsequent database update without any action needed on your part. If you wish, you may also:

  • Check for the latest database updates

    First check if your F-Secure security program is using the latest updates, then try scanning the file again.

  • Submit a sample

    After checking, if you still believe the file is incorrectly detected, you can submit a sample of it for re-analysis.

    Note: If the file was moved to quarantine, you need to collect the file from quarantine before you can submit it.

  • Exclude a file from further scanning

    If you are certain that the file is safe and want to continue using it, you can exclude it from further scanning by the F-Secure security product.

    Note: You need administrative rights to change the settings.

Technical Details

An application is detected as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) if it exhibits any of the following:

Unwanted impact on productivity:
  • Disrupting the desired user experience
  • Waste of time
  • Program performs unexpected, unwelcome and unauthorized actions, which lead to unwanted distractions, lost opportunities or lowered productivity
  • Time or monetary cost of cleaning, maintaining or reformatting the affected device
Unwanted stress on the device's resources:
  • Excessive use of computing resources - disk space, SSD writes, Memory, CPU time, etc
  • Excessive bandwidth or data plan consumption
Compromises security:
  • Exposure to unexpected, questionable or unverified content, location or applications
Compromises privacy:
  • Personal information is unnecessarily exposed to unknown or unauthorized parties

For more about how F-Secure determines if a program is a PUA, see: Classifying Potentially Unwanted Applications.

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