Potentially Unwanted Applications

Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) are applications that are not malicious in the traditional sense of the word but rather, from a user’s perspective, behave in an unwanted manner. There are many different reasons (some obvious and some less so) that cause a user to perceive an application as unwanted.

Why has Avira classified my program, advert or website as a PUA?

Your application's classification as a PUA is the result of your software, advert, or website, exhibiting one or more offending behaviors and/or properties within this (non-exhaustive) list. Note, the list is subject to change over time.

Default Installation Flow / Third Party Software

Following the software’s default installation flow, are there any undesired software installations or changes to the system (such as changes to files, to the registry, to settings, etc.) that are unrelated to the software intended to be installed by the user?

Does the software install third party software and/or unrelated components without explicit user consent?

Does the software manipulate the user via social engineering to install unrelated components or additional software?


Are any of the software components hidden or cannot be uninstalled by normal user means?

Publisher information

Does the software contain incorrect and/or incomplete details regarding brand ownership or license? Are any digital certificates used invalid? Does your software fail to display an End User License Agreement (EULA)?

Software description missing / misleading

Is the software description missing or does it, at any point, misrepresent the software’s actual functionality?

Mandatory offers

Does the installation flow of the software claim that it is mandatory to agree or accept additional offers in order to complete the installation process successfully?

Malicious components

Is the software bundled with malicious or potentially unwanted content?

Changing browser settings / behavior

Does the installation flow of the software change any user settings, default settings (for example, default search engine, default homepage, default browser, bookmarks) or profiles without the user’s explicit consent?

Misleading claims

Does the software show misleading or exaggerated claims? Does it trick the user into thinking their computer has problems that it does not have?


Does the software request permissions that are unnecessary for it to complete its promoted purpose?


Does the software use the user’s identity to send or post content, or use the user’s identity in any other manner, without the clear consent of the user?

Threatening or scary messages

Does the software attempt to threaten or scare the user into taking action?

Promotion or distribution of PUA applications

Does the website promote or provide files to the user that are malicious or potentially unwanted?


Does the product or its installer avoid investigation or detection, act differently in the presence of anti-malware software/anti-malware environments or virtual machine environments?

Request review

If the above criteria do not apply to your software, you can submit it for review by filling out this online form.