If programs use tactics that scare users into purchasing certain software, Windows Defender will begin to classify these programs as "unwanted software", and then it will delete the apps from the users' computers. This includes registry cleaners and system optimizers that offer free scans, detect issues with alarming messages, and then require the user to purchase the product before fixing anything.
To protect customers, Microsoft is updating its evaluation criteria to make it clear that programs must not use the type of messaging that pressurizes customers into purchases or performing other actions. We use the evaluation criteria to determine what programs are identified as malware and unwanted software.
"Programs must not display alarming or coercive messages or misleading content to pressure you into paying for additional services or performing superfluous actions", Microsoft explained. You'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, which is to set your PC to the Slow or Fast ring by going to Settings - Update & security - Windows Insider Program.
An update this week on the website of Microsoft's antivirus package states that Redmond will soon consider the aforementioned "coercive messaging" as grounds for automatically removing software as "unwanted programs".
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Microsoft's decision to escalate its action against unscrupulous cleaner software follows an earlier stipulation in February 2016 that this software had to provide customers with detailed information about why fixes were necessary on their machine. This requirement aims to protect customers from programs that present aggregate "error" results with no specific details, without providing customers with the ability to assess and validate the so-called errors.
Programs are also not allowed to suggest that the only way to remediate a problem is to follow its recommendations, nor are they allowed to require the user act within a limited time period.
Microsoft has laid out guidelines for developers and they can refer to it in the Windows Defender Security Intelligence portal.