The recently released Chromium-based Edge browser is packed with tons of great features. However, one of the things that people have been talking about lately is how the browser can now block the automatic download and installation of Potentially Unwanted Programs or Potentially Unwanted Apps. The new feature, referred to as Crapware Blocker, is currently available in Edge’s beta version. However, it is not enabled by default. Of course, this does not stop people from trying to learn how to block crapware downloads in the Edge browser
How Does Microsoft Block Crapware Downloads in the Edge Browser?
Isn’t it annoying when you simply want a peaceful Internet surfing experience yet somehow, your browser downloads and installs unwanted apps? Well, you will be glad to know that Microsoft Edge will now have a feature that will protect you from these Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUPs. After all, these apps could be malware pretending to be legitimate programs or files. We all know what these threats can do once they find their way into your operating system. They can start spreading malware and viruses to your computer and even to the devices connected to your network.
According to Microsoft, PUPs have a low-reputation rating and most of them are suspicious. Some examples of these unwanted programs include cryptocurrency miners, browser toolbars, adware, and trackers, among many others. In general, these apps acquire download permission stealthily. You won’t be blatantly aware that you’re downloading them because the access is hidden within the license agreements and other clickable areas of a web page.
The great news is Crapware Blocker is a natively integrated feature of Microsoft Edge. So, you don’t have to download it separately. Crapware Blocker was initially introduced in September 2019 as an experimental feature of the ‘Development’ edition of the Edge web browser.
It is worth noting that Edge is not the only Microsoft product to have a blocker for crapware. You can expect Google Chrome, Windows Defender, and, of course, Malwarebytes to prevent Potentially Unwanted Programs from getting downloaded automatically. These apps may function a little bit differently from one another, but all of them will keep suspicious programs from accidentally getting installed.
How to Activate the New Microsoft Edge Crapware Blocker
As we’ve mentioned, you can enjoy the benefits of Crapware Blocker if you’re using the beta version of Microsoft Edge. You can find the feature in the Dev, Beta, and Canary versions of the web browser. However, with the way things are going, we can expect it to be widely released for the general public. Meanwhile, you will still need to activate it manually because the feature is not enabled by default.
Here’s how to activate the new Microsoft Edge Crapware Blocker:
- Launch Microsoft Edge, then go to the top-right portion of the browser and click the three-dotted menu.
- Select Settings from the options.
- Once you get to the Settings page, go to the left-pane menu and click Privacy and Services.
- Scroll towards the bottom of the list.
- Once you get to the Services section, enable the ‘Block potentially unwanted apps’ option.
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Note: If you haven’t upgraded to Microsoft Edge 80 yet, you won’t be able to see this feature. So, you need to check which Microsoft Edge version you have. You can do this following this path: Menu ->Help & Feedback ->About Microsoft Edge.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can exit the Settings page. You can now expect Microsoft Edge to aggressively block the automatic download and installation of unwanted apps.
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Pro Tip: To ensure that you have maximum protection against threats and PUPs, we recommend that you install a reliable antivirus. There are many security programs out there, but Auslogics Anti-Malware is among the few that can promise comprehensive protection. It can detect suspicious programs no matter how discreetly they operate in the background. What’s more, this antivirus was designed by a certified Microsoft Silver Application Developer. So, you can expect it to work harmoniously with your operating system and your main security program.
Other Ways to Manage Your Microsoft Edge Browser
There are other ways in which your data can leak through your browser. Thankfully, there are plenty of features that keep your browsing experience on Edge safe. Here are some additional security tips you can follow:
Blocking Third-Party Ads and Trackers
Aside from Crapware Blocker, the Tracking Prevention feature is probably the most vital feature of Edge. When you’re on the default Balanced mode, you can use this feature to block known harmful and third-party trackers from accessing your browsing data. To activate this feature, you can follow the steps below:
- Open Microsoft Edge, then click the three-dotted menu at the top-right portion of the browser.
- Select Settings from the menu.
- On the left pane, click Privacy and Services.
- Change the settings to Strict.
After following these steps, you will be able to block third-party trackers. Essentially, you’re also preventing ads from popping up.
There may be instances wherein a site is still able to push its tracker through even when the Strict setting is enabled. The easiest workaround for this is to go to the address bar, then click the padlock icon beside the URL. Once you see the menu, go to the Tracking Prevention section, turn the option Off. After doing this, the website will be added to the Tracking Prevention Exceptions list. You can click the padlock icon again, then switch the feature back to On.
Microsoft Edge has a feature that allows you to block notifications from websites. You can access the Site Permissions page in Edge’s settings, then click Notifications. You will see the following options:
- Ask before sending
The ideal option to choose is ‘Ask before sending.’ In this way, you will have the freedom to decide what sites to add to the Allowed list. On the other hand, if you do not want to see any notifications, you can choose Blocked.
Which of the security features on Edge do you like?
Let us know in the comments below!