The worldwide web can be a dangerous place, and sometimes downloading a free version of an application isn’t always what it turns out to be. Well, with its new Chromium-based Edge browser, Microsoft is here to help. In a recent blog post, the company explained how the new Edge can protect users from downloading potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) such as programs that mine cryptocurrency, or applications that show offers for other software.
This feature is available today and can be found in version 80.0.338.0 or newer of Edge. It is turned off by default and can be found under the Privacy and Services section of Microsoft Edge settings. Once there, it can be toggled by selecting the button for Block potentially unwanted apps. This ability in Edge relies on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, and it will only work if this is enabled in the settings for Windows Defender.
Anyway, if the user downloads and app that has been determined by Microsoft to be a PUA, a warning message will appear at the bottom of Edge, like the one seen above. It will then suggest for you to delete the download, but users will still have control if they want to allow it to run. You can allow by pressing the … in the message and choosing Keep anyway.
Microsoft has made this feature a bit foolproof, too, to ensure reputable apps can properly be screened in the future. By going to edge://downloads/, and choosing to Report this app as reputable, users can help Microsoft to better identify quality apps. Microsoft insists that the goal of this is to “assist users in getting the apps they want while empowering them to maintain control over their devices and experiences.” You can learn more about how this works by reading Microsoft’s official documentation.