Today, Microsoft announced that starting with Microsoft Edge 80.0.338.0 users will be able to block potentially unwanted applications from downloading. The new step has been taken to reduce annoying pop-ups and make the browsing experience better. potentially unwanted programs or PUPs or PUAs are classified as grayware which are not considered as malware but causes irritating lag. They can also track your behaviour and send you a barrage of pop-up windows. Once you install the PUAs they start to degrade the overall Windows experience. 

These unwanted programs also increase the risk of your computer or network becoming infected with malware. The detection of malware and dealing with them becomes even harder with them. The company has been working on this new feature since September 2019 and is ready to roll it out as a part of the Microsoft Edge 80.0.338.0 version.

However, the company has not made it a default feature and so the users have to manually turn on the feature. Here are the steps, Edge’s Settings > Privacy and Services > Services > Block Potentially Unwanted Apps. 

Once you turn on the option, Microsoft Edge will automatically block the PUAs after detecting. The web browser will show an “ExampleApp.exe has been blocked as a potentially unwanted app by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen” message in the bottom downloads bar. Microsoft said in a company statement, “Our goal is to assist users in getting the apps they want, while empowering them to maintain control over their devices and experiences.” 

Microsoft has recently introduced the Chromium-based Edge web browser to Windows 10 users. The company assured the availability of the feature soon to every user, except Enterprise as well as Education users. According to the Edge Team, you first have to toggle on the Windows Security Microsoft Defender Smart Screen to get the PUAs blocking feature to work in the Microsoft Edge browser. 

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