Internet Explorer – gHacks Technology News http://www.ghacks.net The independent technology news blog Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:43:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 Microsoft Edge’s “something missing on this page” message http://www.ghacks.net/2017/02/25/microsoft-edges-something-missing-on-this-page-message/ http://www.ghacks.net/2017/02/25/microsoft-edges-something-missing-on-this-page-message/#comments Sat, 25 Feb 2017 07:25:40 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=130844 If you follow the release of Windows 10 Insider Build releases, or have installed one on a PC, you may have noticed that Microsoft put a lot of effort in recent builds to improve the system's default web browser Microsoft Edge. Edge is a rather bare bones browser, which is refreshing when you come from […]

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If you follow the release of Windows 10 Insider Build releases, or have installed one on a PC, you may have noticed that Microsoft put a lot of effort in recent builds to improve the system's default web browser Microsoft Edge.

Edge is a rather bare bones browser, which is refreshing when you come from Internet Explorer, but disappointing if you expect the same level of customizations that Firefox offers for instance.

While Microsoft continues to add or improve features, it seems that the company has its foot on the brakes in important areas such as extensions support. Edge supports a good dozen or so extensions, and that is after almost a year of supporting them.

Something missing on this page

microsoft edge something ismissing

One of the new features that Microsoft integrated into Edge on Insider Builds is a new check for blocked or missing content on sites.

The company switched the integrated Flash Player in Edge to click to play some time ago. While that works reasonably well for Flash elements that are highly visible on a page, you may miss the "select for Adobe Flash" instruction for others.

The most recent version of Edge therefore ships with a one-time reminder, and a new icon in the browser's address bar to manage Flash in the browser.

The reminder reads:

Something missing on the page?

Top help you stay safe, we've blocked Adobe Flash. Click here to turn it on.

This is a one-time reminder that won't show up again once you hit the "got it" button. The idea is to bring attention to the "broken content" icon in the Edge toolbar.

You can click on the icon to bring up a prompt to allow Adobe Flash on the site.

edge enable adobe flash

You may use it to allow Adobe Flash content to run once, or always, on the site you are on. Flash will be enabled then for the session, or permanently when you visit the site.

Regardless of choice you make, the page in question is reloaded by Microsoft Edge automatically. You will notice that Flash content is loaded as well afterwards.

Once you make a selection, you have no control anymore over the feature. Edge, at least the current iteration of the web browser, does not provide a list of whitelisted sites.

clear flash permissions

The only option you have to remove permissions is to clear all Flash permissions.

This is done with a click on Menu > Settings > Choose what to clear > Show more > Adobe Flash permissions.

Closing Words

The new feature is only available in the most recent development build of Windows 10. It is possible that Microsoft will improve it over time, for instance by adding options to Edge to manage the list of whitelisted sites that are allowed to run Flash directly.

Now you: What's your take on Microsoft Edge?

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Microsoft Edge: show address bar all the time http://www.ghacks.net/2017/01/07/microsoft-edge-show-address-bar-all-the-time/ http://www.ghacks.net/2017/01/07/microsoft-edge-show-address-bar-all-the-time/#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2017 08:05:17 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=128707 The following guide provides you with information on configuring Microsoft Edge so that the browser's address bar is displayed all the time. If you are using Microsoft Edge, or have used it in the past, you may have noticed that the browser's address bar is not displayed on certain pages. This is the case for […]

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The following guide provides you with information on configuring Microsoft Edge so that the browser's address bar is displayed all the time.

If you are using Microsoft Edge, or have used it in the past, you may have noticed that the browser's address bar is not displayed on certain pages.

This is the case for the browser's startpage, but also on the new tab page. Microsoft made the decision to merge it with the search field that it displays on these pages.

So, if you want to enter an address, you would have to use that search field to do so. I don't like this practice a whole lot, as it is inconsistent and can also be confusing to users.

Update: it appears that Edge resets the settings after a moment.

Microsoft Edge: show address bar all the time

edge address bar

If you prefer that the address bar in Edge is placed consistently in the browser's main toolbar, then you can do so. Please note that this requires editing the Windows Registry as there is no option in Edge itself to make that change.

Once you make the change, Edge's address bar is pinned to the top of the browser on all pages that you open in the web browser including the browser's Start and New Tab page.

Please note that you can't display the address bar and the "Where to next" field in Edge at the same time. It is either one or the other, but not both. Both do offer the same functionality though, as you can run searches in the address bar as well.

Editing the Registry

edge address bar 2

First, the manual way of making the necessary changes in the Windows Registry to display the address bar on top all the time:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key on your keyboard, type regedit.exe, and hit the Enter-key on the keyboard.
  2. Navigate to the following key using the key hierarchy on the left: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\ServiceUI
  3. Right-click on ServiceUI, select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name it StartPageAddressBarPinned.
  5. Double-click on the new value, and set its value to 1.
  6. Right-click on ServiceUI, select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  7. Name it  NewTabPageAddressBarPinned.
  8. Double-click on the new value, and set its value to 1.

microsoft edge address bar pinned

The changes take effect immediately. There is no need to restart Edge or the computer.

Automatic way

You can click on the following Registry file as well, after downloading and extracting the archive, to apply the changes detailed above to the Registry without having to navigate the Registry at all.

Simply download the following file to do so: edge-address-bar.zip

You can open it in any plain text editor to check its content before you run it on your system.

Undo the change

To undo the change, delete the Registry values again, or set them to 0 instead of 1. (via WinHelpOnline)

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Microsoft claims Edge is the only browser with pin & preview tabs support http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/30/microsoft-claims-edge-is-the-only-browser-with-pin-preview-tabs-support/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/30/microsoft-claims-edge-is-the-only-browser-with-pin-preview-tabs-support/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 07:20:05 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=127881 Microsoft stated recently on the official Microsoft Edge Twitter channel that the company's Edge web browser was the only browser that supported a pin & preview feature for tabs. Most web browsers support pinning of tabs. This is a useful feature to keep sites that you visit regularly open all the time and at the […]

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Microsoft stated recently on the official Microsoft Edge Twitter channel that the company's Edge web browser was the only browser that supported a pin & preview feature for tabs.

Most web browsers support pinning of tabs. This is a useful feature to keep sites that you visit regularly open all the time and at the beginning of the tab bar for quick access.

Previews on the other hand are indeed not supported by all web browsers. But even if you limit the statement to just Windows 10, it is first and foremost untrue.

At least Vivaldi and Opera support tab previews as well. Both browsers support previews for regular tabs and pinned tabs.

Take a look at the following two screenshots to see how this works in the browsers.

vivaldi tab pinning preview

opera tab previews

You can toggle the preview feature on both browsers easily. If you are using Vivaldi, load vivaldi://settings/tabs/ in the browser's address bar to get started. Scroll down on the page that opens until you find the Tab Display group there.

The "show popup thumbnails" preference determines whether Vivaldi will show previews of tabs when you hover over them.

vivaldi show thumbnails

As an Opera user, you have pretty much the same option. Load opera://settings/ in the browser's address bar to get started. Switch to "Browser" in the sidebar menu, and scroll down to the user interface section.

There you find the "show tab previews" preference that you can toggle for the functionality.

opera show tab previews

I'm not sure why Microsoft would make such a claim if it is not true. One explanation for this is if Microsoft tested the functionality only in Firefox and Chrome, the two major browsers on Windows besides Internet Explorer / Edge.

Both Chrome and Firefox don't support pinned tab previews. Firefox users can install extensions like Tab Scope however to add the functionality to the browser. Doing so enables previews for pinned and regular tabs in the Firefox web browser.

I was not able to find an option or extension for Google Chrome which enables the feature in the browser.

This does not make Microsoft's statement right however. Of the four browsers, only one, Google Chrome, does not support pinned tab previews at all. Another one, Firefox, supports it when you install a browser extension.

And the remaining two support it natively.

Closing Words

Even if Edge would be the only browser to support pinned tab previews, it is not really something that I think is worth mentioning. It is such a small feature compared to features that Edge is still lacking.

Now You: What's your take on Microsoft Edge as a browser?

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Microsoft Edge will block Flash content by default http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/15/microsoft-edge-will-block-flash-content-by-default/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/15/microsoft-edge-will-block-flash-content-by-default/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2016 07:14:21 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=126843 Microsoft announced some hours ago that upcoming versions of the company's Windows 10 web browser Edge will block Flash content by default. Flash is on its way out, and the next step in the process is the automatic blocking of Flash elements on websites. Google announced recently that it will prioritize HTML5 over Flash, and […]

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Microsoft announced some hours ago that upcoming versions of the company's Windows 10 web browser Edge will block Flash content by default.

Flash is on its way out, and the next step in the process is the automatic blocking of Flash elements on websites.

Google announced recently that it will prioritize HTML5 over Flash, and block Flash by default in the Chrome browser. The company plans to roll out the feature gradually until it is in full swing in October 2017.

Mozilla plans to drop NPAPI plugin support on April 18. 2017 when Firefox 53 is released. While Firefox will still support Flash at this point in time, it is set to click to play already in the browser.

And now it is Microsoft that will set Adobe Flash to click to play in Microsoft Edge in the near future.

microsoft edge flash block

Starting with the Anniversary Update of windows 10, Edge did pause certain Flash content on websites already that are not central to the content. This included among other things advertisement, trackers, and other Flash content.

HTML5 content will be favored in Edge, and if a site supports it, Flash content won't even be loaded in the browser.

This improves security, performance, and battery life according to Microsoft.

Tip: Speed up Microsoft Edge by disabling Flash

Flash will be blocked by default on all sites that require Flash for some or all of the content. Microsoft Edge users may click on the Flash element that they want to load to start the activation process.

This launches a prompt stating that "Adobe Flash content was blocked". Users have the option to allow it to run once, or always from that moment in time on.

The latter is useful if the site is visited regularly, and if Flash content is an integral part of the site.

Microsoft, just like Google, will make exceptions for the most popular sites on today's Internet. The company has not revealed the scope of the whitelist, nor any site that is on that list.

It plans to shorten the list as time passes by though, and drop it completely eventually.

The blog post over on the Microsoft Edge Developer blog does not reveal when the change becomes available. Microsoft Edge Dev's Twitter account however reveals that it will be part of EdgeHTML15.

EdgeHTML15 is the current version of the browser. Windows Insider builds will receive the update soon according to Microsoft, and the full release is to be expected to be included in next year's Windows 10 Creators Update.

Now You: Do you rely on sites that require Flash?

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uBlock Origin for Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/11/ublock-origin-for-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/11/ublock-origin-for-microsoft-edge/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 16:46:40 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=126677 A port of the popular blocker uBlock Origin is now officially available for the default Windows 10 web browser Microsoft Edge. The terms port and officially available require explanation. Port means that this particular release of uBlock Origin has not been created by its original developer but forked. The browser extension uBlock Origin is open […]

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A port of the popular blocker uBlock Origin is now officially available for the default Windows 10 web browser Microsoft Edge.

The terms port and officially available require explanation. Port means that this particular release of uBlock Origin has not been created by its original developer but forked.

The browser extension uBlock Origin is open source released under GPLv3, and the version for Microsoft Edge is a fork by Nik Rolls and not by the original author Raymond Hill.

Officially available means that uBlock Origin is listed on the Microsoft Store now. It was previously only available through the author's GitHub page.

Edge users who wanted to install the extension had to sideload it as it was not listed on the Store.

uBlock Origin for Microsoft Edge

ublock origin

The browser extension installs fine from the Store. You will get a prompt in Edge however after installation that asks you whether you want to turn uBlock Origin on. You need to confirm this before the extension's functionality becomes available.

The uBlock Origin extension works like any other version of the extension from that moment on. It ships with blocklists that work automatically.

Tip: Do the following to display the uBlock Origin for Microsoft Edge icon directly in the main toolbar:

  1. Click on the menu icon.
  2. Right-click on the uBlock Origin icon at the top of the menu that opens.
  3. Check "show next to address bar".

This ensures that the icon is visible all the time. Since it highlights if content is blocked, it is usually a good idea to display it there. Also, it saves you one click whenever you interact with the extension.

While you can use the extension without modifying anything, it is suggested to go through the preferences at least once to make sure everything is set up to your liking.

I like to enable advanced mode for instance which gives me better control over what is blocked and what is not blocked.

You may want to consider blocking remote fonts for instance, adding new filter lists or removing existing ones, or adding your own custom filters to the extension on first run.

There is also a whitelist option. Sites like mine depend on ad revenue, and I'd like to encourage you to consider adding my site, and any other site that you value, to the whitelist. Revenue is generated even if you don't click on any ads.

ublock origin microsoft edge

Issues

A couple of issues exist that need to be mentioned. First, exporting data, e.g. from the whitelist, my filters, or my rules, does not work as in other browsers. This is caused by Edge not supporting direct downloads at the time of release.

While you can export data in uBlock Origin for Edge, the data is saved to a temporary folder currently and opened instead in a local text reader. Not ideal, but unfortunately one of the few workarounds that work right now.

Another issue that you may notice is that Bing advertisement is not filtered properly right now with the default settings.

Closing Words

uBlock Origin is a well done port of the popular blocking extension. The Edge version behaves for the most part like any of the other versions.

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Microsoft Edge on Android and iOS? http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/23/microsoft-edge-on-android-and-ios/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/23/microsoft-edge-on-android-and-ios/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:45:48 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=126338 Microsoft Edge is a web browser that is exclusively available for Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10. In fact, Edge is the default system browser on the system. While Internet Explorer is still there as well, Edge is promoted left and right while Internet Explorer is kept on mostly for legacy reasons. Microsoft made it […]

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Microsoft Edge is a web browser that is exclusively available for Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10. In fact, Edge is the default system browser on the system. While Internet Explorer is still there as well, Edge is promoted left and right while Internet Explorer is kept on mostly for legacy reasons.

Microsoft made it clear back in 2015, when it started to promote Windows 10 more actively, that it had no plans to bring Microsoft Edge to previous versions of Windows or mobile platforms such as Android or iOS.

The company did not say never back then, but that it wanted to put the focus on delivering the best experience on Windows 10 before exploring any other options.

It appears that Microsoft is now at a stage where it is exploring those options.  A recent tweet by Fahad Al-Riyami, technology strategist at Microsoft, asks users on Twitter whether they would like to see Microsoft Edge ported to Android and iOS.

microsoft edge android ios

The current standing, 30 minutes before polls close, is that 85% of all voters want to see Edge ported. The number of voters is relatively small however.

Fahad links to an August 2015 post on Microsoft's Community forum in which the thread starter -- not a Microsoft employee -- asked other users of the forum to tell Microsoft if they wanted to see Edge brought to Android and iOS.

While there is little keeping Edge from being ported to Android, the situation looks different in Apple's ecosystem as it does not allow third-party browsers. While you can create a browser for iOS, they all share Safari's Webkit rendering engine. This would mean that Edge would be a different product on iOS than it would be on Android or Windows 10.

All of this is just exploration for now. Microsoft made no mention of porting Edge to any other operating system, be it mobile or desktop.

Neglecting core Windows customers

I think it is rather interesting that Microsoft seems to have no intention to bring Edge to previous versions of Windows.

Considering that a large part of Microsoft's customer base is still on Windows Vista, 7 and 8, it is not the customer-friendliest of ideas.

Microsoft continues its neglect of -- still supported -- previous versions of the Windows operating system. While there is a good chance that those same customers may run Android or iOS, it is questionable if many would want to install Edge.

Even if you take all the animosities out of the picture, you'd end up with a mobile-only browser since Edge cannot be installed on pre-Windows 10 devices.

This would mean no syncing of data between mobile and desktop versions of the browser.

It would come down mostly to how good Edge is on those mobile devices however. While it is certainly a big improvement over Internet Explorer on the desktop, Edge lacks features currently and the same would probably be true for the mobile version of the browser.

Another issue that Microsoft will face if it ports Edge to Android or iOS is that it won't have an operating system at hand to push Edge to users.

Now You: Would you like to see Microsoft Edge on Android or iOS?

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Microsoft: use Edge or Ads http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/04/microsoft-use-edge-or-ads/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/04/microsoft-use-edge-or-ads/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2016 14:42:51 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=125980 Windows 10 felt in many regards like an operating system that was not ready for release back when Microsoft released it. This was the case for the new system browser Microsoft Edge as well, as it lacked a lot of features. While it was highly optimized, it felt like a browsing shell more than a […]

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Windows 10 felt in many regards like an operating system that was not ready for release back when Microsoft released it. This was the case for the new system browser Microsoft Edge as well, as it lacked a lot of features.

While it was highly optimized, it felt like a browsing shell more than a full browser in many regards. Microsoft worked on improving Edge, and it did so over time by introducing new functionality such as browser extensions.

Still, a first impression is usually one that lasts, and that is probably one reason why the vast majority of users on Windows 10 have switched over to Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi or any of the other third-party browsers.

So how does Microsoft get people to give Edge another chance? Ads was the answer apparently, as users have started to see taskbar advertisement on Windows 10 like the one spotted by Brad Chacos below.

edge ad windows 10

These ads appear over the Edge icon in the Windows 10 taskbar, even when Edge is not open. They do appear only when Edge is not the default system browser but that covers the majority of Windows 10 systems.

Since it advertises Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Rewards, it is possible that the campaign is reserved to the United States. The reason for this is simple: Microsoft Rewards are only available in the US right now.

This is not the only ad that promotes Microsoft Edge that users may see however. Microsoft is pushing ads in the Action Center as well stating that Chrome is draining battery fast and that switching to Edge would better the situation.

Both ads have some use for users and try to promote a feature of Microsoft Edge or Microsoft that may be beneficial to users.

One could argue that this is a good thing, and it probably would not get such a bad reception if Microsoft would provide clear and concise options to turn of these after they appear once.

The main issue that many Windows 10 users may have with these ads is however that is seems impossible to get rid of those advertisements once and for all.

While you can turn off the Windows Customer Experience Program and several ad-related preferences in the Settings application, there is no guarantee that these changes will stick through updates.

Changes to custom user settings do one thing more than anything else: they irritate users.  I cannot say how many users are enticed by the ads to switch to Microsoft Edge or at least give it another try.

For now, the only 100% way of making sure you don't get these ads seems to be to start using Edge.

Now You: What's your take on Microsoft Edge?

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First Look: Turn off the Lights for Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/29/first-look-turn-off-the-lights-for-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/29/first-look-turn-off-the-lights-for-microsoft-edge/#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:43:51 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=125260 Turn off the Lights is a new browser extension for Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 that ports the functionality of the popular extension to the browser. The extension has been designed to darken the screen when watching videos to improve the experience. Turn off the Lights is compatible with all versions of Windows 10 starting […]

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Turn off the Lights is a new browser extension for Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 that ports the functionality of the popular extension to the browser.

The extension has been designed to darken the screen when watching videos to improve the experience.

Turn off the Lights is compatible with all versions of Windows 10 starting with build 14939. This means that it can be installed if the Anniversary Update of Windows 10 is installed on the device.

You need to open the Turn off the Lights page on Microsoft's Windows Store, and install it from there.  Please note that it is not yet advertised on the Store's extensions page, and only accessible if you follow the direct link to it.

First Look: Turn off the Lights for Microsoft Edge

turn off the lights

Microsoft Edge displays an activation dialog on start. You use it to confirm that you want to enable the extension in the browser.

The extension loads web pages in two new tabs in the browser of which one acts as a introduction to the extension, the other a welcome guide.

Turn off the Lights does not add an icon to Edge's main toolbar by default. If you want to use its functionality, you either have to click on the three dots to open the menu and activate it from there.

The shortcut Ctrl-Shift-L that is mentioned on the welcome page does not work correctly. While you may enable it in the preferences, it is mapped to opening a search in Edge as well. This means that two actions, first toggling Turn off the Light and then loading a Bing search page are performed one after the other.

You can right-click on the extension link in the menu to display the icon next to the address bar for easier access.

The extension works for the most part as you would expect. Hit the button or use the shortcut to darken the screen around the video area.

This worked well on most sites I tested it on including on YouTube, Twitch and Dailymotion. It did not work on Vimeo however.

Preferences

turn off the lights options

The preferences are quite extensive. You may open them with a right-click on the Turn off the Lights icon, selecting manage from the menu that opens, and then clicking on the options button on the page that opens.

It would go too far to go through all the options that you find in the preferences. There are however some that I'd call universally useful.

For instance, you may enable the auto-dimming of the background when you start playing videos. You may also enable a whitelist or blacklist for that for greater control of the feature.

The background dimming can be defined there as well. You may change the opacity level from the default value of 80% to another value, for instance 100% to hide all other content on the page.

The extension offers lots of visual settings that define effects such as fade in and out, or atmosphere lighting settings.

You may furthermore enable speech recognition in the settings to control video playback (play or pause), and Turn off the Light functionality using voice commands.

Closing Words

Turn off the Lights is another major extension that found its way to the Windows Store and Microsoft Edge. The first release works pretty well for a first release. The main issue that I encountered was that the main keyboard shortcut is already mapped to a function in Microsoft Edge and thus causes a conflict when you activate it.

Other than that, if you like Turn off the Lights you will like the Edge port as well.

Now Read: Why aren't there more Edge extensions?

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Application Guard runs Microsoft Edge in virtual machine on Windows 10 http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/27/application-guard-runs-microsoft-edge-in-virtual-machine-on-windows-10/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/27/application-guard-runs-microsoft-edge-in-virtual-machine-on-windows-10/#comments Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:47:46 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=125199 Microsoft plans to integrate a new security feature called Application Guard in the next feature release of Windows 10 which will be out in 2017. The main idea behind the first iteration of the feature is to run the web browser Microsoft Edge in a lightweight virtual machine for improved security and protection against attacks. […]

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Microsoft plans to integrate a new security feature called Application Guard in the next feature release of Windows 10 which will be out in 2017.

The main idea behind the first iteration of the feature is to run the web browser Microsoft Edge in a lightweight virtual machine for improved security and protection against attacks.

Attackers who plan on attacking Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 would not only have to find a viable exploit for the browser to work with, but also a way to get through the browser's sandboxing and the new layer by Application Guard.

There are two downsides that need to be mentioned. First, Microsoft plans to make it available in the Enterprise version of Windows 10 only. Second, only Microsoft Edge will benefit from the feature at first.

Application Guard for Windows 10

microsoft edge

Microsoft won't make available an API or provide access to other products, at least not at first.

Ars Technica reports that Microsoft is aware that the feature would be welcome by Home users, small businesses and software companies alike as it would improve overall security.

Other web browsers, Firefox or Chrome, and high profile applications such as Microsoft Office would benefit from the added security just like Edge does.

Bringing Application Guard, or a subset of the feature to Home and Pro versions of Windows 10 may not be as easy as it sounds. Virtual environments persist across sessions only which means that mundane things such as cookies won't be available the next time a browser is booted.

This may be acceptable in Enterprise environments, but might confuse Home users who would expect their login to work across sessions according to Microsoft.

Windows 10's Virtualization Based Security (VBS) has technical demands on top of that. Since it requires Hyper-V hypervisor, it requires a cpu that supports hardware virtualization and I/O virtualization.

Additionally, if the solution is enabled on a machine running Windows 10, other virtualization environments may not be used at the same time.

Last but not least, virtualization comes with performance costs. Microsoft did not reveal details about those though. Considering that we are talking about lightweight virtualization, it seems likely that the cost won't be as high as if other virtualization environments are installed on a machine.

The company plans to add a set of policies to Windows 10 Enterprise that allows system administrators to mark sites as trusted or untrusted, and to allow certain operations for untrusted sites such as copying to the clipboard or printing.

Closing Words

The idea to use a lightweight virtualization environment to run high profile applications makes sense. You may do something similarly already using solutions such as Oracle's VM Virtualbox or VMWare Workstation.

It remains to be seen how well the feature works once it gets released. It will be launched for Windows 10 Insider Builds first later in 2016.

Now You: Do you use virtual environments?

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Why aren’t there more Microsoft Edge extensions? http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/23/why-are-not-there-more-microsoft-edge-extensions/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/23/why-are-not-there-more-microsoft-edge-extensions/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 04:49:09 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=125096 One of the big new features of the Anniversary Update was extension support in Windows 10's default system browser Microsoft Edge. Microsoft showcased several of the extensions during development of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, and got at least some users excited about the prospect of running ad blockers, password managers and other useful […]

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One of the big new features of the Anniversary Update was extension support in Windows 10's default system browser Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft showcased several of the extensions during development of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, and got at least some users excited about the prospect of running ad blockers, password managers and other useful tools in Edge directly.

The update launched with about ten extensions for Edge that were listed in Windows Store.

Two months later, you will notice that the situation has not changed, at all. The same extensions are offered in Windows Store, and not a single new one has been added to the list in the meantime.

Additionally, it is quite difficult to open the extensions page when browsing the Store. The most reliable way of getting there is to open Edge, select Menu > Extensions > Get Extensions from the Store.

Why are not there more Microsoft Edge extensions?

edge extensions store

If you check the existing extensions, you will notice that they are either created directly by Microsoft, or created by partners that Microsoft worked with during development.

The main reason why not a single new extension has been added to the list since the release of the Anniversary Update is that the process of publishing extensions to Windows Store is not ready yet.

Microsoft did not reveal information on when it is going to allow extension developers to push their extensions to Store.

While that is the main reason why there are not more extensions for Edge available, other factors may play a role as well.

We don't know how many developers have started to develop extensions for Edge. It seems likely that the bulk plans to port existing extensions to Edge, but there is no data on that at all.

It makes sense for developers to publish their extensions for Edge. Assuming that Edge got a market share of 5% or so, it is the third largest browser user-wise that supports extensions (after Google Chrome and Firefox).

At least some extensions are listed in Store but not yet available. This is true for Turn Off the Lights for Microsoft Edge for instance, which has a store listing but is not yet available for download. It is likely that those extensions are created by partners as well.

Closing Words

The gates are not open yet for all developers. It seems likely that extensions will see a big increase if Microsoft will open up the Store for all extension developers.

It won't come anywhere near the numbers of Firefox or Chrome though, and it seems unlikely that these levels will be reached.

What is likely going to happen though is that the most popular extensions will become available for Edge eventually (either as a direct port, or a third-party extension that mimics the functionality).

Now You: Are you using extensions in Microsoft Edge?

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Old Flash ActiveX will be blocked on Windows 7 http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/14/old-flash-activex-will-be-blocked-on-windows-7/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/14/old-flash-activex-will-be-blocked-on-windows-7/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 04:44:57 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124787 Microsoft announced yesterday that it will block outdated Flash Player ActiveX versions on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 starting October 11, 2016. Flash Player does not get updated automatically on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 unlike on newer versions of Windows where the updating is done via Windows Updates. While some […]

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Microsoft announced yesterday that it will block outdated Flash Player ActiveX versions on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 starting October 11, 2016.

Flash Player does not get updated automatically on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 unlike on newer versions of Windows where the updating is done via Windows Updates.

While some Windows customers update the ActiveX version of Flash Player manually each time a new version is released, outdated versions of Flash Player may be used on others.

Considering that Flash is one of the main attack vectors as old versions have more vulnerabilities than Swiss Cheese has holes, it is a security risk to load Flash content using Internet Explorer if the Flash version is outdated.

Blocking old Flash Player ActiveX content

out of date flash player

Here are the details: starting October 11, 2016 Adobe Flash Player content will be blocked automatically on page load if outdated versions of Flash Player are used on the system.

Microsoft notes that the following versions are considered as outdated:

  • Any version before Adobe Flash Player 21.0.0.198
  • Any version before Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release 18.0.0.241

Tip: The versions will change over time as updates get released. You find the latest versions the blocking applies to on Microsoft's IT Center site. The same page lists information about outdated Java and Silverlight controls as well.

Note that Local Intranet Zone and Trusted Sites Zone sites are not affected by this. This is done primarily to make sure that Enterprise and business customers can continue using applications that rely on Flash ActiveX controls without disruption.

Internet Explorer warns you once per tab, regardless of how many Flash content bits are on it. The warning message reads "Flash Player was blocked because it is out of date and needs to be updated".

The prompt lists an option to update Flash Player, or to run the control this time.

Interestingly enough, non-admin users who use Internet Explorer 11 won't see "see any out-of-date Flash ActiveX control blocks" according to Microsoft.

System administrators may enable out-of-date Flash blocking for all users by running the following command from the command prompt:

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext" /v NonAdminSuppressEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Group Policy

ie block activex

The following Group Policy policies are available to manage the blocking feature and customize it.

  • Turn on ActiveX control logging in IE - Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Security Features\Add-on Management
  • Remove the Run this time button for outdated ActiveX controls in IE - Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Security Features\Add-on Management
  • Turn off blocking of outdated ActiveX controls for IE on specific domains - Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Security Features\Add-on Management
  • Turn off blocking of outdated ActiveX controls for IE - Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Security Features\Add-on Management

Registry

The same options are also available via the Registry.  Note that there is one additional option that lets you remove the update button from the prompt.

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext" /v AuditModeEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext" /v RunThisTimeEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext\Domain" /v example.com /t REG_SZ /f

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext" /v VersionCheckEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\VersionManager" /v UpdateEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Resources

The following resource sites provide you with additional information:

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Load Userscripts with Tampermonkey for Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/08/userscripts-tampermonkey-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/09/08/userscripts-tampermonkey-microsoft-edge/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2016 05:35:02 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124683 Tampermonkey is a browser extension port for Microsoft Edge that is currently available as a preview for Insider Build versions of Windows 10. Microsoft added support for browser extensions in Microsoft Edge when it published the Anniversary Update for the company's Windows 10 operating system. While the output is rather low right now -- there […]

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Tampermonkey is a browser extension port for Microsoft Edge that is currently available as a preview for Insider Build versions of Windows 10.

Microsoft added support for browser extensions in Microsoft Edge when it published the Anniversary Update for the company's Windows 10 operating system.

While the output is rather low right now -- there are a good dozen or so extensions available on the official store -- extensions will make Edge more usable and attractive in the long run.

Users can install ad blockers and other useful extensions right away. Those who run an Insider Preview version of Windows 10 may also install extensions that are available as previews.

One of those extensions is Tampermonkey.

Tampermonkey for Microsoft Edge

tampermonkey microsoft edge

Tampermonkey is a port of the Google Chrome extension of the same name (also available for Firefox). It adds capabilities to Microsoft Edge to run userscripts. Userscripts, once highly popular thanks to the rise of the Firefox web browser and the excellent Greasemonkey extension, are small scripts that modify certain elements on websites, or add elements to them.

Basic examples are scripts that change the color scheme on sites, that add links to YouTube videos on news sites, or remove annoyances from sites.

Greasyfork is probably the best userscript repository right now. It was created as a response to the abandonment of userscripts.org, the then go-to site for all things scripts.

Tampermonkey for Microsoft Edge works fine already for the most part. You can visit sites like Greasyfork to browser scripts, and hit the install button to add them to Edge after installing the browser extension.

The installation dialog is a bit problematic, as you end up on a white page after hitting install. There is no feedback currently that the selected script was installed, but if you check the script management page, you will notice that it was installed despite the lack of feedback.

Most features work while some are not implemented yet. This means that some scripts won't work in Microsoft Edge currently, but that is only a temporary thing until the author of Tampermonkey for Microsoft Edge adds those to the extension.

The Tampermonkey interface is identical to that on Google Chrome. You may manage scripts, modify installed scripts, create scripts from batch, and modify preferences on top of that.

Scripts that I tried during tests worked just fine. Each script that is enabled is highlighted when you click on the Tampermonkey icon in Microsoft Edge. You may toggle its status directly from there which is handy.

Closing Words

First extensions support, now userscript support. Microsoft Edge benefits from these implementations as they increase the browser's attractiveness. However, since all major browsers support this, it is more of a catching up thing than something that makes Edge stick out of the crowd.

The availability of Tampermonkey for Edge, and thus userscript support, is nevertheless another important step in reaching maturity.

Now You: Would you give Edge a shot if it supported all extensions/scripts that you use?

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EdgeManage: Microsoft Edge Favorites Manager http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/25/edgemanage-favorites/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/25/edgemanage-favorites/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:27:33 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124398 ManageEdge is a free program for Microsoft Windows -- specifically Windows 10 as Edge is only available on it -- that lets you manage Edge favorites. I walked you through working with favorites in Edge yesterday, and one of my fabulous readers mentioned ManageEdge in the comment section as an option. ManageEdge does most of […]

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ManageEdge is a free program for Microsoft Windows -- specifically Windows 10 as Edge is only available on it -- that lets you manage Edge favorites.

I walked you through working with favorites in Edge yesterday, and one of my fabulous readers mentioned ManageEdge in the comment section as an option.

ManageEdge does most of the things that you can do from within Edge, but that is only part of the functionality it offers.

Since I covered that functionality yesterday in detail, lets list it quickly and move on to better things: view favorites and use drag & drop to move them, rename or delete favorites, and import favorites from Internet Explorer.

EdgeManage in details

manage edge favorites

If that would be all of EdgeManage's functionality, it would not really deserve mentioning here on this site.

Without further ado, how do the following features sound? Edit the url of a favorite, import favorites from a HTML file, export favorites to a HTML file, export favorites to Internet Explorer, back up all favorites, create desktop shortcuts to favorites, and add new bookmarks.

The program resolves several of the usability issues of favorites management in Microsoft Edge.

First, it enables you to import favorites from a HTML file. Since most browsers, Edge is the notable exception to that, support exporting bookmarks to HTML files, it does away with the lack of import options that Edge has. Microsoft Edge supports only Firefox and Internet Explorer currently.

It does not end there though. You may use EdgeManage to export Edge favorites as well. You may do so by exporting the favorites to a HTML file, or to Internet Explorer instead.

This opens up new options to back up Edge favorites. As you may know, Microsoft switched from displaying favorites as links to using a database with the Windows 10 1511 update. The change made it harder for users to back up their favorites.

edgemanage favorites

The program interface of EdgeManage is well thought out. The program displays all Edge favorites on start in a tree hierarchy. You may reload the favorites at any time, or load them from a remote sync data file instead if available. The latter may be an option if the favorites are suddenly no longer available, for instance after doing a clean install.

Drag and drop works to move favorites around, but the core functionality becomes available after you right-click on a favorite or folder.

You may use it to rename or delete the selected favorite, edit its url, or create a desktop shortcut.

There is also an option to add a new bookmark using the program right there.

Closing Words

EdgeManage is a great program for managing favorites in the Microsoft Edge browser. It adds much needed functionality to the favorites handling of the browser, and is superior to it in many regards.

If you work with Edge, this is the program you need to better manage all things Favorites.

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Working with Favorites in Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/24/favorites-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/24/favorites-microsoft-edge/#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:06:34 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124382 Microsoft Edge supports favorites -- what all other browsers call bookmarks -- just like its predecessor Internet Explorer does. It shares some similarities with Internet Explorer, but handles some things completely different as well. The following guide helps you work your way through Microsoft Edge's Favorites implementation. It goes over the basics, importing, adding, and […]

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Microsoft Edge supports favorites -- what all other browsers call bookmarks -- just like its predecessor Internet Explorer does. It shares some similarities with Internet Explorer, but handles some things completely different as well.

The following guide helps you work your way through Microsoft Edge's Favorites implementation. It goes over the basics, importing, adding, and managing Favorites, and looks at options and settings that Microsoft Edge ships with in the end.

Microsoft Edge uses a minimal approach when it comes to its user interface. On difference to Internet Explorer is that it displays Favorites, the browsing history, settings and downloads in a sidebar instead of individual windows.

You display the sidebar -- Microsoft calls it the Hub -- with a click on the Hub icon in the Edge interface. The hub icon has three horizontal lines that are of different lengths.

Side Note: Microsoft stores Edge Favorites in a database file located at “%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\AC\MicrosoftEdge\User\Default\DataStore\Data\nouser1\120712-0049\DBStore\, and no longer in the Favorites folder as individual folders and links.

Adding Favorites

microsoft edge favorites import

Favorites can be added in several ways. First, you may import bookmarks from other browsers, but the selection is limited to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox currently.

Do the following to import bookmarks from one or both of the supported browsers:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click on the Hub icon located near the right end of the main toolbar. Move the mouse over icons to get tooltips if you have difficulties identifying the right icon.
  3. Switch to the star icon when the Hub sidebar opens. Please note that it will hide again when you click outside of it. To avoid this, click on the pin icon to pin it in place for the time being.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Check Internet Explorer and/or Firefox under Import Favorites, and hit the import button afterwards.
  6. Bookmarks are imported into folders that Edge places in the root favorites folder.

One of the easier options to import bookmarks from other browsers is to import them first into Firefox or Internet Explorer, and from there to Microsoft Edge.

You may add individual favorites by clicking on the star icon on the right of the address bar. Make sure Favorites and Save in Favorites is selected there.

Managing Favorites in Edge

delete rename favorites edge

Microsoft Edge ships with management options for its favorites,  but the options are hidden from sight in the interface. Open the Favorites sidebar in the Microsoft Edge browser to get started.

While you can browse and open favorites there, and even use drag and drop to move them around, there is no visible option to delete or rename favorites, or create new folders.

All of these operations are handled via the right-click context menu. Right-click a favorite and you get options to remove it from Microsoft Edge, to rename it, and to create a new folder.

You may use it to sort the favorites by name.

Display the Favorites Bar

Microsoft edge favorites bar

You may display the Favorites Bar as an additional toolbar in Microsoft Edge just like you could do so in Internet Explorer. Do the following to enable the Favorites Bar so that it is visible all the time in the web browser:

  1. Click on the Hub icon to open the sidebar in Edge.
  2. Select Favorites, and then Settings.
  3. Toggle the "show the Favorites Bar" switch on the Settings page that opens.
  4. Tip: You may enable icons only mode as well to save space and display only bookmark icons and not titles.

Now You: Do you use bookmarks / Favorites regularly?

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How to turn off Tab Previews in Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/18/how-to-turn-off-tab-previews-in-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/18/how-to-turn-off-tab-previews-in-microsoft-edge/#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2016 05:01:56 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124223 Microsoft Edge displays preview thumbnails of websites or services open in tabs in the web browser when you hover the mouse over the tab space. While that may be useful at times, for instance when multiple pages of a site are open that all use the same title, it may be distracting at other times. […]

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Microsoft Edge displays preview thumbnails of websites or services open in tabs in the web browser when you hover the mouse over the tab space.

While that may be useful at times, for instance when multiple pages of a site are open that all use the same title, it may be distracting at other times.

When you hover over a tab a small thumbnail preview is displayed by Edge. This preview shows a live image of the site or service.

If you have no use for tab previews in Microsoft Edge, you may want to consider disabling the feature. The browser itself ships with no options to disable previews however.

Turn off Tab Previews in Microsoft Edge

edge tab previews

You can disable tab previews in Microsoft Edge by adding a new Dword to the Registry.

Step 1: Launch the Registry Editor

regedit

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit on the Enter-key on the keyboard.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt that opens.

Step 2: Navigate to the TabbedBrowsing key

edge tabbed browsing

Use the tree structure on the left to navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge\TabbedBrowsing

Note: The Registry is a critical system component. You may want to back it up manually, or by creating a System Restore point prior to making changes to it.

Step 3: Create the Dword TabPeekEnabled

disable edge tab previews

  1. Right-click on the TabbedBrowsing key, and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  2. Name it TabPeekEnabled.
  3. Double-click on the new Dword afterwards to open the edit window.
  4. Give it the value 0.
  5. Close the Registry Editor.

Note: To enable tab previews again in Microsoft Edge at a later point in time either delete the TabPeekEnabled preference, or set its value to 1 instead.

Step 4: Test if tab previews are disabled

Restart Microsoft Edge to test if tab previews are turned off in Microsoft Edge. The browser should not display previews of tabs anymore when you hover over a tab with the mouse.

If that is not the case, retrace the steps outlined under step 3. Make sure the preference name and value are correct, and that you have created them under the right key in the Registry.

Now You: What's your take on tab previews?

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Microsoft Edge improves on Windows 10 14901 http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/14/microsoft-edge-improves-on-windows-10-14901/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/14/microsoft-edge-improves-on-windows-10-14901/#comments Sun, 14 Aug 2016 06:56:24 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=124129 Microsoft released a new Windows 10 build to the Insider channel a couple of days ago that brings the version of Windows to 14901. This new build marks the beginning of a new development phase called Redstone 2 internally which prepares Windows 10 for the next big feature update to be released in 2017. While […]

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Microsoft released a new Windows 10 build to the Insider channel a couple of days ago that brings the version of Windows to 14901.

This new build marks the beginning of a new development phase called Redstone 2 internally which prepares Windows 10 for the next big feature update to be released in 2017.

While the build itself does not does not offer anything worth of note, the same cannot be said for the Microsoft Edge update that it ships with.

The version of Microsoft Edge jumps to 39.14901, and along with it come new experimental features that increase the browser's score on HTML5Test to 500 of 555.

To put this into perspective, Google Chrome Canary, the browser that led HTML5Test for the most part ever since the site went online, gets  score of 504 of 555 currently. The current stable version of Edge gets a score of 466 of 555.

Microsoft Edge 14901 improvements

microsoft edge 14901 html5

This big jump in compatibility is powered by an array of new experimental features that the latest development version of Microsoft Edge ships with.

You may open the experimental flags page by loading about:flags in the browser's address bar. The page is available on stable and development releases of Microsoft Edge, but the most recent additions are currently only available if you run the development version.

edge html5 features

Here is a quick list of what is new in Edge 39.14901:

  • Composition Engine: You may select Stable, Selfhost or Canary, with Selfhost selected by default.
  • WebRTC: Enable WebRTC 1.0.
  • Service Workers: Enable service workers, enable push notifications, enable background sync, enable service worker cache storage.
  • Fetch Networking: Enable Fetch Based Network Stack

When you enable these new features, and some that were available in previous versions already, you will get the 500/555 score on HTML5Test.

While that is great, as it shows that Microsoft is committed to improving HTML5 support in Edge, you may only want to enable these features if you plan on using them.

For instance, if you don't want to use WebRTC or specifically WebRTC 1.0, then leave the feature turned off and it won't be available to services or sites you connect to.

The same is true for other features. If you dislike the idea of push notifications, keep it turned off to avoid websites pestering you to enable them.

It is likely that some of these experimental options will be enabled by default in the future. Microsoft may remove them from the experimental flags page then which in turn means that you cannot turn them on or off anymore individually.

Now You: What's your take on Microsoft Edge so far?

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Speed up Edge by disabling Flash http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/06/speed-up-edge-by-disabling-flash/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/06/speed-up-edge-by-disabling-flash/#comments Sat, 06 Aug 2016 05:04:18 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=123897 One of the annoyances of Microsoft Edge that I experience whenever I use the web browser is that it lags at times. This is noticeable for instance when websites are loaded from external sources but also at other occasions. When a website loads for instance, it lags until all content is loaded. The loading itself […]

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One of the annoyances of Microsoft Edge that I experience whenever I use the web browser is that it lags at times. This is noticeable for instance when websites are loaded from external sources but also at other occasions.

When a website loads for instance, it lags until all content is loaded. The loading itself seems to take longer than when other browsers are used but I could never put my finger down on the cause for this as it only happens on some sites and not all of them.

Since I had some free time at hand yesterday, I decided to investigate further and try a few things to see if any have an impact on the lag that I experience in Microsoft Edge.

Edge does not offer many options in its current state, and only a few that may impact the browser's performance in a serious way.

Speed up Edge

I checked the about:flags page first. The page lists experimental features, some are enabled by default. I modified those and ran some tests, but the result was not satisfactory and did not reduce the lag noticeably.

microsoft edge lag

Then I want into the Edge options, and started to look for preferences there. One of the first things I did was disable Adobe Flash in Edge. As you may know, Microsoft Edge ships with a native implementation of Adobe Flash just like Google Chrome that is enabled by default.

As soon as I disabled Flash in Edge, things got a whole lot better in regards to lag. Now, I did not measure any of this but the difference is quite noticeable on my machine.

Once Flash was disabled, I noticed a big reduction in lag. I would even go as far as saying that the issue is not an issue anymore after disabling Flash in Microsoft Edge.

Good news is that you can try it yourself, and if it does not change a thing on your end, enable Flash again without losing any sleep over it.

  1. Click on the menu icon (three dots) in the upper right corner of the Microsoft Edge interface.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that opens.
  3. Scroll down until you see the advanced settings button. Click on it.
  4. You find the "Use Adobe Flash Player" toggle near the top. Set it to off.

Microsoft Edge only supports enabling or disabling Flash. There is no whitelist or blacklist, and no click to play option. The latter would be useful if you experience lag but need access to Flash on select sites.

Closing Words

If you are using Microsoft Edge on a Windows 10 machine and notice lag while using it, you may want to try disabling Flash to see if it speeds up Edge in the process.

Now You: Does Edge lag for you?

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How to install Microsoft Edge extensions http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/02/install-microsoft-edge-extensions/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/08/02/install-microsoft-edge-extensions/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2016 16:34:48 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=123750 One of the new features of Windows 10's Anniversary Update is support for Microsoft Edge extensions. Originally released in the Windows 10 Insider Build 14291, extension support is now available to all users who have updated the operating system to the Anniversary Update version. Microsoft Edge extensions are similar in functionality to extensions for Google […]

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One of the new features of Windows 10's Anniversary Update is support for Microsoft Edge extensions.

Originally released in the Windows 10 Insider Build 14291, extension support is now available to all users who have updated the operating system to the Anniversary Update version.

Microsoft Edge extensions are similar in functionality to extensions for Google Chrome. The company stated earlier that it is easy to port Chrome extension to Microsoft Edge. The first batch of extensions are mostly Chrome ports of existing extensions.

The following guide walks you through the steps of discovering extensions for Microsoft Edge, installing them, using them, and managing them.

Only a few extensions are available for Microsoft Edge currently. It is likely that this is going to change as developers may have waited for the final version to be released before committing resources.

How to install Microsoft Edge extensions

install microsoft edge extensions

The primary way to discover and install Microsoft Edge extensions is via Windows 10's Windows Store.

You may get there directly from Edge by clicking on the three dots, then Extensions, and finally "Get extensions from the Store".

get edge extensions

Selecting the option opens the extensions hub on Windows Store. You may click on any extension listed there to open the profile page of that extension on the Store.

There you find listed screenshots, a detailed description of its functionality, compatibility information, permissions the app requires, privacy and service agreements, and supported languages among other things.

The action button at the top may read "update" or "free". Free indicates that you have not installed the extension yet, and may do so for free. Update on the other hand means that an older version of the extension is installed and that you may update it.

install edge extensions

The installation of the extension happens in the background. Edge won't turn on any extension that you install in the browser.

The browser displays a notification prompt that a new extension is available. It lists the name of the extension and the permissions that it requires. You may also turn it on, or keep it off for the time being.

you have a new extension

Note that keeping it off keeps it listed as an extension in Edge. The "manage Edge extensions" part of the guide tells you how to remove extensions again from the browser.

The notification prompt may not be displayed directly when you launch Microsoft Edge or continue to use it. This is for instance the case for sideloaded extensions. You may need to click on Extensions explicitly to get the installation prompt.

Extension icons are listed either in Microsoft Edge's main toolbar, or the top menu row when you click on menu.

edge extension icon

You may move any extension icon from one location to the other by right-clicking on it and then on the "show next to address bar" toggle.

The right-click menu lists a manage option that you may use to open the extension's profile page in Edge.

List of Microsoft Edge extensions

The following Edge extensions are currently available:

  1. Adblock - Adblocking extension.
  2. Adblock Plus - The popular adblocking extension.
  3. Pin It Button - Pin items of interesting and share it on Pinterest.
  4. Translator for Microsoft Edge - Translate web pages or text selections.
  5. LastPass: Free Password Manager - The popular password manager.
  6. OneNote Web Clipper: Clip web elements for use on OneNote.
  7. Evernote Web Clipper: Same as the OneNote one, but for Evernote.
  8. Amazon Assistant: Amazon shopping extension.
  9. Office Online: Direct access to Office files.
  10. Save to Pocket: Save the web page to Pocket.
  11. Reddit Enhancement Suite: Popular collection of enhancements for Reddit.
  12. Mouse Gestures: Adds mouse gesture support to Edge.
  13. Page Analyzer: Developer Tool.

Extensions currently in development:

Manage Microsoft Edge extensions

manage edge extensions

All installed extensions are listed when you click on the Extensions menu. Note that installed does not necessarily mean turned on. Edge displays the status of each extension underneath its name on the page.

While the display works currently as there are only a handful of extensions, it may not be suitable later on when some users install dozens of extensions in Microsoft Edge.

To manage extensions click on them in the Extensions listing. I suggest you click on the pin icon first to stick the extensions listing for the time being to the window so that you don't close it accidentally.

uninstall edge extensions

The page that opens lists the following information / options:

  1. About: a description of the extension's functionality.
  2. Version and installation date.
  3. The granted permissions.
  4. Toggle to turn the extension on or off.
  5. Options button.
  6. Uninstall button.

To remove the extension from Microsoft Edge, hit the uninstall button. A confirmation prompt is displayed when you hit the button to confirm the intent.

uninstall extension

This removes the extension from Edge completely.

Some extensions ship with options. You may configure options only if the extension is enabled; the options button is inactive otherwise.

A click on it opens a local page that enables you to configure the extension using the provided preferences.

Sideloading Edge Extensions

edge extension developer features

You need to enable extension developer features before sideloading becomes available. Sideloading refers to installing the extension from a different source than Windows Store.

  1. Load about:flags in the Edge address bar and hit enter.
  2. Locate "Enable extension developer features (this might put your device at risk)" under Developer settings.
  3. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Once done, a new "load extension" button appears when you open Extensions in Microsoft Edge. You may use it to load extensions on the local system.

load extensions

Microsoft published resources for Enterprise customers that reveals how Edge extensions can be sideloaded.

A good starting point is the "Extensions for enterprise" documentation hub on the Microsoft Edge website.

Microsoft Edge Group Policy items for extensions

group policy allow extensions

There is only one Group Policy option available currently that handles extensions. It enables you to disable extensions in Microsoft Edge.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc and hit enter.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge.
  3. Double-click on "Allow Extensions".
  4. If you set the policy to false, extensions cannot be used.

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Microsoft Edge Annoyances http://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/19/microsoft-edge-annoyances/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/19/microsoft-edge-annoyances/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:43:06 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=123298 Microsoft Edge is a new browser, and while I tend to be lenient when it comes to new browsers and the features that they may be missing, I think it is fair to hold browser's by multi-billion Dollar companies to higher standards than browsers created by smaller companies. When Microsoft Edge launched with Windows 10 […]

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Microsoft Edge is a new browser, and while I tend to be lenient when it comes to new browsers and the features that they may be missing, I think it is fair to hold browser's by multi-billion Dollar companies to higher standards than browsers created by smaller companies.

When Microsoft Edge launched with Windows 10 in 2015, it was clear that Microsoft cut the tie to Internet Explorer in a major way.

Microsoft made the browser as lightweight as possible which resulted in great battery life and performance, and improved security due to the absence of Internet Explorer features such as ActiveX.

Edge ships with a couple of features on top of this that are not available in other browser. For instance, it is the only desktop browser on Windows that supports 1080p playback on Netflix, and the only one that supports Fast TCP.

Microsoft Edge Annoyances

While Edge does well in some areas, it lacks behind in others. Extensions support is coming with the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 in August 2016 for instance which is a good thing. It does very well on different device types, touch for instance and does not have any issues adapting to high DPI displays.

But there are fundamental issues, or annoyances, that have not been fixed after a year. The following list looks at those annoyances.

Edge Annoyance 1: Lag

While Edge does well in performance tests, you may notice that it lags at times. I confirmed this on two Windows PCs running Windows 10 and the latest stable version of Edge.

If you open links in new tabs for instance, it may take a second or two before the new tab is even opened. This is not always the case, but is annoying when it happens considering that you don't really know if a new tab gets opened eventually or not.

You may experience lag when typing in the search or address bar of the browser, when you right-click on text and select "Bing lookup", or when you open tabs in Edge from third-party applications.

Edge Annoyance 2: Customization

edge customization

Edge, like Google Chrome, ships with little customization options. The browser ships without options to modify the interface in any meaningful way.

  • Want to hide the "make a web note" or "share a web note" buttons? Good luck with that.
  • Want to change colors? Not gonna happen.
  • Want to move interface elements around? Cannot do that either.
  • Display favorites, history or downloads in a tab or window instead of the sidebar panel? No option to do that.

There is also the issue of the missing address bar on the New Tab Page which seems inconsistent to me at the very least.

Annoyance 3: Copy and Paste

I copy and paste text regularly when I use Microsoft Edge. This works fine most of the time, but sometimes, it seems as if Edge ignores the operation completely.

It does not matter if I use Ctrl-C, or right-click on the selection and select Copy; both operations seem to be ignored at times by the browser.

This is highly annoying especially if your workflow is fast: select text, use Ctrl-C, switch to another application, hit Ctrl-V and nothing.. Go back and repeat.

Also, when you click on a specific character in the address bar, the cursor position is moved as Edge expands the address to show the protocol as well.

Annoyance 4: Context Menu

edge context menu annoyance

The context menu that Microsoft Edge displays when you right-click in the browser misses a handful of options that other browsers support.

Options to bookmark the page or save the page are missing when you right-click on a page. There is no option to open a link in a private window, and an option to search using the default search engine is also missing.

Annoyance 5: Last browsing session gets lost

microsoft edge pdf

Microsoft Edge is the default PDF viewer on Windows. Whenever I click on a PDF link in other apps it gets opened in Edge. If Edge is not open at that time, all session information get lost and the only page that is opened is the PDF document.

The only way around this is to make another application the default PDF viewer on Windows 10.

Closing Words

Extension support will make Edge more usable, and that is a good thing. Also, what annoys some may not annoy others. You may endure the annoyances and still use Edge, and that is perfectly fine.

Now You: Have other annoyances or "positive features" of Edge?

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Speed up Microsoft Edge with TCP Fast Open http://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/14/speed-up-microsoft-edge-with-tcp-fast-open/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/07/14/speed-up-microsoft-edge-with-tcp-fast-open/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:16:38 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=123168 TCP Fast Open is a new feature of Microsoft Edge that speeds up the web browser's page loading time by over 10% on average, and in some cases up to 40%. The feature is currently only available in preview versions of Microsoft Edge available on Fast and Slow Ring Insider Builds. It seems likely however […]

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TCP Fast Open is a new feature of Microsoft Edge that speeds up the web browser's page loading time by over 10% on average, and in some cases up to 40%.

The feature is currently only available in preview versions of Microsoft Edge available on Fast and Slow Ring Insider Builds.

It seems likely however that Microsoft will make available the feature in next month's Anniversary Update for Windows 10.

Before we take a look at how TCP Fast Open is activated in Microsoft Edge -- it is not enabled by default -- it is useful to find out what it is and how it manages to speed up the page loading time.

Speed up Microsoft Edge with TCP Fast Open

tcp fast open

TCP Fast Open is an extension of the TCP protocol that enables data exchange during TCP's initial handshake.

The whole process is highly technical; it uses a cryptographic cookie that is stored on the client during the initial connection to the server which is used later on for authentication to start data transfers early.

Sending a cookie needs to be supported by the server for TCP Fast Open to have any effect. If that is not the case, the server ignores the request and a regular connection is established instead.

In short, the client and web server needs to support TCP Fast Open for you to notice page loading differences. It is likely that web server compatibility will improve in the near future as both Microsoft and Apple support the feature now (Google on Linux and Android).

If you are interested in the full details check out Google's publication on TCP Fast Open, the Wikipedia article for an overview and links, or Bradley Falzon's overview which is a bit easier to understand.

Enable TCP Fast Open in Microsoft Edge

As mentioned earlier, the feature is only available in Microsoft EdgeHTML 14.14361 and higher. The browser version is only available when you run Insider Builds of Windows 10 currently.

Click on the three dots in the Edge interface, select Settings, and scroll all the way down to display the version of the browser.

To enable the feature and speed up Microsoft Edge, do the following:

  1. Type about:flags in the browser's address bar.
  2. This opens experimental features.
  3. Scroll down until you find the networking section.
  4. Check the "Enable TCP Fast Open" preference to enable it.
  5. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Depending on how you use Microsoft Edge, you may notice a speed increase when connecting to certain web pages using the browser, or no benefit at all.

Since web servers need to support TCP Fast Open for Edge to benefit from it, you will run into situations where you won't notice a difference to before.

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How to change the IE and Edge download folder http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/25/how-to-change-the-ie-and-edge-download-folder/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/25/how-to-change-the-ie-and-edge-download-folder/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 05:54:13 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=122710 Both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are configured to download files to the user's download folder by default. The location does not change across devices, so that Windows users know where to look when it comes to locating downloaded files on Windows machines. While convenient, the downloads folder may not always be the best location […]

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Both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are configured to download files to the user's download folder by default.

The location does not change across devices, so that Windows users know where to look when it comes to locating downloaded files on Windows machines.

While convenient, the downloads folder may not always be the best location for downloads. This can be the case if the main partition of the computer is rather small size-wise. If you ever tried to download a Windows ISO image or another file that is at least several Gigabytes in size, you know that space can be an issue in these cases.

You may change the save location for downloads both in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. The options to do so are somewhat hidden though, hence this guide.

The default download location

defaullt downloads folder windows

The default download location that Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge use to save files downloaded from the Internet to the local system is %USERPROFILE%\Downloads.

USERPROFILE is a variable that refers to the logged in user's profile directory on the Windows machine, e.g. c:\users\Martin\.

Changing the location of Internet Explorer's Download folder

The method applies to all versions of Internet Explorer that are maintained by Microsoft. Internet Explorer is the default system browser on all supported versions of Windows with the exception of Windows 10 where it has been replaced by Microsoft Edge.

The browser is however available on Windows 10 as well.

To change the file save location of Microsoft Internet Explorer, do the following.

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer, click on the menu icon, and select View Downloads from the context menu that opens. Alternatively, use the shortcut Ctrl-J to open Downloads directly.

internet explorer view downloads

Step 2: When the download window opens, select the options link at the bottom left of the screen.

internet explorer downloads

Step 3: This opens the download options screen which allows you to set a new default download location and configure download notifications.

Simply click on browse on the screen, use the folder browser to select a new location on the computer that you want Internet Explorer to use as the new downloads folder, and click on okay in the end to complete the change.

internet explorer change downloads

The download options window should display the new folder name when you make the change. Please note that it will only list the folder name and not the full path.

Changing the location of Microsoft Edge's Download folder

Microsoft Edge is a completely redesigned browser which shares little in terms of interface with Internet Explorer.

You open the list of downloads with a click on the Hub icon (the three horizontal lines) in the browser's interface, and selecting downloads from the menu if not selected automatically.

Note: Changing the downloads directory in Microsoft Edge is only available when the Anniversary Update is installed on the system. Edge did not list options to change downloads in previous versions.

To change the default download directory of Microsoft Edge, do the following:

Step 1: Click on the main menu icon (three dots) in Microsoft Edge's interface, and select the settings option from the context menu that opens.

microsoft edge settings

Step 2: Scroll down until you find the advanced settings section. Click on the view advanced settings button.

Tip: A click on the pin icon pins the settings sidebar so that it won't just close without your doing.

edge advance dsettings

Step 3: Locate downloads on the next page. Microsoft Edge lists the current location that downloaded files are saved in (the full path). Click on change, and select a new folder on the local computer to change the location.

microsoft edge downloads location

For Microsoft Edge, you may also be interested in two other options to change the download location: one involving the Group Policy, the other by changing the folder directly using File Explorer.

Closing Words

Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge will use the new folder for all file downloads from the moment you make the change.

Previous downloads remain in the old folder though, and if space is scarce, you may want to consider moving the files from the old to the new location.

 

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Microsoft: Edge good, Chrome bad for battery life http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/20/microsoft-edge-good-battery/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/20/microsoft-edge-good-battery/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:45:50 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=122592 Microsoft Edge is the best performing, Google Chrome the worst performing web browser when it comes to battery life performance according to Microsoft. If you are using a laptop or tablet for some of your computer-related activities you are probably aware that browsers may have a big impact on battery life. While it depends on […]

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Microsoft Edge is the best performing, Google Chrome the worst performing web browser when it comes to battery life performance according to Microsoft.

If you are using a laptop or tablet for some of your computer-related activities you are probably aware that browsers may have a big impact on battery life.

While it depends on use of the browser when using the mobile device, it is clear that the choice of browser may impact battery life by hours rather than minutes.

Opera introduced a new power saving mode in the web browser recently that promises to improve battery performance significantly when it is used.

Microsoft too has been working on improving battery performance of the company's Edge browser, and conducted a series of studies and tests to highlight that.

To understand the impact, we compared today’s leading browsers across three independent dimensions.

First, we measured their power consumption in a controlled lab environment. Second, we examined the real-world energy telemetry from millions of Windows 10 devices. Finally, we recorded time-lapse videos of each browser performing the same tasks until the battery dies.

The four browsers Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera faced off against in each playing streaming video non-stop on Microsoft Surface Books using the same configuration.

Microsoft Edge came first in the test with a battery time of 7:22 hours followed by Opera with 6:18 hours, Firefox with 5:09 hours and Google Chrome with 4:19 hours.

The company notes that Opera's battery saving mode was enabled for the test, and that the latest versions of each browser were used.

We streamed the same high-definition video wirelessly on each device and set up a video camera to record the laptops until each one died, noting the time when each device stopped playing.

Microsoft Edge latest three hours longer than Google Chrome, Opera two hours longer than Google Chrome, and Firefox 50 minutes longer.

Microsoft did look at aggregated telemetry data from millions of Windows 10 devices to find out more about power consumption.

According to the inforamtion, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox use on average 465 and 493 mW while Google Chrome a staggering 719 mW.

browser-power consumption telemetry

Surface Books and all four major browsers were used in the final test again. Microsoft connected a Surface Book to specialized monitoring equipment and measured "typical browsing activities" by spending time on Facebook, Google, YouTube, Amazon or Wikipedia reading articles, opening websites, watching videos or opening new tabs.

browser power consumption tests

Edge did best again while Chrome came in second this time, Opera third and Firefox fourth.

Closing Words

A test conducted by Microsoft that highlights that Microsoft Edge is more power optimized than other browsers needs independent verification. But that is only possible of the test setup is known. For instance, which versions were used, and did Microsoft keep all default preferences or modify some?

Now You: What's your experience in regards to power consumption and browsers?

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Microsoft Edge full policy list http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/08/microsoft-edge-full-policy-list/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/06/08/microsoft-edge-full-policy-list/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 06:50:14 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=122267 The following guide provides you with information about all Microsoft Edge policies up to the release of Windows 10's Anniversary Update in Summer 2016. Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10. Most who used it agree that it works better than Internet Explorer in many regards, but also see quite a few […]

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The following guide provides you with information about all Microsoft Edge policies up to the release of Windows 10's Anniversary Update in Summer 2016.

Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows 10. Most who used it agree that it works better than Internet Explorer in many regards, but also see quite a few issues of which some will be resolved with this Summer's Anniversary Update for Windows 10.

Policies are designed to manage Microsoft Edge, and here in particular in business environments and the enterprise.

They allow administrators to disable or change features of the web browser to better adapt it to requirements and regulations.

The following list includes all Microsoft Edge policies up to the Anniversary Update.

Microsoft Edge full policy list

microsoft edge group policy

You find all Microsoft Edge policies under Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge.

Please note that the Group Policy Editor is only available by default in Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 10.

Allow Developer Tools (Windows 10 Build 1511): The policy determines whether Developer Tools are available in Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: Developer Tools are available
  • enable: Developer Tools are available
  • disable: Developer Tools are disabled

Allow Extensions (Windows 10 Build 1607): Determines whether extensions can be loaded by users of Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: Extensions are available.
  • enable: Extensions are available.
  • disable: Extensions cannot be loaded.

Allow InPrivate Browsing (Windows 10 Build 1511): The policy defines whether users of Edge can use the private browsing mode.

  • not configured: InPrivate browsing mode is available
  • enable: InPrivate browsing mode is available
  • disable: The mode is disabled and cannot be used.

Allow web content on New Tab Page (Windows 10 Build 1511): Defines whether the New Tab Page will be populated with content such as a personalized news feed or weather report.

  • not configured: default New Tab Page.
  • enable: default New Tab Page.
  • disable: A blank page will be displayed when user's open a new tab page in Microsoft Edge.

Configure Autofill (Windows 10 Build 1507): Defines whether autofill functionality is provided by Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: Autofill functionality is enabled.
  • enable: Autofill functionality is enabled.
  • disable: Users cannot make use of autofill in Edge to fill out forms automatically.

Configure Cookies (Windows 10 Build 1507):  Define the cookie behavior in Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: all cookies are allowed.
  • enable: Set cookies to a) allow all, b) block all, or c) block only third-party cookies.
  • disable: all cookies are allowed.

Configure Do Not Track (Windows 10 Build 1507): Defines whether Do Not Track headers are used to inform websites about the user's preference.

  • not configured: Users can configure the setting individually in Edge.
  • enable: Do Not Track headers are sent to websites.
  • disable: Do Not Track headers are never sent.

Configure Favorites (Windows 10 Build 1511): Enables you to set a default list of favorites that appear for users when they start Edge.

  • not configured: No default favorites.
  • enable: Add one or multiple favorites to Edge that users see when they open the Favorites menu in the browser.
  • disable: No default favorites.

Configure Home Pages (Windows 10 Build 1511):  Use the policy to set home pages in Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: Users can customize the home page in Edge.
  • enable: Home pages set by policy are enforced and cannot be changed by the user.
  • disable: Users can customize the home page in Edge.

Configure Password Manager (Windows 10 Build 1507): Defines whether users can make use of the built-in password manager.

  • not configured: Users can choose to use the password manager.
  • enable: Allows the use of the password manager.
  • disable: Password Manager is not available.

Configure Pop-up Blocker (Windows 10 Build 1507): The policy controls the use of the pop-up blocker in Microsoft Edge.

  • not configured: Users can select whether to use the pop-up blocker.
  • enable: Pop-up blocker is turned on.
  • disable: Pop-up blocker is disabled.

Configure Search suggestions in address bar (Windows 10 Build 1507): The policy defines whether suggestions are shown when user's type in Edge's address bar.

  • not configured: Users can choose whether to disable suggestions or not.
  • enable: Search suggestions are shown in Edge when user's type in the address bar.
  • disable: Search suggestions are disabled.

Configure SmartScreen Filter (Windows 10 Build 1507): The policy defines use of the SmartScreen Filter.

  • not configured: Users can choose to enable or disable the SmartScreen Filter.
  • enable: SmartScreen Filter is turned on and cannot be turned of
  • disable: SmartScreen Filter is turned off, and it cannot be turned on again.

Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List (Windows 10 Build 1507): Defines whether Enterprise Mode and Enterprise Mode Site List.

  • not configured: Microsoft Edge won't use Enterprise Mode.
  • enable: Microsoft Edge will look for and use the Enterprise Mode Site List.
  • disable: Microsoft Edge won't use Enterprise Mode.

Prevent access to the about:Flags page in Microsoft Edge (Windows 10 Build 1507):  The policy defines whether users can access the about:flags page of the browser.

  • not configured: Users can access the about:flags page.
  • enable: The about:flags page cannot be accessed.
  • disable: Users can access the about:flags page.

Prevent bypassing SmartScreen prompts for files (Windows 10 Build 1511): The policy defines whether users can override the SmartScreen Filter warnings about downloading unverified files.

  • not configured: Users can ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings when downloading files.
  • enable: Users cannot ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings.
  • disable: Users can ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings when downloading files.

Prevent bypassing SmartScreen prompts for sites (Windows 10 Build 1511): Defines whether SmartScreen promtps for sites can be ignored by users.

  • not configured: Users can ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings for sites.
  • enable: Users cannot ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings.
  • disable: Users can ignore SmartScreen Filter warnings for sites.

Prevent using Localhost IP address for WebRTC (Windows 10 Build 1511): Defines whether localhost IP addresses show when the WebRTC protocol is being used.

  • not configured: Localhost IP addresses are shown.
  • enable: Localhost IP addresses are hidden when using WebRTC.
  • disable: Localhost IP addresses are shown.

Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer 11 (Windows 10 Build 1507): Defines whether all Intranet sites are opened in Internet Explorer.

  • not configured: Intranet sites are opened in Microsoft Edge.
  • enable: Intranet Sites are automatically opened in Internet Explorer 11.
  • disable: Intranet sites are opened in Microsoft Edge.

Show message when opening sites in Internet Explorer (Windows 10 Build 1607): Defines whether an additional page is displayed in Edge when a site is opened in Internet Explorer.

  • not configured: No additional pages are shown.
  • enable: A page stating that a site has been opened in Internet Explorer is displayed in Edge.
  • disable: No additional pages are shown.

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Windows 10 Build 14342 finally changes how extensions are installed http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/11/windows-10-build-14342-extensions/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/11/windows-10-build-14342-extensions/#comments Wed, 11 May 2016 09:32:57 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=121567 Microsoft released the new Windows 10 Insider Build 14342 yesterday along with a new cumulative update for Windows 10 and security patches for all supported versions of Windows. The new version is only available for devices subscribed to the Insider Preview Fast Ring, the cutting edge public preview channel that gets changes first before they […]

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Microsoft released the new Windows 10 Insider Build 14342 yesterday along with a new cumulative update for Windows 10 and security patches for all supported versions of Windows.

The new version is only available for devices subscribed to the Insider Preview Fast Ring, the cutting edge public preview channel that gets changes first before they are rolled out to the slow and release preview channel.

The new build features a number of improvements and fixes as usually. Probably most important from a user's point of view are Microsoft Edge improvements.

Edge Extensions are installed from Store

edge extensions

Microsoft Edge supported extensions for a short while only. Up until now, extensions had to be sideloaded into the browser by running a local installer or selecting a local folder the extension has been extracted to previously.

Not too bad for a first test version but not really comfortable, and not what Microsoft plans to deliver when the feature his the stable version of Windows 10.

Extensions support has been improved in build 14342 of Windows 10 as extensions are now installed from Windows Store directly.

It is still possible to sideload extensions, but the main method of installing extensions in Microsoft Edge has now been implemented.

This works currently by opening the extensions feature page on the Microsoft website. There you find listed all available extensions and a short description for each.

A click on "open in store" opens the Windows Store application and in it the extension's listing. You can hit the "free" button right away to install it in Microsoft Edge, or read the full description and user ratings first instead.

The installation happens in the background but Edge displays a prompt afterwards that highlights that a new extension has been installed.

The prompt lists all permissions the extension requests, and provides you with options to turn it on or keep it turned off instead.

edge you have a new extension

All installed extensions and their state are listed when you select menu (the three dots) and then extensions from the menu that opens up.

There you find the option to (side)load extensions from the local system directly as well, and to get extensions from the Windows Store which currently opens the preview page on the Microsoft website that highlights available extensions.

edge extensions list

An options icon is displayed next to extensions when you hover over them, and a click on that opens an overview page listing the extension's permissions, and option to turn it on or off, to display its icon in the address bar, to open the full options the extensions ships with, and an option to uninstall the extension from Microsoft Edge.

uninstall extensions

This moves Edge's extensions system one step closer to release. We still don't know how Microsoft plans to present available extensions to users.

Will they be listed on the Microsoft website similar to how extensions are listed on the Chrome Web Store or Mozilla AMO? Or will they be listed only in the Windows Store application, and there likely in their own category?

The new build shipped with two additional Edge improvements. The first introduces real-time web notifications in Microsoft Edge that allow websites to send notifications using the Action Center provided that they have been granted permissions to do so.

The second brings swipe navigation to Microsoft Edge so that you can swipe to the left or right to navigate back or forward.

Now You: What's your take on extensions in Edge so far?

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How to troubleshoot Microsoft Edge hangs http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/09/troubleshoot-microsoft-edge-hangs/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/09/troubleshoot-microsoft-edge-hangs/#comments Mon, 09 May 2016 05:10:43 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=121504 The new Windows 10 web browser Microsoft Edge is rather bare bones when it comes to tools that it provides you for troubleshooting issues you experience in the browser. Yesterday for instance, I ran into an issue that would prevent a page from loading at all. Edge would hang, and since the tab was already […]

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The new Windows 10 web browser Microsoft Edge is rather bare bones when it comes to tools that it provides you for troubleshooting issues you experience in the browser.

Yesterday for instance, I ran into an issue that would prevent a page from loading at all. Edge would hang, and since the tab was already open in the browser, closing and opening it again would not do a thing about it.

Whenever Edge opened, the browser would hang and I could do nothing as controls such as closing tabs or the settings were not working.

Microsoft Edge does not ship with a native reset function. That's surprising considering that Internet Explorer offers one.

ie reset

As far as I know, there is no option currently to run a reset command similar to this that affects Microsoft Edge.

This leaves you with two options when it comes to hangs or freezes that you are experiencing while using the browser.

Unfortunately, they are not as simple as holding down Shift before start to launch Safe Mode (which Firefox supports for instance).

When it comes to Edge, you have two options to deal with those issues:

  1. Try to force the issue in the browser.
  2. Remove Microsoft Edge from the system and install it again.

Forcing the issue

microsoft edge is not responding

Yesterday when I was experiencing the issue I tried a couple of things first. Hit the close button next to tabs but those were not responding. Tried the menu but it would not open, and any shortcut that would close tabs or perform other actions in the browser did not work as well.

After closing and starting Edge for a dozen times or so, the message xyz is not responding appeared. I'm not sure what triggered the message but a recover webpage button was displayed next to it which would try and fix the issue (the hang) on its own.

Resetting Microsoft Edge

The following method removes Microsoft Edge from the system before it installs it again. It is suggested that you create a system backup first before you proceed to ensure that you can restore the system should things go wrong along the way.

Microsoft Edge cannot be uninstalled directly as it is a system application (an app that ships with Windows 10).

Note: Resetting Microsoft Edge removes favorites, open tabs, the browsing history, other custom data and custom settings from the browser.

What you can do however is remove the files of the browser from the system instead.

Start by opening File Explorer and going to the following path using it (simply paste it into the address bar)

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

microsoft edge reset

First thing you may want to do is go back to Packages, select the root Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe folder and copy it to another location. This is another safeguard to make sure you can restore the package should things go wrong.

Once you have done that, it is time to delete the contents of the folder. Open Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe again, select everything using Ctrl-A, and hit the delete-key on the keyboard afterwards.

Note: you may have to perform the delete operation multiple times. If a folder won't delete, open it and start deleting content inside first.

You should end up with an empty folder in the end.

microsoft edge empty folder

Once you have deleted Microsoft Edge from your system, you need to run a command to get it back.

  1. Use Windows-X to display a menu in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from it.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt that appears by selecting yes.
  4. Type powershell and hit enter.
  5. Paste the command Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose} and hit enter.

Note: You may get interrupted actions notifications in File Explorer. Try them again, but if they don't work, skip the actions.

Try to launch Microsoft Edge afterwards.

reset microsoft edge

If everything worked well, you should see the get started screen which Microsoft Edge displays on first run.

Once you have made sure that the browser works again, you can go ahead and delete the copy of the old Edge folder that you have made.

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CatBlock: first ad-blocker for Microsoft Edge http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/03/catblock-first-ad-blocker-for-microsoft-edge/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/03/catblock-first-ad-blocker-for-microsoft-edge/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 15:54:46 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=121414 CatBlock is the name of the first ad-blocking extension for the Microsoft Edge web browser that has just been released as an alpha version. Experimental extensions support for Microsoft Edge is currently being tested on the Windows 10 Insider Channel. Microsoft plans to make extensions available to Microsoft Edge running on stable versions of Windows […]

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CatBlock is the name of the first ad-blocking extension for the Microsoft Edge web browser that has just been released as an alpha version.

Experimental extensions support for Microsoft Edge is currently being tested on the Windows 10 Insider Channel. Microsoft plans to make extensions available to Microsoft Edge running on stable versions of Windows 10 later this year.

Since the feature is currently in preview, only a handful of extensions are provided and those mostly to showcase the functionality of the extensions engine.

At least some developers are working on porting their extensions to Microsoft Edge which is a lot easier thanks to similarities between Edge's extensions functionality and that of Google Chrome, than it was to port extensions to Internet Explorer.

CatBlock

adblock microsoft edge

AdBlock with CatBlock is not a new ad-blocker but one that is been available for a while for Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome or Opera.

The Microsoft Edge version has been released as an alpha by the development team. The extension can only be installed on recent Windows Insider builds of Windows 10 (those with extensions support).

  1. Download the CatBlock extension for Microsoft Edge from the project's GitHub page.
  2. Extract the archive to the local system.
  3. Run the setup.cmd file that you find in the root folder.
  4. You may get a SmartScreen filter warning. Click on more info and then on run anyway.
  5. The screen flashes for a moment and the instructions.txt document is loaded in the end.
  6. Open Microsoft Edge after executing the setup file.
  7. Select the three dots (...) in the upper right corner of the Microsoft Edge interface, and then Extensions from the menu that opens.
  8. Click on the load extension button.
  9. Select the catblock folder (not the CatBlock Extension for Edge folder that you find setup.cmd in).
  10. You should see that Microsoft Edge lists the extension in the interface.

The extension works right after installation by replacing advertisement with images of cats automatically.

It is one of the first Microsoft Edge extensions that ships with several pages worth of preferences that you can dive in.

catblock edge

To do that click on the options icon next to its extensions listing in Microsoft Edge.

The first page lists the permissions that the extension has, an option to disable it and one to display its button next to the address bar in the Edge interface.

The options button on that page links to the full preference listing which enables you to modify core features. This includes disabling replacing ads with pictures of cats, adding custom filter lists using the same system that extensions like uBlock Origin or AdBlock Plus use, or replacing ads with other types of pictures.

catblock options

German settings, no idea how to change the language

Basically, you get features that are very similar to ad-blocking extensions and add-ons for other web browsers.

Closing Words

Catblock is provided as an alpha state extension for Microsoft Edge. The extension itself seems fairly stable already though but does not block Flash ads currently.

The first ad-block extension for Microsoft Edge is important for several reasons. It showcases that Edge's extensions engine is capable of supporting complex extensions, that Chrome extensions can be ported with relative ease to Edge, and that users can expect a wider range of extensions for Edge than for all versions of Internet Explorer combined.

The installation is currently everything but easy, but that is only an issue during the testing phase. You can see how Microsoft envisions the extension installation process by visiting the Windows Store page of the Pin It Button extension. (via Deskmodder)

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Microsoft Edge: VP9, WebM and Opus support http://www.ghacks.net/2016/04/18/microsoft-edge-vp9-webm-and-opus-support/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/04/18/microsoft-edge-vp9-webm-and-opus-support/#comments Mon, 18 Apr 2016 19:56:03 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=121138 Microsoft announced a moment ago that it has added support for the media formats VP9, WebM and Opus in preview versions of Microsoft Edge on Windows Insider systems. The company wants to launch official support for the new media formats with the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update that is expected to be released this Summer […]

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Microsoft announced a moment ago that it has added support for the media formats VP9, WebM and Opus in preview versions of Microsoft Edge on Windows Insider systems.

The company wants to launch official support for the new media formats with the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update that is expected to be released this Summer

The current implementation supports the media formats only when Media Source Extensions (MSE) are used to stream video content.

VP9 is a video codec developed by Google that is supported by all Chromium-based web browsers and Mozilla Firefox currently. WebM is a container format that is used with VP9, and Opus an audio format that you find used often in combination with VP9 video.

VP9, Opus and WebM in Edge

youtube edge mse vp9

Microsoft announced back in 2015 that it would add support for these media formats to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

The company's reason for doing so according to the blog post is to provide an "alternative format for compressing 4K video content", and to "simplify building interoperable websites".

Making sure that Edge users get the full user experience on Google's YouTube website has likely played a role as well as Google is using WebM, VP9 and Opus on YouTube to deliver content that has a higher resolution than 1080p on the video streaming website.

If you load YouTube's HTML5 test page using the stable version of Microsoft Edge and the Insider version, you may notice that MSE & WebM VP9 is shown as supported by the Insider version while it is shown as unsupported by the stable version. This depends on whether the device Edge is run on supports hardware decoding or not, with the feature shown as supported on YouTube if that is the case.

Microsoft's implementation of VP9 supports software and hardware decoding, the latter only if supported by the device and the former disabled by default.

Tests conducted by Microsoft revealed a big difference in power consumption between software and hardware decoding for 1080p and 2160p content which is the reason why software decoding is not enabled by default.

extrapolatedbattery

According to these tests, software decode may use up to 20% more power when viewing 1080p video, and up to 80% more power when viewing 2160p video.

That's why VP9 is only enabled in Microsoft Edge by default if hardware acceleration is supported by the device the browser is run on.

Managing VP9 and Opus in Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge vp9

Microsoft added management option for VP9 and Opus to the experimental flags page of the browser.

  1. Load about:flags in the address bar of Microsoft Edge.
  2. Scroll down until you come to the Media Source Extensions listing there.

You will notice that the Opus audio format is enabled there by default, and that the VP9 video format is set to automatic.

Automatic in this case means that VP9 will be enabled only if the device supports hardware acceleration. If you switch the preference to enabled, you tell Edge to use VP9 whenever it is requested regardless of hardware decoding support, and if you set it to disabled, you turn off support completely.

Please note that you need to restart the web browser if you make changes on the page.

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Windows 10 Build 14291 ships with Edge Extensions support, sort of http://www.ghacks.net/2016/03/18/windows-10-build-14291-ships-with-edge-extensions-support-sort-of/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/03/18/windows-10-build-14291-ships-with-edge-extensions-support-sort-of/#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 06:18:53 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=120081 Microsoft shipped build 14291 of Windows 10 to the Fast Ring insider channel a few hours ago, and with it an update for the system's default browser Microsoft Edge that introduces initial support for extensions. The version of Microsoft Edge that is available on stable builds of Windows 10, does not support extensions currently but […]

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Microsoft shipped build 14291 of Windows 10 to the Fast Ring insider channel a few hours ago, and with it an update for the system's default browser Microsoft Edge that introduces initial support for extensions.

The version of Microsoft Edge that is available on stable builds of Windows 10, does not support extensions currently but Microsoft plans to change that this year by integrating an extensions engine to Edge that is very similar to that of Google Chrome.

The benefit of the approach is that it is easy enough to port Chrome extensions to Microsoft Edge (and vice versa), the downside that extensions, at least in their proposed state, won't be as powerful as Firefox's (Mozilla moves to WebExtensions as well).

Insider Builds are preview builds that are tested by developers and tech enthusiasts, and support for extensions in Microsoft Edge shows why Microsoft decided to ship a preview first.

While Edge supports extensions in build 14291, the implementation is not final which shows when you begin the process of installing one of the three extensions made available by Microsoft.

Instead of downloading extensions from Windows Store, where Microsoft plans to offer them once they launch in stable versions of Windows, they are sideloaded currently.

Initially our Insiders will download and then sideload extensions for testing purposes, but ultimately we will make extensions available to all of our customers via the Windows Store to ensure the quality of the end-to-end experience.

The process as it stands currently

edge extensions loaded

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the Microsoft Edge window and select Extensions from the menu that opens.
  2. Click on the "Get Extensions" link. This opens a preview page on Microsoft's Windows website listing all extensions currently available for the preview release.
  3. Click on download to download these to your local system.
  4. The extensions are provided as .exe files currently. You need to run them individually which extracts them to the local system and displays a readme file with instructions.
  5. Once extracted, select Extensions > Load Extensions in Microsoft Edge and pick the folder they have been extracted to, to sideload them in the browser.

The Edge Extensions

Microsoft ships the Insider build with three extensions: Microsoft Translator, Mouse Gesture, and Reddit Enhancement Suite.

Mouse Gestures adds an icon to the main menu of Microsoft Edge which you can click on to open the settings provided by the extension but not remove. To use the Mouse Gestures extension, simply right-click on a web page and start to draw to run commands such as back, forward, or close current tab.

mouse gestures

Reddit Enhancement Suite works for the most part like the extension for other browsers. It improves the experience on Reddit by adding functionality and customization options to the site.

reddit enhancement suite

Microsoft Translator adds an icon to the address bar of Microsoft Edge that you can click on to translate the page into the default language. It ships without options currently which means that you cannot change the target language or make other modifications currently.

microsoft translator

Developer Setting

unpacked extensions

A new Developer Setting has been added to the most recent version of Edge that defines whether unpacked extensions can be loaded in Edge.

The setting is turned on by default but you may change its state in the following way:

  1. Load about:flags in the Microsoft Edge web browser.
  2. Under "Developer Settings", check or uncheck "allow unpacked extensions to be loaded".
  3. Restart Edge.

Microsoft promises that partners are already working on bringing extensions such as Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass or Evernote to Microsoft Edge later in 2016.

Documentation is now available including an API reference, a developer guide and more on the Microsoft Edge platform site.

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Don’t open local PDFs in Edge, you will lose all tabs http://www.ghacks.net/2016/03/08/microsoft-edge-loses-all-tabs-when-you-open-local-pdfs/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/03/08/microsoft-edge-loses-all-tabs-when-you-open-local-pdfs/#comments Tue, 08 Mar 2016 20:13:53 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=119813 For some time now I have experienced a strange issue when using Microsoft's Edge web browser on a Windows 10 machine. The browser, configured to reload all tabs from the last browsing session on start, would lose all open tabs occasionally. I first thought that this was my doing, that I somehow, without realizing it, […]

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For some time now I have experienced a strange issue when using Microsoft's Edge web browser on a Windows 10 machine.

The browser, configured to reload all tabs from the last browsing session on start, would lose all open tabs occasionally.

I first thought that this was my doing, that I somehow, without realizing it, hit the wrong button or something which made Edge forget about the previous browsing session, but after being very careful about it, I was sure that this was not my doing.

I checked all settings several times just to make sure, but Edge was set to load the previous pages each time I did so.

About a week ago, I had the feeling that this was PDF related. Microsoft Edge is the default PDF reader no the Windows 10 operating system, but tests back then did not come to a conclusive result.

I tried to load several PDF documents from the Web, closed Edge, started it up anew, and there they were.

Today, a PDF document was loaded in Edge from an email that I received in Thunderbird. It opened the PDF, but all other tabs loaded in the browser were gone.

Thinking that I was on to something, I opened a couple of tabs, closed Edge, and loaded the same PDF document again. And et voila, all tabs were gone and only the PDF document was loaded.

To be clear, this seems to happen only when Microsoft Edge is not open at the time.

Thinking that this was probably a bug on the machine, I fired up another, this one running the latest Windows 10 Insider Build instead of the latest stable build, and it too showed the same characteristics.

If you load a PDF from a local source, Edge will open without any tab open that was opened previously even if you have set the browser to remember the last browsing session.

On the stable machine, Windows 10 displays an "open with" prompt, and if you select TWINUI, the PDF document is loaded in Microsoft Edge by default.

microsoft edge pdf ug

TWINUI, or the Tablet Windows User Interface , is part of the Windows Shell on Windows 8 and newer machines that "provides a set of functionality including starting applications to Windows itself and other programs".

If you load the document from a local drive directly, no such dialog is displayed and the PDF is opened in Microsoft Edge directly.

Fix for the bug in Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge pdf

The only solution to the issue right now is to use a different program to open PDF documents on Windows 10. I suggest you check out the excellent Sumatra for that for example.

To make Sumatra the default program for PDF documents on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Right-click on a local PDF file and select properties from the context menu.
  2. Click on the change button on the general tab next to the "opens with" listing.
  3. Find Sumatra, or another PDF reader in the listing, or click on "more apps", and scroll all the way down until you find the "look for another app on this PC" option. Select it.
  4. A file browser opens. Use it to select the PDF reader executable that you want to make the default.

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Report: Microsoft Edge leaks private browsing data locally http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/28/microsoft-edge-leaks-private-browsing-data-locally/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/28/microsoft-edge-leaks-private-browsing-data-locally/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:47:32 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=118593 A not-so recent report indicates that Microsoft's Edge web browser may be leaking web browsing data of the browser's private browsing mode locally. The researcher's investigation of locally stored data by Microsoft's Edge browser came to the conclusion that the browser is storing private browsing data in a local database even after the session is […]

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A not-so recent report indicates that Microsoft's Edge web browser may be leaking web browsing data of the browser's private browsing mode locally.

The researcher's investigation of locally stored data by Microsoft's Edge browser came to the conclusion that the browser is storing private browsing data in a local database even after the session is ended.

According to the report, Edge reveals websites visited in private mode in the browser's WebCache file.

Previous investigations of the browser have resulted in revealing that websites visited in private mode are also stored in the browser’s WebCache file.

The WebCache file is located under the user directory, precisely here:

\Users\user_name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache\WebCacheV01.dat

Please replace user_name with the name of the user account that you are using on the Windows 10 computer.

edge webcache

It is interesting to note that Edge seems to share the browsing history cache file with Internet Explorer, and also with versions of those browsers on other devices if the same Microsoft Account is being used to sign in to the machines.

Obviously, Edge should not leave any data traces behind after the user exits private mode., and that is something that Microsoft needs to address.

On the other hand, it is not as if private modes are offering full protection against information leaks, considering that information may still remain available locally and also remotely after a user exits the session.

A common issue is the DNS Cache for instance, which may reveal information about hostname look ups in private browsing mode.

In addition, if an attacker gets access to a computer locally, other possibilities become available that are way scarier than leaking which sites a user may have visited in private browsing mode.

Edge's main issue at this point is that it does not provide users with options to clear the browsing data completely on exit or start of the browser.

This leaves third-party solutions like CCleaner which can be used to clear all browsing data or a selection automatically, for instance when the system is shut down.

Microsoft is working on Edge as part of Windows 10 and it is likely that options will become available in the future. Another possibility is that extensions may fill feature gaps, but it is still unclear when Microsoft will make them available in first Insider Preview builds and stable builds of Windows 10.

For now, the best bet is to use CCleaner, a manual solution to delete the file regularly, or another browser.

Edge is not the only browser that reportedly leaks private browsing information. Google's Chrome browser too leaked information in the recent past.

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Microsoft enables settings protection in Internet Explorer 11 http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/17/microsoft-enables-settings-protection-in-internet-explorer-11/ http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/17/microsoft-enables-settings-protection-in-internet-explorer-11/#comments Sun, 17 Jan 2016 17:17:06 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=118496 Microsoft enabled a new protective feature in Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 10 recently that it introduced for its Microsoft Edge web browser back in November 2015. The security feature has been designed to prevent third-party software from changing the browser's homepage or default search engine. Search is a lucrative business and it is no […]

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Microsoft enabled a new protective feature in Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 10 recently that it introduced for its Microsoft Edge web browser back in November 2015.

The security feature has been designed to prevent third-party software from changing the browser's homepage or default search engine.

Search is a lucrative business and it is no coincidence that companies try to push adware or third-party tools to user systems to modify search providers.

It is not only adware that does that, legitimate businesses, some that produce free antivirus solutions for instance,  do the same thing but mask it behind a seemingly useful service.

Users who notice these changes have often a hard time undoing them. Not only do they need to know how to undo the changes, they also need to make sure that the software that caused it is not running on the system as it might modify the settings again once it notices that they have changed.

The protection that Microsoft implemented for Microsoft Edge and now also for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 blocks the injection of DLLS in the browser unless they are signed device drivers or Windows components.

DLLs that are either Microsoft-signed, or WHQL-signed, will be allowed to load, and all others will be blocked. “Microsoft-signed” allows for Edge components, Windows components, and other Microsoft-supplied features to be loaded. WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Lab) signed DLLs are device drivers for things like the webcam, some of which need to run in-process in Edge to work.

Internet Explorer 11 users benefit from the implementation right away. The only thing that they may have to do is install or pick a search provider that they want to use. They can rest assured afterwards that third-party programs won't be able anymore to modify the search provider or homepage of the Internet Explorer web browser.

Microsoft published a help page highlighting how homepage and search engine are modified in Internet Explorer 11.

Changing the homepage

The homepage of the web browser is changed in the Internet Options.

internet options

  1. Click on the tools icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select Internet Options from the context menu that opens.
  2. Find Home page on the General tab, and remove or edit existing urls, or add new ones to it. You can click on the "use current" button to make the page currently displayed in the browser the home page.
  3. Select Apply > Ok to complete the process.

Changing the search provider

The search provider is changed in a different way.

search providers

  1. Click on the Tools icon again in the upper right corner, and select "Manage add-ons" from the menu.
  2. Switch to the Search Providers listing on the page that opens.
  3. Select the search provider that you want to use. If it is not listed, click on the "find more search providers" link at the bottom to install new providers.

Closing Words

Browser developers are finally reacting to the -- often unwanted -- changes that adware or third-party software make. Microsoft's protective features are only available for Windows 10, a strategy the company seems to pursue these days. (via Desk Modder)

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Microsoft SmartScreen Filter gets Drive-By Attack Protection http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/19/microsoft-smartscreen-gets-drive-by-attack-protection/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/19/microsoft-smartscreen-gets-drive-by-attack-protection/#comments Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:38:44 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=117915 Microsoft SmartScreen Filter is a protective feature integrated into the Windows operating system as well as Microsoft's web browsers Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge that protects computer users from certain kinds of Internet-based attacks. It works similar to Google's SafeBrowsing feature but is broader in scope as it is not limited to a single program […]

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Microsoft SmartScreen Filter is a protective feature integrated into the Windows operating system as well as Microsoft's web browsers Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge that protects computer users from certain kinds of Internet-based attacks.

It works similar to Google's SafeBrowsing feature but is broader in scope as it is not limited to a single program but works system-wide.

Microsoft updated SmartScreen's set of security features recently by adding protection from drive-by attacks to the service.

Drive-by attacks originate often on trusted websites where they are executed through third-party scripts such as advertisement or hacks. If it often the case that they don't require user interaction for execution and that is it enough for the user to visit a website to be exposed to the attack.

SmartScreen Filter

smartscreen filter malware

Microsoft notes that drive-by attacks make use of exploit kits for scaling purposes that target vulnerabilities in software such as the web browser itself or plugins such as Flash or Java that are commonly used.

The time to exploit has decreased in 2015 according to Microsoft with exploit kits exploiting patched vulnerabilities as early as the day patches were released for them giving users and system administrators less time to apply security patches and updates to operating systems or programs.

So how is SmartScreen Filter's drive-by attack working?

Unlike existing SmartScreen protection from socially engineered attacks, drive-by attacks need to be detected and prevented before any web content is parsed and rendered. To avoid impacting browsing performance, SmartScreen helps protect against drive-by attacks by using a small cache file created by the SmartScreen service. This cache file is periodically updated by your browser to help keep you protected and to ensure that calls to the SmartScreen service are only made if we believe there’s a high probability of malicious content on a page

Another improvement that goes along with the new security feature is that SmartScreen may now show warnings for contents in frames on sites only. Previously, SmartScreen would display full page warnings on malicious pages even if the attack was carried out using framed content.

The new feature will block only the malicious content on the page allowing users to interact with the safe parts of the page.

smartscreen frame block

The company notes on the official Microsoft Edge blog that the new feature is only available in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11.

The decision to limit the new feature to Microsoft's two recent browsers falls in line with the company's decision to phase out older versions of Internet Explorer on Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems.

It does mean however that the feature won't be available on all versions of Windows still supported by Microsoft (including Windows Vista which is stuck with Internet Explorer 9).

Now You: Do you have SmartScreen turned on or off?

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Microsoft Internet Explorer end of life upgrade notification update http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/15/microsoft-internet-explorer-end-of-life-upgrade/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/15/microsoft-internet-explorer-end-of-life-upgrade/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:39:19 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=117844 Microsoft announced a while ago that it plans to make fundamental changes to Internet Explorer support on machines running the Windows operating system. The company wants to support only the latest available version of Internet Explorer for each version of Windows that it supports which in turn means that it will drop support for all […]

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Microsoft announced a while ago that it plans to make fundamental changes to Internet Explorer support on machines running the Windows operating system.

The company wants to support only the latest available version of Internet Explorer for each version of Windows that it supports which in turn means that it will drop support for all versions but the latest version of Internet Explorer on all Windows systems.

The change affects Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems for the most part, as Microsoft plans to only support Internet Explorer 11 on those systems.

Older versions of Internet Explorer on these operating systems won't receive security updates or technical support once the change goes live on January 12, 2016.

internet explorer

To make this clear to users, Microsoft plans to release an update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to remind users of the change.

That update will only be deployed if the following conditions are met:

  • Windows 7: If Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 are installed.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2: If Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 are installed.

The update will be made available on the first Patch Day of the year 2016 which coincides with the end of support for older versions of Internet Explorer policy.

It is unclear right now how those reminders will be displayed on the system. Possible options include a system tray icon but also reminders similar to the "Get Windows 10" offer that Microsoft displays on Windows 7 or 8 systems.

The reminders can be disabled in the Windows Registry:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit enter.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt if it appears.
  3. If you run a 32-bit version of Windows, nN
  4. Right-click on FeatureControl, select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name it iexplore.exe
  6. Double-click the newly created Dword.
  7. Enter the value 1 and click ok.
  8. If you run a 32-bit version of Windows, you are done. If you run a 64-bit version, do the following as well.
  9. Navigate to the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_DISABLE_IE11_UPGRADE_TAB_LAUNCH
  10. Right-click on FeatureControl, select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  11. Name it iexplore.exe
  12. Double-click the newly created Dword.
  13. Enter the value 1 and click ok.

Microsoft has not revealed a similar update for Windows 8 systems, and it is unclear if it plans to release one on the same day or at a later point in time. The update would only affect Windows 8, and not Windows 8.1 as the latter ships with Internet Explorer 11 already.

Windows Vista users are not affected by this at all. Their copy of Internet Explorer 9 will remain supported until the end of life of Windows Vista on April 11, 2017. (via WinSupersite)

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Microsoft publishes Edge extensions page and extensions accidentally http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/10/microsoft-publishes-edge-extensions-page-accidentally/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/10/microsoft-publishes-edge-extensions-page-accidentally/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:37:16 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=117756 Microsoft Edge is a bare-bones web browser that the company shipped with its Windows 10 operating system, and it seems that previous versions of Windows won't be supported by Edge. Microsoft removed support for legacy features such as ActiveX or Browser Helper Objects in Edge, and built it around web standards. Edge performs better than […]

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Microsoft Edge is a bare-bones web browser that the company shipped with its Windows 10 operating system, and it seems that previous versions of Windows won't be supported by Edge.

Microsoft removed support for legacy features such as ActiveX or Browser Helper Objects in Edge, and built it around web standards.

Edge performs better than Internet Explorer in nearly any benchmark you throw at it, and while that is a step in the right direction, its poor set of features and settings give users less control over the browser.

Microsoft promised to integrate extensions support in the Edge browser which could improve the situation significantly for users of the browser.

Extensions support was delayed to 2016 however and since Microsoft has been tight-lipped so far in regards to the implementation, little was known what Edge extensions would add to the browser.

A leaked web page, which has been pulled in the meantime, revealed additional information about extensions support in Microsoft Edge.

edge extensions support1

The two pages of the pulled website highlight showed how extensions are integrated into the Edge browser, reveal two sample extensions that will be made available, and how extensions are installed.

Microsoft plans to launch extensions support for Insider Builds of Windows 10 first. According to the "installing an extension" section of the leaked site, extensions need to be installed manually in preview releases of the browser. Microsoft will integrate the process directly into the Edge browser in release versions.

The two extensions highlighted on the page are Reddit Enhancement Suite, a popular browser extension and script to improve Reddit, and a Pin It Button for Pinterest.

To install extensions, Edge users need to download the extension file to their local system. Both sample extensions released by Microsoft come with a setup.cmd file that needs to be run to install the extension in Edge.

This won't work right now however even on the latest Windows Insider build. While you can run the setup file on the system, Edge won't display an Extensions entry just yet in the browser's menu.

edge chrome extension

A quick comparison of the Edge and Chrome version of Reddit Enhancement Suite reveals that both extensions are nearly identical which confirms Microsoft's claim that the porting of Chrome extensions to Edge is a simple process. The majority of extensions should work just fine on Edge once ported but some, for instance those that use Chrome-specific features, won't.

Extensions support could boost the public opinion of Microsoft Edge significantly.

Now You: Are you looking forward to extensions support in Microsoft Edge?

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Microsoft enables full support for asm.js on Windows 10 http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/11/microsoft-enables-full-support-for-asm-js-on-windows-10/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/11/microsoft-enables-full-support-for-asm-js-on-windows-10/#comments Wed, 11 Nov 2015 08:02:07 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=117253 Microsoft enabled full support for asm.js for Windows Insider builds 10532 and up yesterday.  Since it is generally assumed that the long-awaited TH2 update for stable versions of Windows is 10586, it will be available on those systems this month as well since Microsoft plans to roll out the TH2 update to all systems this […]

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Microsoft enabled full support for asm.js for Windows Insider builds 10532 and up yesterday.  Since it is generally assumed that the long-awaited TH2 update for stable versions of Windows is 10586, it will be available on those systems this month as well since Microsoft plans to roll out the TH2 update to all systems this month.

Asm.js was designed by Mozilla and implemented in the Firefox web browser in Firefox 22 on June 25, 2013.

Without going into too many details, it is a subset of JavaScript that improves performance significantly for applications written in languages such as C/C++ that are ported to JavaScript using source to source compilers.

The main advantage of asm.js is that performance is much faster when compared to code that is not using asm.js.

Example applications that benefit from asm.js are the Unity game engine, the Unreal engine, or ScummVM.

Microsoft implemented asm.js back in June 2015 in the company's new web browser Microsoft Edge but hid it behind a flag at that time. Yesterday, the company announced that asm.js support is now available in the browser by default.

In addition, both hosted web applications and WebView, which is used by Windows 10's Universal Windows Applications, may benefit from optimized code s well.

microsoft asm.js

Microsoft created a Chess Battle demo to illustrate the point. It pits an asm.js optimized computer AI against one that is not optimized and limits turn length to 200ms.

Note: If you don't run an Insider Build currently, you need to enable asm.js in Microsoft Edge by loading about:flags in the web browser.

The optimized AI has a higher likelihood of winning the game because of asm.js as it can process more moves per turn than the AI that does not benefit from asm.js. Options are provided to change the time per turn, skill level of the AI and contempt value.

Windows Store applications benefit from asm.js as well through WebView. It is too early to tell if that will become a popular option going forward though.

It is likely however that it will get more prominence thanks to asm.js being supported by another major browsers now.

Additional information about the implementation, other demo apps benefiting from asm.js and debugging information for developers are provided on the official Microsoft Edge Dev Blog over at Windows.com.

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End of support for old Internet Explorer versions draws near http://www.ghacks.net/2015/10/15/end-of-support-for-old-internet-explorer-versions-draws-near/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/10/15/end-of-support-for-old-internet-explorer-versions-draws-near/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 08:02:06 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=116728 Microsoft revealed in 2014 that it plans to end support for older versions of its Internet Explorer web browser starting January 12, 2016. The company will only support the most recent version of Internet Explorer for supported versions of the Windows operating system, Windows Server and Windows embedded systems from January 2016 on. Older versions […]

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Microsoft revealed in 2014 that it plans to end support for older versions of its Internet Explorer web browser starting January 12, 2016.

The company will only support the most recent version of Internet Explorer for supported versions of the Windows operating system, Windows Server and Windows embedded systems from January 2016 on.

Older versions will no longer receive technical support or security updates once the new policy goes live in January 2016

Internet Explorer supported versions as of January 12, 2016

end of support internet explorer

The Life Cycle of Internet Explorer for all supported operating systems is listed on Microsoft's Lifecycle website.

Operating System Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 10 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 SP Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 IA64 Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 R2 IA64 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Embedded for Point of Server (WEPOS) Internet Explorer 7
Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (WES09) Internet Explorer 8
Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 Internet Explorer 8
Windows Embedded Standard 7 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Embedded POSReady 7 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Thin PC Internet Explorer 8
Windows Embedded 8 Standard Internet Explorer 10
Windows 8.1 Industry Update Internet Explorer 11

The move has significant consequences. Users for one may need to upgrade to the most recent version of Internet Explorer available for their operating system.

Internet Explorer 11 is the default browser on updated versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, but it is not the default on Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

Upgrades to Internet Explorer 11 are available for Windows 7 and users who want to keep systems running the operating system secure need to run these updates to ensure that. Since other programs may use Internet Explorer's rendering engine, it is not enough to simply ignore the browser if it is not used.

Microsoft never released Internet Explorer 10 or 11 for Windows Vista which means that users on Vista systems are stuck with Internet Explorer 9. The company continues to support IE9 on Vista (and Windows Server 2008), and will do so until support for Windows Vista ends on April 11, 2017.

The most recent version of Internet Explorer for supported operating systems is available via Windows Update, or as a direct download on Microsoft's website on the Internet.

Microsoft Edge, the company's new web browser is not affected by the policy as it is only available for Windows 10 since it has not been released for older versions of the Windows operating system.

Now You: Do you use Internet Explorer at home or work? (via Caschy)

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Enable VP9 in Microsoft Edge for better HTML5 streaming support http://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/23/enable-vp9-in-microsoft-edge-for-better-html5-streaming-support/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/23/enable-vp9-in-microsoft-edge-for-better-html5-streaming-support/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 12:51:41 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=116147 Microsoft continues its work on the Edge browser that it shipped with Windows 10 in the latest Insider build 10547 released to the Fast Ring a while ago. One new feature that is found in the version of Microsoft Edge that shipped with that new Windows 10 Build is support for VP9. Support for the […]

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Microsoft continues its work on the Edge browser that it shipped with Windows 10 in the latest Insider build 10547 released to the Fast Ring a while ago.

One new feature that is found in the version of Microsoft Edge that shipped with that new Windows 10 Build is support for VP9.

Support for the VP9 is not enabled by default but can be enabled by users of the browser. This is done in the following way:

  1. Load about:flags in Microsoft's Edge address bar and hit enter.
  2. Scroll down on the page that opens until you find the Media Source Extensions group and there the Enable VP9 preference.
  3. Check the box and restart Microsoft Edge afterwards.

microsoft edge vp9

One of the easier ways to check that everything went smoothly is to open YouTube's HTML5 Video Player page.

The MSE & WebM VP9 entry on that page should show as supported. Note that WebM VP8 is not supported by Microsoft Edge and will show as unsupported because of this.

microsoft edge html5 youtube

Enabling VP9 in Microsoft Edge improves streaming support of the browser. While most streaming services support both VP9 and H.264, support for both formats may be beneficial in a number of ways.

When compared to H.264, VP9 saves a lot of bandwidth which comes at the cost of processing power. This means that generally speaking, it is beneficial to users who work on old hardware to use H.264 instead of VP9 as it may improve overall performance, while VP9 is usually the better choice on modern systems.

This does not take H.265 into account which offers similar benefits but is not (yet) supported by most streaming sites on the Internet.

It is unclear why Microsoft has not enabled VP9 supported directly in Microsoft Edge but the most likely explanation is that the feature may not be fully ready for prime time yet.

Windows 10 Insiders who enable the feature are encouraged to report their experience to Microsoft using the Feedback app that is integrated in the operating system.

You may remove support for VP9 at any time by removing the checkmark next to Enable VP9 on the browser's about:flags page and restarting it afterwards.

The feature is currently only available on the Insider channel. Microsoft has not commented on availability in stable builds of the web browser.

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Improve your privacy in Microsoft Edge with these settings http://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/07/improve-your-privacy-in-microsoft-edge-with-these-settings/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/07/improve-your-privacy-in-microsoft-edge-with-these-settings/#comments Mon, 07 Sep 2015 06:52:59 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=115771 Microsoft Edge is a slimmed down browser that is still in development. Microsoft has big plans for Edge, extension support is one of the main goals for instance which should give the browser a big boost in popularity. The problem with being bare bones is that it lacks customization options currently. While those may be […]

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Microsoft Edge is a slimmed down browser that is still in development. Microsoft has big plans for Edge, extension support is one of the main goals for instance which should give the browser a big boost in popularity.

The problem with being bare bones is that it lacks customization options currently. While those may be integrated in Edge at a later time, it is less customizable than any other browser currently including Google Chrome.

When it comes to privacy, there are but a few settings that Microsoft has integrated in Edge that you can customize.

This guide walks you through the steps of configuring those to match your needs. We will explain what these settings add to the browser so that you can make an educated decision whether to keep them enabled or not.

Cortana in Edge

microsoft edge cortana

Cortana is Microsoft's digital assistant which you can use to get answers to questions or perform actions on the system using voice or by typing.

If you have disabled Cortana on the system, it is automatically disabled in Edge as well.

If you have not, you may use Cortana in Edge to get direct answers to questions by typing them in the search bar. For instance, it can help you get directions, look up dates for you or perform other operations directly in the browser.

Why you may want to turn it off

cortana edge data

Microsoft Privacy FAQ

The core reason why you may want to turn off Cortana in Microsoft Edge is privacy as your browsing data is sent to Microsoft if Cortana is enabled in the web browser (which it is by default).

Do the following to disable Cortana in Edge

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser if it is not open already.
  2. Click on the three dots icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
  3. Scroll down in the menu that opens and click on "view advanced settings"
  4. Scroll down until you find "have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge" and flip the switch to off.

Search Suggestions

search suggestions

Microsoft Edge displays suggestions while you are typing in the search box or address bar. It sends information that you type, while you type, to Bing (or another search engine if you have changed the default search provider) and returns suggestions based on that.

Why you may want to disable the feature

Everything you type in the address bar or search box is sent to the default search engine regardless of whether you hit enter or not.

How to disable search suggestions

 

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser if it is not open already.
  2. Click on the three dots icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
  3. Scroll down in the menu that opens and click on "view advanced settings"
  4. Scroll down until you find "Show search suggestions as I type" and flip it to off.

Page Predictions

page prediction

This feature guesses what actions a user is likely going to take next based on the browsing history and will load those pages in the background to speed up their loading time.

Why you may want to disable the feature

The browsing history is sent to Microsoft if the feature is enabled (which it is by default). Microsoft analyzes the browsing history to determine the most likely actions a user is going to take based on it.

Preloading pages may increase overall bandwidth usage if you are not visiting the predicted pages.

How to disable page predictions

 

  • Open the Microsoft Edge browser if it is not open already.
  • Click on the three dots icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
  • Scroll down in the menu that opens and click on "view advanced settings"
  • Scroll down until you find "Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better" and flip the switch to off.

SmartScreen Filter

edge smartscreen filter

SmartScreen Filter uses a local blocklist to block access to malicious websites and downloads. The list is regularly updated, and users who try to access blocked content on the Internet are redirected to a Microsoft website which displays information about the blocked content and receives "standard PC information".

Why you may want to disable it

One reason for turning this off is if you are using another program already on the system that blocks malicious sites and files from being accessed or downloaded to your computer.

In addition, you may not want to be redirected to a Microsoft site when contents are blocked in Edge as it provides Microsoft with information about your PC (the company does not reveal which).

How to disable SmartScreen Filter in Edge

 

  • Open the Microsoft Edge browser if it is not open already.
  • Click on the three dots icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
  • Scroll down in the menu that opens and click on "view advanced settings"
  • Find "Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter" and switch the setting to off.

 

 

 

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Microsoft pushes out emergency patch MS15-093 for critical Internet Explorer vulnerability http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/19/microsoft-pushes-out-emergency-patch-ms15-093-for-critical-internet-explorer-vulnerability/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/19/microsoft-pushes-out-emergency-patch-ms15-093-for-critical-internet-explorer-vulnerability/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 06:08:30 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=115468 Microsoft published a new out of band security bulletin today that informs about a newly detected critical security vulnerability in the company's Internet Explorer web browser. The vulnerability, which is already exploited in the wild according to the company, affects Internet Explorer 7 to 11 on client and server operating systems. Microsoft Edge, the default […]

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Microsoft published a new out of band security bulletin today that informs about a newly detected critical security vulnerability in the company's Internet Explorer web browser.

The vulnerability, which is already exploited in the wild according to the company, affects Internet Explorer 7 to 11 on client and server operating systems. Microsoft Edge, the default Windows 10 web browser, is not listed on the page and thus not affected by the vulnerability.

The vulnerability is rated critical for all client operating systems and moderate for all server operating systems of the company.

Microsoft released patches for all affected (and supported) versions of Windows. These patches are already available via Windows Update and via Microsoft's Download Center.

The update is listed as "cumulative update for Windows 10 (KB3081444)" for Windows 10 systems, and listed with the code KB3087985 on previous versions of Windows. The update KB3078071 is a prerequisite for that update on Windows 8.1 and 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2.

windows update critical-internet explorer kb3081444

Attackers can exploit the vulnerability by through various means, for instance by creating web pages that exploit the vulnerability, HTML emails or web advertisement. All that is needed to trigger the vulnerability is that these contents get loaded in an affected version of Internet Explorer, an interaction with the site is not required apart from that.

Attackers gain the same rights as the current user on the system. If the logged in user has administrative rights, a complete takeover of the system is possible as it would allow the attacker to modify system settings, create or modify user accounts, install or remove software, and more.

Microsoft mentions two mitigating factors in the security advisory. A non-administrative user level of the logged in user may impact the effect on the system. In addition, Microsoft EMET, the company's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, helps mitigate the attack according to Microsoft provided that it is configured correctly to work with the Internet Explorer web browser.

Download links for all supported operating systems are listed on the security bulletin page on the Microsoft website. To download the update manually, locate the installed version of Internet Explorer under affected software, and click on the link next to the operating system the computer us running on.

This is the second emergency patch released in the past couple of weeks. Microsoft released the bulletin MS15-078 in late July for all supported operating systems that addresses a critical vulnerability in Microsoft Font Driver.

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Microsoft releases Microsoft Edge virtual machine images http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/18/microsoft-releases-microsoft-edge-virtual-machine-images/ http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/18/microsoft-releases-microsoft-edge-virtual-machine-images/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:08:55 +0000 http://www.ghacks.net/?p=115431 Windows 10's usage share is on the rise and with it comes a new default system browser called Microsoft Edge. While Edge does not have the market share of Firefox, Chrome or even Internet Explorer yet, it will be a force to reckon with in the future. Web Developers who want to make sure that […]

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Windows 10's usage share is on the rise and with it comes a new default system browser called Microsoft Edge.

While Edge does not have the market share of Firefox, Chrome or even Internet Explorer yet, it will be a force to reckon with in the future.

Web Developers who want to make sure that content and services work fine under Microsoft Edge need to test them regularly to make sure that this is the case.

This meant up until now to install a copy of Windows 10 on a machine or in a virtual environment to do so.

Things have gotten a bit easier now as Microsoft released a virtual machine image of Microsoft Edge that developers can use for testing purposes. While intended for developers, and here especially web developers, the images are free to download and use which means that users interested in Microsoft Edge can test it on any system provided that one of the supported virtualization products is supported on it.

Note: Microsoft Edge on windows 10 is offered for the three platforms VMWare, VirtualBox and HyperV on Windows, Parallels, VirtualBox and VMware on Macs, and VirtualBox on Linux. All images have a size of about 5 Gigabytes packed, and downloads are provided as single files and as multi-part downloads.

microsoft edge virtual machine

Virtual machines expire after 90 days. Microsoft recommends to create a snapshot after installation to roll back to it later.

Extract the archive on your system once you have downloaded the file/files. The format of the machine depends on the selected platform, if you have selected a VMware image it is offered as an .ova file.

Microsoft Edge is listed as Internet Explorer 11 when you load the machine in the application. You may configure it prior to launching Edge, for instance by changing the RAM available for the environment before you hit the start button.

Closing Words

The Microsoft Edge virtual machine images provide developers with the means to test web applications and sites in Microsoft's newest web browser without having to get a copy of Windows 10. This is especially useful for developers on Mac and Linux systems, and for developers who don't want to update their Windows machines to Windows 10.

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