You can now block potentially unwanted apps in Microsoft Edge

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 3, 2020
Internet, Microsoft Edge

Microsoft continues to add features to the company's Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser that it launched officially last month. Since it is Chromium-based, it gets a fair number of new features added as experiments which users of the browser may manage under edge://flags/.

Other features get integrated natively and the new option to block potentially unwanted apps falls into that category. Microsoft did introduce it as an experiment in September 2019 in development versions of Microsoft Edge.

Potentially unwanted apps (also known as potentially unwanted programs) are low-reputation apps according to Microsoft; Edge is not the only program that is capable of dealing with them.

Many security programs for Windows, including Windows Defender, Google Chrome, or Malwarebytes support the blocking of potentially unwanted programs.

Microsoft's implementation in Edge is available in Beta, Dev and Canary versions of the browser. The company plans to introduce the feature in the Stable version soon. Note that it is not enabled by default currently.

block potentially unwanted apps

Here is how you enable the feature in Microsoft Edge:

  1. Either load edge://settings/privacy directly in the Microsoft Edge address bar, or open the Settings page manually with a click on menu (three dots) and selecting Settings > Privacy and services.
  2. Scroll down to the Services group on the page.
  3. There you find the new "Block potentially unwanted apps" option.
  4. Just toggle it to on and you are all set.

Microsoft Edge will check downloads against a database of low-reputation applications. Downloads of files that are on the list will be blocked automatically. The browser displays a "was blocked as unsafe" notification when that happens.

edge pua blocked

You can delete the file or click on the three dots next to the delete button to select Keep instead. Selecting keep overrides the block and saves the file to the local system; this is useful if the security feature blocked a program that you trust and want to download.

Closing Word

The blocking of potentially unwanted apps can be a useful security feature, especially for inexperienced users. There is the chance of false positives, but since you are able to override the block, you are still able to download any file you require even if it is flagged by Microsoft.

Now you: what is your take on the blocking of potentially unwanted apps? (via Betanews)

You can now block potentially unwanted apps in Microsoft Edge
Article Name
You can now block potentially unwanted apps in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft's new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser may block potentially unwanted applications from being downloaded in the latest version.
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  1. ULBoom said on February 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Same comment, slightly different spin: Can Edge block itself?

    Would Edge self immolate pondering the unponderable?

  2. Latrobe said on February 4, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Can it block all the unwanted Windows 10 telemetry?

  3. Sonny Black said on February 4, 2020 at 12:18 am

    > You can now block potentially unwanted apps in Microsoft Edge

    Can it block Microsoft software? I would like that.

  4. Yuliya said on February 4, 2020 at 12:06 am

    PUA??? Wtf, what was wong with PUP?

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