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. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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