Microsoft is testing an video ad-blocker in Edge for Android

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 11, 2022
Microsoft Edge
|
14

Microsoft implemented a new feature in the company's Edge Canary browser for Android. Called Edge Block Video Ads, its purpose is to block video advertisement on sites such as YouTube. The experimental feature complements the mobile browser's built-in content blocker.

edge block video ads

Microsoft Edge for Android has not seen as much of a rise as the desktop version of Edge. In fact, there are not many statistics available when it comes to Edge on Android.

Google's Play Store reveals that Edge was downloaded more than 1o million times, but the figure pales when compared to the more than 100 million downloads of Firefox, Brave, or Opera, and Chrome's more than 10 Billion downloads. The few companies that track stats online do not have any information about Edge for Android either.

ADVERTISEMENT

Content blocking in Edge for Android

Edge for Android has a built-in content blocker, but it is not enabled by default. Users need to open Settings > Privacy and Security > Block Ads to enable it. The content blocker is powered by Adblock Plus and will allow acceptable ads by default. Edge users may turn off the functionality though.

The blocker blocks the majority of ads, but not necessarily video ads. The new experimental option to block video ads complements it.

Here is how it is enabled currently:

  1. Load edge://flags in the address bar of the web browser.
  2. Search for "video".
  3. Locate the "Edge Block Video Ads" experiment on the results page.
  4. Set it to Enabled.
  5. Restart Microsoft Edge for Android.

The new video ad blocking functionality works Edge-wide. Microsoft makes no mention of the sites that it supports. It worked on YouTube during tests, but may work on other sites as well that play video ads.

Experimental features may land in the final stable version of Edge eventually, but they may also be removed without any notice.

Closing Words

Ads on YouTube especially have become a nuisance for many Internet users, as Google increased the number of ads that YouTube users see noticeably over the past years. Now, users may see ads before, in-between and after videos on the site.

Considering that regular ad blocking is not enabled by default in Edge for Android, it seems likely the video ad blocking will also not be enabled by default, if it should become a feature of the stable version.

Now You: have you tried Edge on Android? Which browser is your main driver on mobile? (via Leopeva64-2)

Summary
Microsoft is testing an video ad-blocker in Edge for Android
Article Name
Microsoft is testing an video ad-blocker in Edge for Android
Description
Microsoft Edge Canary for Android has a new experimental video ad blocker that users may enable to block video ads on YouTube and other sites.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Advertisement

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «

Comments

  1. Kelso said on September 11, 2022 at 9:30 am
    Reply

    How RUDE! Blocking Google from making money, using google based software on a google platform. BURN.

  2. ECJ said on September 11, 2022 at 2:38 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft should just bite the bullet and include a native content blocker on both desktop and mobile, with user selectable/custom filter lists, like Brave does.

    If fact, they should just use Brave’s content blocker. The Brave content blocker is open-source and freely licenced.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbko-tcviFc&t=963s

    1. ShintoPlasm said on September 11, 2022 at 3:54 pm
      Reply

      They already include a version of Adblock Plus, without the custom list option.

  3. Allwynd said on September 11, 2022 at 3:41 pm
    Reply

    They have no reason to do it. Edge is not build to make people’s life easier, it’s goal is to become as bloated as possible so that it can compete with every other possible browser. If they wanted to implement good built-in ad-block on mobile, they would’ve allowed users more freedom, but they just did the easiest and laziest thing possible and just implemented a gimped version of ABP just so they can advertise it on Google Play for having ad-block and it can block only the simplest of ads and granma and granpa will see some ads blocked and deem this the pinnacle of human engineering.

  4. Anonymous said on September 11, 2022 at 8:16 pm
    Reply

    This is ideal for the situation depicted in the screenshot above. Those irritating, too loud auto-playing YouTube shorts, as well as any other Instagram or TikTok nonsense. That reminds me that I need to test my uBlock filter in AdGuard for YouTube Shorts. Hopefully, Microsoft will offer a full-fledged built-in ad blocker soon. But I doubt it because they are as wicked as Google.

  5. Jojo said on September 11, 2022 at 10:49 pm
    Reply

    Too many separate entities are blocking ads, sometimes causing conflicts.

    I’ve been using UBlock Origin for ad blocking but I recently discovered that Ghostery is blocking ads when some pages began getting screwy.

    Now add in browser blocking and who knows who else and well never be able to figure out who is messing up page display.

    So: Does anyone know what is causing those blue circles with a small horizontal bar in the middle in Chrome?

    1. Anonymous said on September 13, 2022 at 3:11 am
      Reply

      If you install a lot of blockers, of course there will be conflict. ublock author’s and many other blocking extension authors too said this on their page.

      ublock or native blocker is usually enough, ublock is more advanced but native blockers are catching up.

  6. Iron Heart said on September 12, 2022 at 7:42 am
    Reply

    Microsoft’s adblocker in Edge is still a complete joke. They now block some video ads so that users notice it and go: “Uh oh, Edge is now blocking YouTube ads, I can’t believe this!!!!!!” …while they leave other ads untouched, because you can’t hurt big tech brother Google too badly, eh?

    Anyway, if you want good(!) adblocking on Android I can’t recommend Kiwi Browser + uBlock Origin enough. Superb performance + a very clean web experience. Second to this would be Brave with its internal adblocker. For YouTube specifically, I also use the NewPipe app with SponsorBlock:

    https://github.com/gilbsgilbs/NewPipeSponsorBlock

    https://github.com/polymorphicshade/NewPipe/releases

    It differs from the normal NewPipe in that you can optionally turn on SponsorBlock in the settings, and you can also turn the dislike view back on in the settings as well. It supports background playback too. Can’t recommend enough if you want a clean YouTube experience on Android.

    1. Jojo said on September 12, 2022 at 9:39 am
      Reply

      Blokada works for me on Android.

    2. Anonymous said on September 12, 2022 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      All native adblockers are a joke, the only one that seems to be almost there is Brave but they are still missing couple features.
      But eventually not even Brave will work like happens on Twitch, where you have to use uBlock advanced users to sideload a script that sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t and I think it still sends the stream to 480p to avoid ads, better than nothing, if not people would have to use the proxy version to avoid ads. But I don’t think it is something that can be used in other adblockers but uBlock.

      Anyway, eventually Youtube might to the same, they are actually nicer than Amazon since they fight adblockers but don’t add super greedy technologies.

      So you can look at the little fly on the wall all you want, the truth is only Brave has worked in a decent native adblocker because it is the closest thing to uBlock and it is still not there for many small reasons, but it is the only one that will do it when Manifestv3 finally is the only thing and Kiwi and uBlock will not be a thing anymore, let’s be honest Kiwi won’t be able to upgrade to newer Chromium versions and keep Manifestv2.

      But, Opera is worst than Vivaldi and Vivaldi is not that great because it is missing too many features, so why would Edge be any better? At least they are doing something but a company like Google of course will keep changing and changing trying to stop adblockers and find new ways to serve ads that are harder to block.

      1. Kiwi4Eva said on September 12, 2022 at 7:43 pm
        Reply

        Let’s be honest: you risk absolutely nothing using a version of Kiwi that still functions with uBlock origin. This is android we are talking about, you will not get any android virus by surfing around. You can use Kiwi for YEARS without any risk. Heck, I even have an old android tablet with version 4.4 and an ancient version of Kiwi+uBlock Origin, works like a charm.

      2. Iron Heart said on September 12, 2022 at 9:56 pm
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        Well, yes, you are right of course. Some companies like Twitch go out of their way to deliver their ads to you, in their case they have embedded them into the videos themselves. Facebook made a similar hard-to-circumvent move against tracking parameter stripping recently: https://www.ghacks.net/2022/07/17/facebook-has-started-to-encrypt-links-to-counter-privacy-improving-url-stripping/

        It has been and will always be a cat and mouse game most likely. As you’ve already alluded to, uBlock Origin also struggled with Twitch ads for quite a while (and is still somewhat hit and miss from what I read, but better than others). Brave also struggles with it, and any other adblocker really. Twitch is bothersome indeed.

        All I can say is that, in my experience, Brave has been making steady progress with its built-in adblocker, and it is already supporting most of uBO’s rules. I am fairly certain that they will also add support for the rest in time – there is no technical limitation going forward at least, as Brave’s internal adblocker is not an extension and thus unaffected by whatever impact Manifest V3 will have. I am also pretty sure that Kiwi will just adopt Manifest V3 eventually, thereby downgrading adblocking a bit sadly, instead of giving up on Chromium updates entirely (problematic for security reasons…).

        Pretty sure that adblocking will continue to thrive one way or another – I mean, even for ads that are part of the video (“our sponsor XYZ” etc.) there are creative solutions like e.g. SponsorBlock already. I’m staying fairly optimistic for now, despite the nastiness of some companies.

  7. AAA said on September 12, 2022 at 4:52 pm
    Reply

    Brave is such a smooth browser no matter how much fingering I do with the settings. It always seems to impress me. Saved my old potato MacBook Air, and works like a charm on Desktop PC, even better than Edge Chromium. However, if edge does come up with decent tracking and adblock built-in features then I’ll switch, in the meantime, Samsung Internet with ADP is working fine for me.

    1. Anonymous said on September 13, 2022 at 2:46 am
      Reply

      Well, you can use Samsung with Adguard extension, it is better than ABP.

      The truth is Brave has a nice adblocker, but they have a big problem, I don’t know if it is because they became ‘big’, as a bigger company than when they started but for example they don’t let you turn off or on any internal filter list, which means they can do anything with it, like whitelist Startpage, Brave, Yandex and you can’t do anything to stop that.

      Vivaldi for example has a partners adblock list, imagine if they didn’t let you turn that off.

      Brave doesn’t care, so even if their browser will become better and better, it is just terrible because they can break and fix Brave filter lists to their liking.

      Edge it is good and offers nice features on desktop, but I would only recommend it if you have like a Windows PC and then you have other devices. It has nice integration even with the authenticator but I would rather use other browser, especially on android. Brave is nice but I don’t think they will change their many weird issues, even if their adblocker is really close to what uBlock is, I hate their attitude sometimes, of some people working on Brave, I mean, sometimes I wish they would just close the issue as “wontfix” and that’s it, instead of just ignoring people and their many feature requests on Github.

      I think Vivaldi is decent but they really don’t have much documentation about their adblocker so it is impossible to know which syntax is the one you can use and what features they have adopted from Adguard or ABP or both.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.