Microsoft Edge's new logo on Windows 10's light desktop background.

Microsoft Edge has a new crapware blocker, but it isn’t enabled by default. It’s now available for everyone using the Chromium-based Edge browser with the stable release of Edge 80 on February 7, 2020.

“Potentially Unwanted Apps” Are Crapware

This browser feature blocks “potentially unwanted apps,” which are also known as “potentially unwanted programs.” PUPs include obnoxious features like adware, trackers, browser toolbars, cryptocurrency miners, and other junk you almost certainly don’t want on your PC. PUPs have been called “malware with a legal team.” You give permission to install this junk when you click through the license agreement, so it’s not technically malware.

Microsoft won’t be blocking crapware downloads by default in Microsoft Edge, so you have to know it exists and head into Settings to find it. There’s a quick toggle that will force Edge to block this junk. It works similarly to the hidden option that makes Windows Defender block crapware on your desktop.

Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers already block potentially dangerous downloads, but this option makes Edge go even farther and block some junkware it would normally allow.

RELATED: How to Enable Windows Defender’s Secret Crapware Blocker

How to Block Potentially Unwanted Programs in Edge

To enable the crapware blocker in the new Microsoft Edge, click menu > Settings.

Opening Settings in Microsoft Edge.

Click the “Privacy, search, and services” option in the left pane.

Selecting Privacy and services settings in the Chromium-based Edge browser.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list here. Under Security, enable the “Block potentially unwanted apps” option.

Enabling Microsoft Edge's junkware blocker

You can now close the Settings page. Microsoft Edge will be more aggressive about blocking downloads that contain potentially obnoxious software.

RELATED: PUPs Explained: What is a "Potentially Unwanted Program"?

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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