Thursday, July 25, 2019


The transition to Chromium allows Microsoft to expand Edge beyond the Windows world, so macOS builds are also in the works. Linux could get a version of its own as well, but the work in this regard is yet to start.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is trying to focus on the basics, and since privacy has become a priority for the company moving forward, the browser receives more tuning in this regard as well.

The latest Microsoft Edge browser, for example, comes with new options to clear browser data automatically on exit, so the privacy section of the app itself evolved substantially lately as well.

Today, we’re going to discuss this menu in detail, albeit it’s worth keeping in mind that further options could be added in the future when Microsoft completes the development of new privacy settings.

First and foremost, let’s see when you can find all these options. The path is the following:

Microsoft Edge > Menu > Settings > Privacy and services

The top section concerns the browsing data that Microsoft Edge collects and stores locally when browsing the web. This includes information like history, passwords, cookies, and others, and Microsoft Edge allows you to either clear the browser data manually or simply decide what to delete when you close the app.

This latter option is new to Microsoft Edge and was implemented in the latest Dev build.

The next section here comes with a straightforward name: privacy. This time, the options here do not concern data that the browser saves, but the way the application interacts with the pages you load.

For example, Edge lets you enable and disable Do Not Track, a feature that instructs websites not to track you when going online. Also, you can allow sites to check if payment info is saved, but also to manage HTTP/SSL certificates and settings within the app.

If you want to contribute to the development of the browser, this is the place when you can enable such behavior too. Microsoft Edge comes with options to improve Microsoft products by sending data about how you use the browser, but also to send info about the sites you visit in the browser. Both options require an app restart.

The last section is called Services and it includes features which Microsoft says could help improve your browsing experience. For example, you can “use a web service to help resolve navigation errors,” which means that the issues you come across online are submitted to a server where they are diagnosed and you receive a solution to deal with them. By default, this feature is enabled.

Then, you can enable and disable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, a feature that has caused quite a controversy lately. This tool works by keeping an eye on the links you enter in the browser, sending them to Microsoft to be analyzed against a list of potentially dangerous domains. A security researcher discovered that your account’s security identifier is also sent to the company, potentially exposing other details and allowing Microsoft to tell who visits what.

The last option in the privacy menu of Microsoft Edge concerns the address bar, as you can enable and disable search suggestions provided by the search engine. This menu also lets you manage search engine and change the one that you are using in the address bar.

Remember that these settings right here are part of Microsoft Edge Dev at the moment, but given the browser is still a work in progress, they could be slightly different when the final version of the browser launches.

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