Categories
Life hack

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like other modern browsers, Microsoft Edge includes some features that send your data over the Internet. A few of them even send your browser history to Microsoft. We don’t advise you disable all these features, as they do useful things. But we’ll explain what the various options do so you can make informed decisions.

To just browse without leaving tracks on your local PC, open a private browsing window by clicking menu > New InPrivate Window.

Hide the Feed on Your New Tab Page

When you open a new tab, Edge shows you a list of “top sites” you might want to visit as well as an MSN-powered feed of news, weather, and sports content. If you don’t want Edge contacting Microsoft’s servers to download this content, you can disable it and use a more minimal new tab page.

Click Edge’s menu > Settings to access this and other settings. Under “Open new tabs with”, select “A blank page” if you want a blank page with a search box or “Top sites” to see only top sites and hide the news feed.

Edge’s “Start page” will always show the news feed when you open a new Edge window. To hide the feed when you launch Edge, click the “Open Microsoft Edge with” box and select “New tab page”. You could also select “Previous pages” to reopen whatever pages you had open before you closed Edge, or “A specific page or pages” to have Edge open one or more specific web pages.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Choose Whether Edge Syncs Favorites, Reading List, and Passwords

By default, Microsoft Edge automatically synchronizes your favorite websites and reading list via the Microsoft account you sign into Windows 10 with. Your favorites and reading list will be the same on all your PCs, and you’ll be able to restore your favorites just by signing into a new Windows 10 PC with the same Microsoft account.

If you don’t want Edge syncing your data, click menu > Settings and disable the “Sync your favorites and reading list” option. Edge will keep it on your local PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

If you choose to save passwords in Edge, Edge will store them in the Windows Credential Manager. Windows 10 will sync your saved passwords between your devices by default, too.

To choose whether or not Edge syncs saved passwords, click “Device sync settings” here or head to Settings > Accounts > Sync Your Settings. Toggle the “Passwords” option on or off.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Configure Edge’s Privacy and Service Settings

Edge has other privacy settings. To find them, scroll down to the bottom of the Settings pane and click the “View Advanced Settings” button.

Scroll down to the “Privacy and services” section to find these options.

  • Offer to save passwords: Edge will offer to save passwords and sync them by default, but you can disable this option and Edge won’t save passwords. Either way, they’ll only be synced between your devices if you have the “Passwords” sync setting enabled. If you disable that option, Edge will only store the saved passwords on your own PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Save form entries: Edge will save what you type into forms on web pages, allowing you to quickly fill forms with your name, address, and other details in the future. This data isn’t synced with your Microsoft account, so it’s just saved on your PC.
  • Send Do Not Track requests: If you enable this option, Microsoft Edge will send a “Do Not Track” request with your web browsing traffic. Most websites ignore this request, so it isn’t a silver bullet.
  • Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge: Cortana is enabled in Edge by default and pipes up with information related to what you’re visiting. For example, when you watch a music video, Cortana will ask if you want the lyrics. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you use Cortana in Edge. You can disable the Cortana integration to prevent this from happening.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Show search suggestions as I type: Edge will send everything you type in your address bar to your search engine—Bing by default, although you can change it to Google or another search engine from here—and show you suggestions as you’re typing. If you disable this option, Edge will only send searches to your search engine when you press Enter.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Cookies: By default, Edge will accept all cookies from websites. Websites use these to save your login status and other preferences. You can choose to “Block all cookies”, but then you won’t be able to sign into websites and the web will be more annoying. You could also select “Block only third-party cookies” to block cookies unless they’re from the precise website you’re visiting. Third-party cookies are often used by advertising tracking networks, for example, although they can be used for other purposes.
  • Let sites save protected media licenses on my device: Music and video-streaming websites that use DRM may store license information on your PC. If you disable this option, Netflix and other media-streaming websites may not function properly.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better: Edge guesses which links you might click on web pages and preloads web pages it thinks you might visit to speed up your browsing. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you enable this feature. You can disable this option to prevent this, but web pages may be a bit slower to load.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen filter: When you visit a web page, Edge checks it against a list of known-dangerous websites. Edge downloads a list of safe web pages to speed things up. When you visit a website, Edge checks it against the list on your PC to see if it’s safe. If it doesn’t appear on the list, Edge sends the address of the page to Microsoft’s servers to see if it’s dangerous. Edge uses this same process to protect you from dangerous file downloads, too. We don’t recommend you disable this feature, as it helps protect you from phishing and malware websites. However, you can disable it to prevent Edge from checking web pages you visit with Microsoft.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like the rest of Windows 10, Microsoft will automatically update the Edge browser via Windows Update, ensuring you always have the latest security updates. There’s no way to disable this, and you shouldn’t try. Automatic web browser security updates are important.

by Latest Tech Apps · April 18, 2017

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like other modern browsers, Microsoft Edge includes some features that send your data over the Internet. A few of them even send your browser history to Microsoft. We don’t advise you disable all these features, as they do useful things. But we’ll explain what the various options do so you can make informed decisions.

To just browse without leaving tracks on your local PC, open a private browsing window by clicking menu > New InPrivate Window.

Hide the Feed on Your New Tab Page

When you open a new tab, Edge shows you a list of “top sites” you might want to visit as well as an MSN-powered feed of news, weather, and sports content. If you don’t want Edge contacting Microsoft’s servers to download this content, you can disable it and use a more minimal new tab page.

Click Edge’s menu > Settings to access this and other settings. Under “Open new tabs with”, select “A blank page” if you want a blank page with a search box or “Top sites” to see only top sites and hide the news feed.

Edge’s “Start page” will always show the news feed when you open a new Edge window. To hide the feed when you launch Edge, click the “Open Microsoft Edge with” box and select “New tab page”. You could also select “Previous pages” to reopen whatever pages you had open before you closed Edge, or “A specific page or pages” to have Edge open one or more specific web pages.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Choose Whether Edge Syncs Favorites, Reading List, and Passwords

By default, Microsoft Edge automatically synchronizes your favorite websites and reading list via the Microsoft account you sign into Windows 10 with. Your favorites and reading list will be the same on all your PCs, and you’ll be able to restore your favorites just by signing into a new Windows 10 PC with the same Microsoft account.

If you don’t want Edge syncing your data, click menu > Settings and disable the “Sync your favorites and reading list” option. Edge will keep it on your local PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

If you choose to save passwords in Edge, Edge will store them in the Windows Credential Manager. Windows 10 will sync your saved passwords between your devices by default, too.

To choose whether or not Edge syncs saved passwords, click “Device sync settings” here or head to Settings > Accounts > Sync Your Settings. Toggle the “Passwords” option on or off.

You can also control the other types of data Windows 10 syncs here.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Configure Edge’s Privacy and Service Settings

Edge has other privacy settings. To find them, scroll down to the bottom of the Settings pane and click the “View Advanced Settings” button.

Scroll down to the “Privacy and services” section to find these options.

  • Offer to save passwords: Edge will offer to save passwords and sync them by default, but you can disable this option and Edge won’t save passwords. Either way, they’ll only be synced between your devices if you have the “Passwords” sync setting enabled. If you disable that option, Edge will only store the saved passwords on your own PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Save form entries: Edge will save what you type into forms on web pages, allowing you to quickly fill forms with your name, address, and other details in the future. This data isn’t synced with your Microsoft account, so it’s just saved on your PC.
  • Send Do Not Track requests: If you enable this option, Microsoft Edge will send a “Do Not Track” request with your web browsing traffic. Most websites ignore this request, so it isn’t a silver bullet.
  • Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge: Cortana is enabled in Edge by default and pipes up with information related to what you’re visiting. For example, when you watch a music video, Cortana will ask if you want the lyrics. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you use Cortana in Edge. You can disable the Cortana integration to prevent this from happening.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Show search suggestions as I type: Edge will send everything you type in your address bar to your search engine—Bing by default, although you can change it to Google or another search engine from here—and show you suggestions as you’re typing. If you disable this option, Edge will only send searches to your search engine when you press Enter.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Cookies: By default, Edge will accept all cookies from websites. Websites use these to save your login status and other preferences. You can choose to “Block all cookies”, but then you won’t be able to sign into websites and the web will be more annoying. You could also select “Block only third-party cookies” to block cookies unless they’re from the precise website you’re visiting. Third-party cookies are often used by advertising tracking networks, for example, although they can be used for other purposes.
  • Let sites save protected media licenses on my device: Music and video-streaming websites that use DRM may store license information on your PC. If you disable this option, Netflix and other media-streaming websites may not function properly.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better: Edge guesses which links you might click on web pages and preloads web pages it thinks you might visit to speed up your browsing. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you enable this feature. You can disable this option to prevent this, but web pages may be a bit slower to load.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen filter: When you visit a web page, Edge checks it against a list of known-dangerous websites. Edge downloads a list of safe web pages to speed things up. When you visit a website, Edge checks it against the list on your PC to see if it’s safe. If it doesn’t appear on the list, Edge sends the address of the page to Microsoft’s servers to see if it’s dangerous. Edge uses this same process to protect you from dangerous file downloads, too. We don’t recommend you disable this feature, as it helps protect you from phishing and malware websites. However, you can disable it to prevent Edge from checking web pages you visit with Microsoft.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like the rest of Windows 10, Microsoft will automatically update the Edge browser via Windows Update, ensuring you always have the latest security updates. There’s no way to disable this, and you shouldn’t try. Automatic web browser security updates are important.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like other modern browsers, Microsoft Edge includes some features that send your data over the Internet. A few of them even send your browser history to Microsoft. We don’t advise you disable all these features, as they do useful things. But we’ll explain what the various options do so you can make informed decisions.

To just browse without leaving tracks on your local PC, open a private browsing window by clicking menu > New InPrivate Window.

Hide the Feed on Your New Tab Page

When you open a new tab, Edge shows you a list of “top sites” you might want to visit as well as an MSN-powered feed of news, weather, and sports content. If you don’t want Edge contacting Microsoft’s servers to download this content, you can disable it and use a more minimal new tab page.

Click Edge’s menu > Settings to access this and other settings. Under “Open new tabs with”, select “A blank page” if you want a blank page with a search box or “Top sites” to see only top sites and hide the news feed.

Edge’s “Start page” will always show the news feed when you open a new Edge window. To hide the feed when you launch Edge, click the “Open Microsoft Edge with” box and select “New tab page”. You could also select “Previous pages” to reopen whatever pages you had open before you closed Edge, or “A specific page or pages” to have Edge open one or more specific web pages.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Choose Whether Edge Syncs Favorites, Reading List, and Passwords

By default, Microsoft Edge automatically synchronizes your favorite websites and reading list via the Microsoft account you sign into Windows 10 with. Your favorites and reading list will be the same on all your PCs, and you’ll be able to restore your favorites just by signing into a new Windows 10 PC with the same Microsoft account.

If you don’t want Edge syncing your data, click menu > Settings and disable the “Sync your favorites and reading list” option. Edge will keep it on your local PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

If you choose to save passwords in Edge, Edge will store them in the Windows Credential Manager. Windows 10 will sync your saved passwords between your devices by default, too.

To choose whether or not Edge syncs saved passwords, click “Device sync settings” here or head to Settings > Accounts > Sync Your Settings. Toggle the “Passwords” option on or off.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Configure Edge’s Privacy and Service Settings

Edge has other privacy settings. To find them, scroll down to the bottom of the Settings pane and click the “View Advanced Settings” button.

Scroll down to the “Privacy and services” section to find these options.

  • Offer to save passwords: Edge will offer to save passwords and sync them by default, but you can disable this option and Edge won’t save passwords. Either way, they’ll only be synced between your devices if you have the “Passwords” sync setting enabled. If you disable that option, Edge will only store the saved passwords on your own PC.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Save form entries: Edge will save what you type into forms on web pages, allowing you to quickly fill forms with your name, address, and other details in the future. This data isn’t synced with your Microsoft account, so it’s just saved on your PC.
  • Send Do Not Track requests: If you enable this option, Microsoft Edge will send a “Do Not Track” request with your web browsing traffic. Most websites ignore this request, so it isn’t a silver bullet.
  • Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge: Cortana is enabled in Edge by default and pipes up with information related to what you’re visiting. For example, when you watch a music video, Cortana will ask if you want the lyrics. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you use Cortana in Edge. You can disable the Cortana integration to prevent this from happening.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Show search suggestions as I type: Edge will send everything you type in your address bar to your search engine—Bing by default, although you can change it to Google or another search engine from here—and show you suggestions as you’re typing. If you disable this option, Edge will only send searches to your search engine when you press Enter.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Cookies: By default, Edge will accept all cookies from websites. Websites use these to save your login status and other preferences. You can choose to “Block all cookies”, but then you won’t be able to sign into websites and the web will be more annoying. You could also select “Block only third-party cookies” to block cookies unless they’re from the precise website you’re visiting. Third-party cookies are often used by advertising tracking networks, for example, although they can be used for other purposes.
  • Let sites save protected media licenses on my device: Music and video-streaming websites that use DRM may store license information on your PC. If you disable this option, Netflix and other media-streaming websites may not function properly.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better: Edge guesses which links you might click on web pages and preloads web pages it thinks you might visit to speed up your browsing. Microsoft’s documentation says your web browsing history is sent to Microsoft if you enable this feature. You can disable this option to prevent this, but web pages may be a bit slower to load.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen filter: When you visit a web page, Edge checks it against a list of known-dangerous websites. Edge downloads a list of safe web pages to speed things up. When you visit a website, Edge checks it against the list on your PC to see if it’s safe. If it doesn’t appear on the list, Edge sends the address of the page to Microsoft’s servers to see if it’s dangerous. Edge uses this same process to protect you from dangerous file downloads, too. We don’t recommend you disable this feature, as it helps protect you from phishing and malware websites. However, you can disable it to prevent Edge from checking web pages you visit with Microsoft.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

Like the rest of Windows 10, Microsoft will automatically update the Edge browser via Windows Update, ensuring you always have the latest security updates. There’s no way to disable this, and you shouldn’t try. Automatic web browser security updates are important.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

The Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser was neither the best nor the most recommended web browser out there. Over all these years, the Microsoft Internet Explorer came to have a tag of a slow, sluggish and unresponsive web browser. The tag didn’t go away even after all updates Microsoft pushed on to the web browser. Some users experience other kinds of errors that can affect their daily work schedule. One of these is error 0x800704cf, which could be prompted when you try to access a network PC. Luckily, you can find help online to solve this problem and save some valuable working time. With the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft almost rebuilt their web browser from scratch and gave it a new name. Thus launching the browser we know as Microsoft Edge web browser.

Even though the Microsoft Edge browser features a fresh new look and some awesome features when compared to the Internet Explorer, some Microsoft Edge users have reported that the Edge browser for Microsoft falls short in terms of security and performance. If you are one among those Microsoft Edge browser users, and in case you too feel like the Edge browser is not lacking enough security and performance as per your liking, then we are here today with some ways to optimize Microsoft Edge browser for maximum security and performance.

Optimize Microsoft Edge browser for Maximum Security and Performance:

#Improve Privacy and Safety of Microsoft Edge Browser:

If you are in search for ways to improve the privacy and safety of Microsoft Edge browser installed on your Windows machine, then below is how to do achieve the same.

1 . Remove Saved Passwords on Microsoft Edge Browser:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • To remove saved passwords from your Microsoft Edge browser, first of all, launch the Microsoft Edge browser app from your Windows machine.
  • Now, to the top right corner of the browser window, you can see the “More” option, as depicted by the image below. Click on the same, and then click on the “Settings” option.
  • Within Settings, find the “Advanced Settings” option and click on the same.
  • From Advanced Settings, scroll down until you find the “Manage my Saved Passwords” option and click on the same.
  • Now you will be able to see a list of stored passwords on Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Click the “x” icon next to the passwords you wish to delete from the browser feed.

And from the next time onward, the Edge browser will not store those passwords automatically.

2. Disable Tracking Features on Microsoft Edge Browser:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Launch the Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Click on the “More” button placed to the top right corner of the Edge window.
  • Click on “Settings” and then choose “Advanced Settings”.
  • Turn OFF the “Send Do Not Track Requests” option.

And now, the Microsoft Edge browser will not track your browser activities.

3. Browse using InPrivate Windows in Microsoft Edge Browser:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Windows powered device.
  • Click on the “More” button that is available at the top right-most corner of your Edge browser window.
  • Now, click on the “New InPrivate Window” option.

And now, all your browser activities are made private. No history, cache or any data will be stored by the Edge browser.

#Improve Performance of Microsoft Edge Browser:

If you are interested in improving the performance and speed, then you have to optimize Microsoft Edge browser. So here are some ways to do so.

1. Customize About: Flags Settings on Microsoft Edge Browser:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Launch the Microsoft Edge browser and in the Address bar type in “about: flags“.
  • This will provide you with some developer-kind settings that are normally hidden from users.
  • In the settings list, you will be able to customize several Developer settings as well as experimental features that may give you a more optimized experience of the Microsoft Edge browser and can also help improve the performance of the browser.

2. Delete Stored Cookies, Cache and Saved Website Files on Microsoft Edge Browser:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • Double-click and launch the Edge browser and click on the “More” option that is present at the top right corner of the browser.
  • Now choose “Settings” and then under “Clear Browsing Data”, click on the “Choose what to Clear” button.
  • From the list that appears, select the “Cookies and Saved Website Data” and the “Cached Data and Files” options and then click on the “Clear” button.

Now all the cache files, cookies and other information saved about different websites on your Microsoft Edge browser will be cleared.

3. Remove Pop-Up Windows and other Glitches from Microsoft Edge browser using Command Prompt:

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

    • Press the Windows key + X key on your keyboard from anywhere on your desktop.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacy

  • From the menu that appears on your display, select the “Command Prompt(Admin)” option.
  • In the Command Prompt window that appears, type the command , without the “<>” braces and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Now, your Windows system will be scanned for any potential errors, bugs or other glitches that maybe causing the unnecessary pop-ups or any other similar glitches on your Microsoft Edge browser.

Final Words:

Do you found our little guide on the best ways to optimize Microsoft Edge browser useful? If yes then do share this guide with your friends to help them get better along with the all-new Microsoft Edge browser.

Original Title: Microsoft edge

Why is Microsoft Edge so slow and laggy. You would of thought that in this day and age that Microsoft would have this worked out by now, even due to the fact that explorer was a complete and utter failure. Microsoft, I don’t think that you guys know the difference between s**t and clay. Let me explain it to you this way, Microsoft Edge is s**t and internet explorer is clay. I hope I am getting through to you guys as it is embarrassing to come back to this all over again after all these years. I think the only way you people will learn from this is if us customers hit you where it hurts which is in the pocket and boycott windows altogether. Maybe this is the best road to go down people because with Microsoft Edge, all we have done is gone in circles. What do you recon Microsoft hey.

Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community. Let me help you.

If you are facing slow performance in Microsoft Edge, I suggest you to go through the answer provided by jmkoffler for a similar issue and check if it resolves the issue.

Refer most helpful reply.

I hope the information helps. If you need any further assistance, please feel free to contact us again. We will be happy to assist you further.

2 people found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?

Sorry this didn’t help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

Microsoft’s brand-new Edge browser lets you control how much data you share when browsing.

Microsoft’s new Edge browser may share the same underpinnings as the popular Chrome web browser, but it takes a much more active role in minding your privacy than Google’s browser does . Microsoft’s Chromium-based browser for Windows 10 ($150 at Amazon) and MacOS gives you control over how you are tracked across the web and what browsing data Edge keeps. And it comes with an anti-phishing and anti-malware tool called Microsoft Defender SmartScreen that monitors the websites you visit for fishy behavior.

With the goal of minding your personal information, Microsoft Edge joins the Brave and Firefox browsers in protecting you from trackers that gather your browsing history, cryptominers that use your device’s resources to mine cryptocurrency and fingerprinters that uniquely identify you based on your device. Meanwhile, Google Chrome’s privacy tools are limited, although Google said it intended to beef up the browser’s privacy-protection tools soon.

Here’s how to use Edge’s privacy tools to guard your browsing data.

How to use Microsoft Edge tracking prevention settings

Like Brave and Firefox, the new Edge browser lets you tune your browser privacy settings to block trackers that monitor and collect your activity as you visit sites across the web. Here’s how to manage Edge’s privacy settings.

Edge lets you control your level of tracking protection.

Screenshot by Clifford Colby/CNET

1. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right, and select Settings.

2. Now, on the left, tap Privacy and services.

Edge gives you three tracking-prevention tiers to help you find a balance between how much you are tracked and the website functionality you may lose by blocking tracking.

3. Choose Edge’s Basic prevention to allow most trackers but block the most harmful ones — those used for cryptomining and those used for fingerprinting, which collect your browser and computer settings to create a unique profile of you. Select Balanced to block trackers from sites you haven’t visited, as well as harmful trackers. And pick Strict to block most trackers from all sites. As you crank you the prevention, some sites may not work as you’d expect.

By default, Edge uses the Balanced setting.

How to clear Edge’s browsing data

Edge also lets you clear your browsing history, either manually or automatically every time you close your browser.

1. In Edge’s Privacy and services settings window, scroll down to the Clear browsing data section.

2. Tap the Choose What to Clear button to immediately clear out your browsing and download history, cookies and cached files. Tap the arrow to the right of Choose what to clear every time you close the browser to select which data you want Edge to wipe out each time you close the window.

More on browsers

  • With Firefox, stop leaking your data across the internet
  • If you care about privacy, this is the browser to use
  • Chrome is not minding your privacy. Here’s how to help it

How to use Edge’s other privacy and security tools

In the Privacy and Services sections of the Privacy and Services setting window, you can turn on and off other Edge tools that mind your data.

In the Privacy section, you turn on Send “Do Not Track” requests to ask websites to not track you. Unhelpfully, websites can use that request to build your online profile , and Apple has removed the Do Not Track request from Safari because of that. By default, Edge has this turned off.

Edge can steer you away from shady sites and apps.

Screenshot by Clifford Colby/CNET

In the Services section, you can use the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen tool to steer you away from shady sites. The tool checks the site you want to visit against a dynamic list of reported phishing, malware, exploit and scam sites to warn you of fraudulent websites.

Still in the Services section, you can have Edge block shady software by toggling on Block potentially unwanted apps.

Contributing Editor, ITworld |

If you’re worried about Windows 10’s Edge browser and privacy, here’s what you need to know and what to do for maximum privacy.

First, get to the screen that controls Edge’s privacy settings. To do it, click the three buttons in the upper right of Edge, scroll to the bottom of the screen that appears and select Settings–>View advanced settings. Scroll down to the Privacy and services section. You’ll find plenty of privacy settings. Click “Learn More” if you want to find out what Microsoft says about Edge and privacy. Then get down to work.

If you are worried someone might steal passwords saved by Edge, first turn off “Offer to save passwords.” Then click “Manage my saved passwords.” You’ll see a list of those that have been saved. Click the X next to any you want to delete.

Just beneath that, turn off “Save form entries” if you’re worried someone else will use Edge and get information you’ve typed into forms.

In the Cookies section, make sure that “Block all cookies” is chosen for maximum protection. But if you run into problems with some Web sites because of that, you can instead choose “Block only third party cookies.” Next turn on “Send Do Not Track requests,” to try and stop you being tracked online. At this point, it’s not clear how useful this is because there’s no real standard for handling Do Not Track requests, but it can’t hurt to choose it.

Cortana is a great digital assistant that’s far superior to Siri. But to do her work, she needs to track things you do. If you don’t think the potential privacy invasions are worth Cortana’s benefits, turn off “Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge.”

You may want to turn off several other settings, although if you do, you’ll turn off some useful Edge features. And not everyone agrees they invade your privacy. However, if you’re worried, turn them off. Switch off “Show search suggestions as I type.” That will make sure that the information you type into the address bar isn’t sent to Microsoft. You can also turn off “Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better.” That will lead to slower-loading pages, but again, information won’t be sent to Microsoft.

Finally, if you’re worried that someone may snoop on your browsing history and cache head back to the main Settings page and under “Clear browsing data” click “Choose what to clear.” On the screen that appears you can choose what types of data you want to clear out, including your history, cookies and saved data, cached data and files, download history, and more. After you do that, click Clear to delete the data you’ve chosen to clear.

This story, “How to protect your privacy in Windows 10’s Edge browser” was originally published by ITworld .

Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld and the author of more than 45 books, including Windows 8 Hacks (O’Reilly, 2012) and How the Internet Works (Que, 2006).

Contributing Editor, ITworld |

If you’re worried about Windows 10’s Edge browser and privacy, here’s what you need to know and what to do for maximum privacy.

First, get to the screen that controls Edge’s privacy settings. To do it, click the three buttons in the upper right of Edge, scroll to the bottom of the screen that appears and select Settings–>View advanced settings. Scroll down to the Privacy and services section. You’ll find plenty of privacy settings. Click “Learn More” if you want to find out what Microsoft says about Edge and privacy. Then get down to work.

If you are worried someone might steal passwords saved by Edge, first turn off “Offer to save passwords.” Then click “Manage my saved passwords.” You’ll see a list of those that have been saved. Click the X next to any you want to delete.

Just beneath that, turn off “Save form entries” if you’re worried someone else will use Edge and get information you’ve typed into forms.

In the Cookies section, make sure that “Block all cookies” is chosen for maximum protection. But if you run into problems with some Web sites because of that, you can instead choose “Block only third party cookies.” Next turn on “Send Do Not Track requests,” to try and stop you being tracked online. At this point, it’s not clear how useful this is because there’s no real standard for handling Do Not Track requests, but it can’t hurt to choose it.

Cortana is a great digital assistant that’s far superior to Siri. But to do her work, she needs to track things you do. If you don’t think the potential privacy invasions are worth Cortana’s benefits, turn off “Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge.”

You may want to turn off several other settings, although if you do, you’ll turn off some useful Edge features. And not everyone agrees they invade your privacy. However, if you’re worried, turn them off. Switch off “Show search suggestions as I type.” That will make sure that the information you type into the address bar isn’t sent to Microsoft. You can also turn off “Use page prediction to speed up browsing, improve reading, and make my overall experience better.” That will lead to slower-loading pages, but again, information won’t be sent to Microsoft.

Finally, if you’re worried that someone may snoop on your browsing history and cache head back to the main Settings page and under “Clear browsing data” click “Choose what to clear.” On the screen that appears you can choose what types of data you want to clear out, including your history, cookies and saved data, cached data and files, download history, and more. After you do that, click Clear to delete the data you’ve chosen to clear.

This story, “How to protect your privacy in Windows 10’s Edge browser” was originally published by ITworld .

Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld and the author of more than 45 books, including Windows 8 Hacks (O’Reilly, 2012) and How the Internet Works (Que, 2006).

Taking back the operating system, one privacy setting at a time.

Microsoft has made attempts to be more transparent with its privacy settings and, while it may have simplified some of the language of its policies, there is still work to be done. Here are five privacy-related settings you can change for a less invasive and more secure Windows 10 experience.

Turn off your location

If you’re using a mobile device, such as a tablet or a laptop, there are plenty of times when allowing Windows 10 and third-party apps to access your location is convenient. But that doesn’t mean that you should leave your location switched on at all times. When your location is switched on, Windows 10 stores your device’s location history for up to 24 hours and allows apps with location permission to access that data.

If you turn your location off, apps that use your location (such as the Maps app) will not be able to find you. You can, however, manually set a default location that apps can use as a stand-in.

To turn off your location, go to Settings > Privacy > Location and the Change button under Location for this device is on and toggle it Off. Below, you can set permissions to allow or restrict individual apps from knowing your location.

How to optimize microsoft edge for maximum privacyScreenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Stop syncing

There’s a lot of syncing going on in Windows 10. If you sign in with a Microsoft account, your settings — including passwords — may be synced across other devices you sign into with the same account. If you turn off syncing, your settings and passwords will not be synced across other devices when you sign in with your Microsoft account, so you’ll need to do things like enter passwords in manually.

To turn off settings syncing, got to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings. You can either turn off all syncing at once, or you can toggle individual sync settings off.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Use a local account

If you’ve disabled syncing across your devices, then there’s little reason to use your Microsoft account to log into your PC. You can use a local account instead that doesn’t require an email, which will prevent Microsoft from collecting information about you. With a local account, you create a username and password for your PC and that’s it. (You will still need a Microsoft account to buy apps from the Windows Store and if you do want to sync files with Microsoft services such as OneDrive, OneNote and Office 365.)

To create a local account, go to Settings > Accounts > Your info, click Sign in with a local account instead and follow the instructions to create a username, password and password hint.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Lock down your lock screen

The lock screen is the first thing anyone sees when they open up your device, and this screen can have a lot of information that you might not want strangers to access.

Here are three things you need to do to lock down your lock and log-in screens:

Make sure your notifications aren’t appearing on the lock screen. Go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and toggle off Show notifications on the lock screen. The downside to turning this feature off, of course, is that you won’t be able to see any notifications until you unlock your device.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Turn off Cortana on the lock screen by opening Cortana and going to Settings > Cortana > Talk to Cortana and toggle off Use Cortana even when my device is locked. The downside to turning this feature off is that you won’t be able to use Cortana while your device is locked. You can also limit her scope on the lock screen (instead of turning her off completely) by unchecking the box for Let Cortana access my calendar, email, messages and Power BI when my device is locked. This way, you’ll still be able to ask Cortana to answer questions that don’t reveal any personal information while your device is locked.

Hide your email address on the login screen by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and making sure that Show account details (e.g. email address) on sign-in screen is toggled off. There’s no downside to turning this feature off, unless you really like seeing your email address.

Turn off your advertising ID

Each Microsoft account has a unique advertising ID that lets the company collect information about you and deliver a personalized ad experience across different platforms. If you sign into Windows 10 with a Microsoft account, those personalized ads will follow you onto your computer — you’ll see them in apps and possibly in the operating system itself (in the Start menu, for example).

To turn these ads off in Windows 10, go to Settings > Privacy > General and toggle off Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app usage. You’ll still see ads, but they won’t be eerily personalized to your tastes and preferences.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Turning this feature off will prevent personalized ads from popping up in your Windows 10 experience, but won’t necessarily keep you from seeing personalized ads when you’re using your Microsoft account on other platforms. To get rid of ads on other platforms, such as in browsers, head to Microsoft’s advertising opt-out page.

Lastly, you can visit Microsoft’s privacy dashboard for your account to see what information it’s storing in the cloud about you, including your browsing and search history in Microsoft Edge and your location data.

Editors’ note: First published Oct. 13, 2016, this article was updated Nov. 8, 2018 with information about the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.