Microsoft is testing a new feature for its Edge web browser that will allow you to suspend all extensions from running on specific websites with a single click, allowing users to have better control over which extensions are running on websites at risky or sensitive.
Usually, browsers like Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome cannot automatically run extensions in incognito mode due to privacy restrictions, as extensions often require access to website data, which could be a problem if users accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) installed harmful and invasive extensions.
As Windows Latest reports, this new feature will bring Edge closer to what rival browser Chrome can deliver, although there are some notable differences. The update was spotted by reddit user u/Leopeva64-2 who provided screenshots of the new feature being tested on the Edge Canary channel.
First, the feature tested on Edge will stop everything extensions on a specific website rather than individual selections, which you can already enable/disable.
Google Chrome, on the other hand, lets you select a specific extension from websites for better optimization – for example, if you want to disable a price comparison tool that takes up too much space, but allow an ad blocker. .
Chrome does not yet have the ability to block all extensions on sensitive websites, so to replicate this you will need to manually select all of your downloaded extensions and suspend them from running on selective domains.
The extension block is also only temporary on Edge right now, and a banner will appear saying “We have suspended extensions on this site to keep your data sharing minimal”. The length of this temporary break is unclear.
We suspect that if this feature goes live outside of the Edge Canary beta test channel, we’ll see future optimizations that will allow individual extensions to be paused on specific websites. At this time, it’s unclear when the general public can expect this feature to roll out to the public version of Edge.
Clearly Microsoft is seriously considering trying to make Edge a formidable rival to Chrome, but with Google’s browser still dominating with nearly 65% market share as of March 2022 (according to Statista), the underdog still has a very long way to go. before it topped the list of best web browsers.
Analysis: extensions need real blacklists
Browser extensions can be both a blessing and a nuisance. They can help you optimize your time online, from finding better deals through price comparison tools to blocking annoying pop-ups, but results may vary depending on the sites you visit.
It can be frustrating if the ad blocker you’re using also makes content you’d actually want to see inaccessible because extensions have mistaken it for something malicious, or other useful tools used for online shopping suddenly block content on your favorite sites.
Suspending individual extensions is certainly a flex Chrome can keep above Edge for now, but actually blacklisting specific websites from extensions is a messy and convoluted situation. to whitelist certain websites so that the extension of your choice is only running on them, it has no natively supported blacklist functionality apart from the break.
Many extensions have their own individual permissions that can be changed, but having additional universal freedom would allow even greater control for users. The issue here, of course, is privacy, which will likely prevent us from seeing this kind of power granted to browser users for some time, if ever.