This Popular Ad Blocker Now Works With Microsoft’s Edge Browser

August 2, 2016, 5:00 PM UTC
A laptop computer featuring Windows 10 is seen on display at Microsoft Build in San Francisco
A laptop computer featuring Windows 10 is seen on display at Microsoft Build.
Photograph by Robert Galbraith — Reuters

The first major update to Microsoft’s Windows 10 started rolling out Tuesday, and one key feature is the introduction of extensions to the Edge browser that debuted with the operating system a year ago.

That means Edge users can start deploying ad blockers, as they already can in Google’s (GOOG) Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) older browser, Internet Explorer. And Adblock Plus, one of the most widely used ad-blockers with more than 100 million active users, is ready.

“Adblock Plus was already available for Microsoft Edge before but could only be installed by participants of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program,” the German outfit said in a blog post. “Today marks a release to the general public and we are very excited to welcome all Microsoft Edge users to the ad blocking community.”

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Whereas Adblock Plus for Internet Explorer required tons of special code, Edge is more standards-based—the whole point of the browser is to give Microsoft a more modern alternative to Internet Explorer, in order to better compete with Chrome and Firefox. That means it’s easy for developers such as Adblock Plus to just modify code they’ve already written for the likes of Chrome, in order to create a new extension for Edge.

“We have been working closely with Microsoft to bring this version to life, and we feel very grateful for the opportunity,” the post read.

For now, Adblock Plus for Edge is out there but under development as a “beta” product—as the post noted, there are still “some issues and limitations.” However, Microsoft will roll out the Windows 10 “Anniversary Update” in waves, so there’s some time to play with until the extension-friendly version of Edge is in everyone’s hands.

For now, this is a PC-only affair. Adblock Plus is not currently working on a version of its extension for Windows 10 phones.

For more on Windows 10, watch our video.

The similarly-named Adblock also has an extension for Edge, so users of Microsoft’s browser have more than one way to avoid online ads, denying publishers some income.

The big Windows 10 update also lets Edge users sign into services using the Windows Hello biometric system, which already lets people log into the operating system with their fingerprints or by letting the webcam scan their faces.

Browsers aside, Windows Hello will also work with various apps. The update also makes the Cortana virtual assistant more useful, adds new Windows Ink pen-input functionality, and boosts the integration between the Windows 10 and Xbox gaming platforms.

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