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Microsoft Edge is the only browser to natively support Windows Information Protection (WIP), which provides protection to corporate data to help prevent accidental leaks by users on Windows 10 devices.Microsoft Edge support for WIP can be configured to only allow IT mandated apps to access corporate data. It also provides leak controls—such as clipboard protection, encrypting files on. And, of course, only turn it off to download files you know to be safe. Security Center, click App & browser control and choose Warn for SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge. Download Microsoft Edge. It's time to expect more. Microsoft Edge is committed to helping you stay safe on the web. We will help keep you safe on the web and prevent unauthorized access of your browsing data. We will give you visibility into how your browsing data is collected and used so you can make informed decisions.

This article describes the benefits of using Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, explains how it works, and describes how to configure this Microsoft Edge feature.


This article applies to Microsoft Edge version 77 or later.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a service that Microsoft Edge uses to keep you safe while you browse the web. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen provides an early warning system against websites that might engage in phishing attacks or attempt to distribute malware through a focused attack. For more information, watch Video: Secure browsing on Microsoft Edge.


Before Windows 10, version 1703, this feature was called the SmartScreen filter when used within the browser and Microsoft SmartScreen when used outside of the browser.

The benefits of Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen provides several benefits, which are summarized in the following list. These benefits are described in detail in the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen documentation. The benefits are:

  • Anti-phishing and anti-malware support
  • Reputation-based URL and app protection
  • Operating system integration
  • Improved heuristics and diagnostic data
  • Management through Group Policy and Microsoft Intune
  • Blocking URLs associated with potentially unwanted applications

Understand how Microsoft Defender SmartScreen works

A number of inputs contribute to Microsoft Defender SmartScreen warnings. Data is received from many sources, including user feedback, data providers, and intelligence models. This data is used to help identify potentially malicious content. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen also checks downloaded apps or app installers to see if they're malicious. In both scenarios, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen warns users appropriately about suspicious content.

Site analysis

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen determines whether a site is potentially malicious by:

  • Analyzing visited webpages for indications of suspicious behavior.
  • Checking the visited sites against a dynamic record of reported phishing sites.

If Microsoft Defender SmartScreen determines that a page is malicious, it will show a warning page to notify the user that that site is reported as unsafe. The next screenshot shows an example of a Microsoft Defender SmartScreen warning page when a user tries to open a malicious website.

Users are given the option of reporting a site as safe or unsafe within the warning message. For more information, see how to report a site.

File analysis

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen determines whether a downloaded app or app installer is potentially malicious based on many criteria, such as download traffic, download history, past anti-virus results, and URL reputation.

  • Files with a known safe reputation will download without any notification.

  • Files with a known malicious reputation show a warning to let the user know that the file is unsafe and has been reported as malicious. The next screenshot is an example of a warning for a malicious file.

  • Files that are unknown show a warning to let the user know that the download doesn't have a known footprint and advise caution. The next screenshot is an example of a warning for an unknown file.

Not all unknown programs are malicious, and the unknown warning is intended to provide context and guidance for users who need it, especially if the warning is unexpected.

However, users can still download and run the application by clicking ... Keep Show More Keep anyway.


FYI for Enterprise Customers. By default, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen lets users bypass warnings. Because this user interaction is potentially risky, we recommend that you review these recommended group policy settings.

You see how Microsoft Defender SmartScreen responds to different scenarios using our demo site.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen and user privacy

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen protects users while they browse the Internet by using a reputation check system. Microsoft Edge passes relevant information about the URL or file to the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen service to start the reputation check. The check compares the website or file against dynamic lists of sites and files that are known to be dangerous. All requests to the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen service are made with TLS encryption. The service returns the results of the reputation check, which might lead to Microsoft Edge showing a warning for the site or file. These results are stored locally on the device.

The Microsoft Defender SmartScreen service stores data about reputation checks. As new sites are identified, the service adds to a dynamic database of known malicious URLs and files. This data is stored on secure Microsoft servers and is only used for Microsoft security services. This data will never be used to identify or target users in any way. Clearing browsing cache clears all locally stored Microsoft Defender SmartScreen URL data. Clearing download history will remove any locally stored SmartScreen data about file downloads.

For more information about Microsoft Defender SmartScreen and privacy on Microsoft Edge, read the Microsoft Edge Privacy Whitepaper.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen setup for admins

Admins can configure Microsoft Defender SmartScreen using Group Policy, Microsoft Intune, or mobile device management (MDM) settings. Based on how you set up Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, you can show users a warning page and let them continue to the site or block the site entirely.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen set up using Group Policy

For a complete list of SmartScreen policies, seeMicrosoft Defender SmartScreen settings

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen set up using MDM

For more information, see:

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen setup for users

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on by default for Microsoft Edge. To turn off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, go to edge://settings/privacy > Services > Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. This setting is the same for all profiles associated with the installation of Microsoft Edge on a device. This setting is not synced across devices. The setting applies to InPrivate browsing and Guest mode. If a device is managed with group policies set by an organization, this configuration will be reflected in edge://settings/privacy.


Users can set up Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for an individual device unless Group Policy or MDM is configured to prevent it. For more information, see set up and use Microsoft Defender SmartScreen on individual devices.

Frequently asked questions

How does the reputation check system work?

As you browse the web, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen categorizes websites and downloads as top traffic, dangerous, or unknown. Top traffic is popular sites that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen has determined are trustworthy. If you go to a site marked as dangerous, Microsoft Defender SmartScreen immediately blocks you from accessing the site. When you go to an unknown site, Microsoft DefenderSmartScreen checks its reputation to determine if you should access the site.

See also


Capabilities are options that you may use to customize and configure an EdgeDriver session. To learn about starting a new EdgeDriver session, navigate to Automating Microsoft Edge. This article describes all supported capabilities for Microsoft Edge and details on passing the capabilities to EdgeDriver sessions.

Capabilities are passed to a WebDriver session as a JSON map. WebDriver language bindings typically provide type-safe convenience methods so you don't need to configure the JSON map yourself. Different WebDriver language bindings use different mechanisms to configure capabilities. Navigate to the documentation for your preferred language binding to learn more about how to configure capabilities. Selenium configures capabilities through the EdgeOptions class.

Microsoft Edge Safe

Using the EdgeOptions class

Create an instance of EdgeOptions, which provides convenience methods to set Microsoft Edge-specific capabilities. After you configure the EdgeOptions object, pass EdgeOptions into the EdgeDriver constructor.

To use capabilities that don't have an associated convenience method, use the AddAdditionalCapability method. You must pass the full name of the capability and a value with the correct type. To review the full list of accepted capabilities and value types, navigate to EdgeOptions object.

Recognized Capabilities

For standard capabilities that EdgeDriver accepts, navigate to Selenium documentation and the W3C WebDriver standard. This article only lists capabilities specific to Microsoft Edge.

EdgeOptions object

Most Microsoft Edge-specific capabilities are exposed through the EdgeOptions object. In some languages, the capabilities are implemented by the EdgeOptions class. In other languages, the capabilities are stored under the ms:edgeOptions dictionary in DesiredCapabilities.

CapabilityTypeDefault valueDetails
argslist of stringsList of command-line arguments to use when starting Microsoft Edge. Arguments with an associated value should be separated by a = sign (for example, ['start-maximized', 'user-data-dir=/tmp/temp_profile']).
binarystringPath to the Microsoft Edge binary to use (on macOS, the path should be the actual binary, not just the app. for example, /Applications/Microsoft Edge).
debuggerAddressstringAn address of a debugger server to which to connect, in the form of hostname/ip:port, for example
detachbooleanfalseIf false, Microsoft Edge quits when the WebDriver service shuts down, even if the WebDriver local end hasn't closed the session. If true, Microsoft Edge only quits if the WebDriver local end closes the session. If true, and the WebDriver local end does not close the session, EdgeDriver does not clean up the temporary user data folder used by the Microsoft Edge instance.
excludeSwitcheslist of stringsList of Microsoft Edge command line switches to exclude that EdgeDriver by default passes when starting Microsoft Edge. Avoid the -- prefix for switches.
extensionslist of stringsA list of extensions to install on startup. Each item in the list should be a base-64 encoded packed extension (.crx).
localStatedictionaryA dictionary with each entry consisting of the name of the preference and the value. The preferences are applied to the Local State file in the user data folder.
minidumpPathstringDirectory to store Microsoft Edge minidumps. (Supported only on Linux.)
mobileEmulationdictionaryA dictionary with either a value for deviceName, or values for deviceMetrics and userAgent.
perfLoggingPrefsdictionaryAn optional dictionary that specifies performance logging preferences. for more information, navigate to perfLoggingPrefs object.
prefsdictionaryA dictionary with each entry consisting of the name of the preference and the value. The preferences are only applied to the user profile in use. For examples, navigate to the Preferences file in the user data folder of Microsoft Edge.
wdpAddressstringAn address of a Windows Device Portal server to which you connect, in the form of hostname/ip:port, for example For more information, navigate to Remote Debugging - Windows 10 devices.
wdpPasswordstringOptional password to use when connecting to a Windows Device Portal server. Required if the server has authentication enabled.
wdpUsernamestringOptional user name to use when connecting to a Windows Device Portal server. Required if the server has authentication enabled.
windowsAppstringApplication user model ID of a Microsoft Edge app package to launch, for example Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge.Stable_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MSEDGE. Use windowsApp instead of binary when connecting to a Windows 10X device or emulator using Windows Device Portal.
windowTypeslist of stringsA list of window types that are displayed in the list of window handles. For access to Android webview elements, include webview in the list.

perfLoggingPrefs object

The perfLoggingPrefs dictionary has the following format (all keys are optional).

KeyTypeDefault valueDetails
bufferUsageReportingIntervalpositive integer1000The requested number of milliseconds between DevTools trace buffer usage events. For example, if 1000, then once per second, DevTools reports how full the trace buffer is. If a report indicates the buffer usage is 100%, a warning is issued.
enableNetworkbooleantrueTo collect (or not collect) events from Network domain.
enablePagebooleantrueTo collect (or not collect) events from Page domain.
traceCategoriesstring(empty)A comma-separated string of Microsoft Edge tracing categories for which trace events should be collected. An unspecified or empty string disables tracing.

Returned capabilities

The following list contains all of the Microsoft Edge-specific capabilities that EdgeDriver returns when you create a new session.

Microsoft Edge Safe Search

msedge.msedgedriverVersionstringThe version of EdgeDriver.
msedge.userDataDirstringThe path to the user data folder used by the Microsoft Edge instance.