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How to block ads in Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 [Tip]

Microsoft Edge comes out as a promise to finally end the bad era of Internet Explorer. It’s a browser built from scratch with new UI, new engine and many other promising things. On the speed test front, Edge now on par with or sometime faster than its competitors. However, one thing that keep people from changing to Edge is the lack of extension. Microsoft promised it would come shortly after the July launch of Windows 10. Now the feature is pushed further into early 2016. And no extensions means no ads blocking at this time. Ads blocking has become an important thing and for laptop/tablet users, it’s crucial because these ads are eating away your battery. While waiting for Edge’s extensions, I’ll show you how to use Hosts file as a way to block ads.

Disable Flash first

Yes, Flash is fading away. Even Adobe now recommends using HTML5 instead of Flash. While ads nowadays also mostly in HTML5 but a large number of them still in Flash form. Disabling Flash will take out some annoying ads. I disabled Flash for a long time and have noticed almost nothing different in term of functions. So here’s how to disable Flash in Edge.

edge_ads_1 [1]

How to use Hosts file to block ads

First, you may want to know what “hosts” file does. In plain language, it’s a system file that tells your computer where to go when you enter a web address. You only add specific sites that you want to reroute to the hosts file. For example, I can block Facebook by this line in hosts file: “0.0.0.0 facebook.com” It literally says hey computer, when someone or something requests “facebook.com,” please send them to “0.0.0.0” Since “0.0.0.0” is a IP address considered my own device, sending something to 0.0.0.0 won’t go anywhere. This basic idea is how we’re going to block ads with hosts file. Everything you need to do is reroute the ads providers’ address to 0.0.0.0. And thankfully, someone already made this list for us.

Just a side note, because this is a system component, it will affect the entire system, including other browsers, not only Edge. You can find the file in: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ (C is your system drive). So follow these steps if you want to block ads.

http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.zip [2]

edge_ads_3 [3]

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters

edge_ads_2 [4]

Finally, restart your computer to apply the change. And you are done!

Now fire up Edge to see your accomplishment. Most ads should be blocked by now. Although the list is huge, it doesn’t guarantee to block all the ads, especially ads from specific countries. That’s why you should go to the MVPS website [5]to check on update regularly. But the MVPS list is one of the best one out there, you’ll be fine. And enjoy your ad-free browsing on Edge!

(via MVPS.org [5])