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What are trackers?

Websites use trackers to collect data about your browsing behavior. Trackers collect data about how you interact with a site, such as the content you click on. They also enable functionality on some websites, such as comments sections, buttons to share articles to social media, and personalized ads.

Some trackers collect data about you across multiple sites. For example, a tracker could track when you go to your favorite shopping site and news site. This is why it can sometimes feel like an ad is following you around the web.

What is tracking prevention?

The new Microsoft Edge  is designed to detect and block potentially harmful trackers—trackers we detect as cryptomining or fingerprinting. We let you decide what trackers to block. For more on tracker prevention and how to use it, select any topic, and it will open to present more information:

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings  > Privacy, search, and services.

  2. Make sure Tracking prevention is set to On.

  3. Select the level of tracking prevention that’s right for you:

    Basic: Blocks potentially harmful trackers but allows most other trackers and those that personalize content and ads. 
    Balanced (Recommended): Blocks potentially harmful trackers and trackers from sites you haven’t visited. Content and ads will likely be less personalized.
    Strict: Blocks potentially harmful trackers and most trackers across sites. Content and ads will likely have minimal personalization. This option blocks the most trackers but could cause some websites to not behave as expected. For example, a video might not play, or you might not be able to sign in.

While preventing trackers increases your privacy, you might want to create exceptions for certain trusted websites. This will allow all trackers on those sites, including potentially harmful ones.

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings   > Privacy, search, and services.

  2. Make sure Tracking prevention is set to On.

  3. Under Tracking prevention, select Exceptions.

  4. Select Add a site, type in the full URL, and then select Add.

You can also create an exception directly from the site. 

  1. Go to the site you want to add as an exception for tracking prevention.

  2. Select View site information  on the side of the address bar.

  3. Under Tracking prevention, select Off from the drop-down menu.

If you’ve turned on tracking prevention, you can see trackers that were blocked on individual sites.

  1. Go to a site you’re curious about.

  2. Select View site information  on the side of the address bar.

  3. Select Trackers to see which trackers the site uses and how many were blocked.

Related topics

General privacy settings in Windows

Change privacy settings in Windows

View your data on the privacy dashboard

Learn more about how tracking prevention works in Microsoft Edge​​​​​​​

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