Microsoft Edge blocked users from installing Firefox

Microsoft’s Edge browser was recently found to be blocking users from downloading Mozilla Firefox, one of its main competitors.

Recent Reddit threads showed that the browser was prohibiting users from downloading the regular stable version of Firefox, as well as the non-stable Developer, Beta, and Nightly releases.

When trying to download these from the official Mozilla website, users were presented with the warning “Firefox Installer.exe was blocked because it could harm your device”.

This left them many unable to complete the download since the notification window only allowed them to select “see more”.

The issue was caused by Microsoft’s Defender SmartScreen software, which tracks and scans downloaded files for known threats.

If it comes across an application that is not well known or widely downloaded, it immediately blocks the file and displays a warning.

Some users managed to download and install Firefox using Edge after disabling SmartScreen.

However, switching SmartScreen off is not recommended as it could leave the device vulnerable to attack from legitimate threats.

Microsoft appears to have fixed the issue since it was first reported and cleared Firefox downloads as safe.

MyBroadband has succeeded in downloading all these versions of Firefox from a Microsoft Edge browser running on Windows 10, indicating that the problem has been resolved.

Microsoft Edge vs Firefox

Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox are currently neck and neck in terms of market share.

According to data from Statcounter, Firefox is currently the third most popular browser with 3.59% market share, while Edge is fourth with 3.39%.

They trail behind Google Chrome with the most users of any browser with a 64.47% market share, and Safari with 18.69%.

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge was launched as a simple, fast, and stripped down version of its predecessor in January 2020.

With a slew of additional features like a vertical scrolling tab, secure password generator, and a built-in price comparison tool, the updated browser was well received by users.

Firefox, on the other hand, is one of the few big browsers that isn’t built on Chromium.

It uses a Quantum browser engine, which was created specifically to compete with other browsers, while its tracker blocker allows pages to load faster without compromising user privacy.

While it is difficult to choose between browsers based solely on their user interfaces, Computer World conducted a series of tests to see which one performed better in terms of speed, functionality, RAM, and CPU usage.

The first test was to see how fast each browser could load pages, handle browsing, and run web apps.

Instead of looking at individual specifications, benchmark scores were compiled using tests from JetStream 2, WebXPRT, and Speedometer 2.0.

The table below shows each browser’s benchmark results, with a higher score indicating better performance.

Microsoft Edge Firefox
JetStream 2 102.78 78.47
WebXPRT 163 196
Speedometer 2.0 93.4 69.6

The second set of tests showed how much RAM and CPU each browser used.

The results were obtained by loading ten different websites into separate tabs, waiting one minute, and then measuring the device resource using Windows task manager.

The table below shows how much RAM and CPU each browser used, with lower usage indicating higher efficiency.

Microsoft Edge Firefox
RAM usage 1.27GB 1.91GB
CPU usage 5% 8.4%

Now read: FPB website blocked by Firefox

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Microsoft Edge blocked users from installing Firefox