Microsoft is finally testing a feature that will make the Microsoft Edge browser more secure and safe. The Windows Defender Application Guard was first announced last year, but Microsoft is finally testing it in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview for Enterprises build (16188). The new tool essentially does not let the entire PC get affected, in the event that it gets hit by a malware attack. As you may have derived, the feature for now is only mean for Windows 10 Enterprise Edition users.
Browsers often act as a gateway to send malware to PCs and infect them. Application Guard essentially uses a hardware container to isolate Edge browser from the rest of the PC, and prevent malware from seeping in. To use Application Guard right away, you first need to become an Insider Preview for Enterprise member on the Fast Ring. After that, visit Windows Features in settings, and then go to Turn Windows features on or off, and then mark the checkbox for Windows Defender Application Guard. Click OK and then restart your computer. Now when you open Microsoft Edge and click on the Edge menu, you’ll see the option for a New Application Guard window. Click it, and a new special isolated browser window will appear. Apart from Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, test PCs will also need Microsoft Hyper-V enabled.
Even after it comes to the stable channels, it will only be active on devices running on Windows 10 and above due to the new Virtualization Based Security (VBS) system. This new Application Guard enabled browser will not store any cache and cookies, will be separate from storage, and other apps as well. This essentially prevents all malware from seeping through, and affecting PCs, as all data is lost once the browser is shut.
The Application Guard windows will make Edge run a bit slowly as the browser’s sessions are isolated. The Windows 10 Insider build 16188 also includes integrated Cortana settings, better viewing and navigation, and an improved PDF Reader for Edge.