Microsoft is working on a new feature to stop users from accidentally launching their web browser as an administrator or with high permissions.
The change should improve security for Chromium-based browsers, which include Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera, and Microsoft Edge’s own browser.
What happens if you open a browser as an administrator?
Although there are legitimate reasons why you might want to use administrator permissions – to launch a program, for example – running a high-privileged browser is not recommended.
This is because any programs downloaded while these permissions are enabled will also have high rights – making them ideal for malware exploits.
This should reduce the number of software packages that are downloaded from the web and can seriously affect devices. Crucially, any downloaded program will not be released.
Safer, but just as annoying
To achieve its goal, Microsoft will detect when browsers run unnecessarily with high permissions. The browser will then be relaunched via explorer.exe under the same user, but with rights revoked.
A command line switch will be used to prevent continuous relaunch when the delayed launch fails.
Initially, Microsoft Edge decided to warn users whenever a browser with high permissions was launched.
A dialog bubble appeared in the toolbar, which informed users about an increased security risk.
However, this feature was quickly disabled due to “excessive user complaints”.
Because everything takes place in the background, Microsoft should now provide protection without frustrating users.