MS Edge

The Microsoft Edge browser will gain the ability to block auto-playing media, such as sounds and web videos. The feature was announced today for Edge browsers part of Insiders program, Microsoft's testing ground for new Windows 10 features.

The ability to block auto-playing media will land in the mainstream Edge distribution this fall when Microsoft launches the next major version of the Windows 10 operating system.

The feature is not enabled by default, in its current form. Microsoft engineers have added a new setting in Microsoft Edge to allow users to control whether sites can autoplay media.

The feature is located in Edge -> Advanced Settings -> Allow sites to automatically play media.

"We’ll be improving these options and adding additional controls in upcoming [Windows 10 Insiders] flights and in response to your feedback," Microsoft said today.

Chrome already blocks auto-playing media since Chrome 66, released in April. Mozilla is still working on this feature for Firefox and estimates it will launch sometime this year.

Edge gains automation support

Also today, Microsoft announced that Edge will also support WebDriver, a new W3C standard that defines a common technology for browser automation.

The feature has been added in the current Edge version bundled with Insiders builds, and will also be generally available starting next fall.

The WebDriver technology will replace existing tools such as Selenium, used by some apps and server software to automate browser-based interactions, such as taking screenshots of web pages, automating clicks, auto-filling forms, testing websites layouts, and more.

Microsoft also made Edge's WebDriver support a "Feature On Demand," meaning Windows will update WebDriver-related files via the regular Windows Update mechanism, keeping Edge's automation support always up to date. To turn on the WebDriver auto-update feature, just enable Developer Mode in Windows 10.

Open the Settings app and go to “Update & Security,” “For developers,” and select “Developer Mode.” The appropriate version of WebDriver will be automatically installed.

You can also install a standalone version of WebDriver in one of two ways:
1)  Search “Manage optional features” from Start, then select “Add a Feature,” “WebDriver.”
2)  Install via DISM by running the following command in an elevated command prompt: DISM.exe /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.WebDriver~~~~0.0.1.0

UPDATE: It appears that Microsoft has jumped the gun by announcing the blocking of auto-playing videos in Edge. The feature was not included in this week's release of Windows 10 Insider Build 17692, but Microsoft engineers said it would be included and launch as expected this fall to the mainstream Windows 10 version.

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Windows 10 Insider Build 17692 Released. Here's Whats New!