Microsoft Edge experiment blocks access to settings if Windows 11 is not activated

Windows OS’s widespread usage can be attributed to its free nature. Yes, it nags a bit, locks you out of Personalization settings, and blocks some features. However, Windows 11 (and Windows 10) or any version of the operating system can be used without activation as long as you do not mind the

Microsoft already has ample ways to inform you that Windows isn’t activated, including the Settings app, desktop, and other places. Microsoft wants to take things up a notch. In a recent Microsoft Edge build, Microsoft has started testing several flags that may allow the company to block browser’s capabilities when Windows 11 is not activated.

These features identify whether Windows is activated:

  • msEdgeActivatedStateCheckAndUpdate
  • msEdgeNonActivatedOSTrigger
  • msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS

Windows Latest tried running the Edge Canary version with these features enabled individually. We got the “msEdgeLockSettingsInNonActivatedOS” working, which locks you out of some settings in the Edge browser.

After opening the Settings page in Edge, we noticed a banner at the top informing us that “We notice your Windows is not activated, some customization has been limited”. We dug deeper and opened all the subpages inside the Settings app.

Image Courtesy: Windows Latest
Edge blocked access to the “When Edge starts” settings for our Windows 11 virtual machine because it wasn’t activated. This page lets you configure the page that launches when you open the Edge browser.
Image Courtesy: Windows Latest

After enabling this feature, we couldn’t find any other blocked setting. However, Microsoft might add more restrictions in Edge’s upcoming builds. For example, the company may not let you change the new tab settings, hide the MSN feed, change accent, dark theme, or other features.

Does it even make sense to block Edge settings?

Locking users out of Edge browser settings because they use a non-activated Windows version doesn’t make sense. Since the Edge browser is available for Mac and mobile devices, why is the activation popup only for Windows users?

We don’t see any benefit from these restrictions other than irking users into switching to Chrome or Firefox.

Browsers shouldn’t nudge you to purchase a Windows license. It’s one of those features we sincerely hope will never be approved. Meanwhile, Microsoft is testing a resource control feature in the browser.

Edge will get a RAM limiter feature

Windows Latest tested the Resource Control feature hidden inside Edge Canary. It lets you set a maximum size of RAM that Edge can use. So, if you have a low-end PC that flatlines after running Edge, you can allocate a fixed amount of RAM.

Slider to limit Edge RAM usage | Image Courtesy:

Limiting RAM usage of the browser won’t improve the performance but will ensure that other apps and Windows have the bare minimum system resources that they need.

Abhishek Mishra: Abhishek Mishra is a skilled news reporter working at Windows Latest, where he focuses on everything about computing and Windows. With a strong background in computer applications, thanks to his master's degree, Abhishek knows his way around complex tech subjects. His love for reading and his four years in journalism have sharpened his ability to explain tricky tech ideas in easy-to-understand ways. Over his career, he has crafted hundreds of detailed articles for publications like MakeUseof, Tom's Hardware, and more in the pursuit of helping tech enthusiasts.
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