Earlier this year Microsoft announced that it would begin cracking down on Windows software designed to hijack web browsers in specific ways. Now the company is laying out a timeline for enforcement: starting in January Microsoft’s security products will begin flagging certain types of software as “browser modifiers” or adware.
Specifically, Microsoft is taking aim at two types of add-ons: those that make it tougher for you to select a default search provider or home page and those that circumvent user consent dialogs (by nagging you to enable features or turning them on without your permission).
We’re not just talking about apps that automatically change your search provider either. Microsoft will count software that constantly asks you to change your default search engine even after you’ve already made a choice or which provide additional questions (are you really sure?) every time you want to change your search engine or home page.
Microsoft is already taking actions against browser add-ons that prevent users from disabling them or modifying their features.
If you’ve ever accidentally installed a browser add-on only to find there was no easy way to remove it, these moves should come as good news.