Fake news spotter: How to enable Microsoft Edge's NewsGuard

Microsoft's mobile browser is stepping up the fight against fake news sites.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
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With the latest update to the mobile version of its Edge browser, Microsoft is ramping up efforts to combat fake news. The Edge app now includes a rating system called NewsGuard that alerts you to the trustworthiness of a website. Previously, NewsGuard was available only as an extension to the desktop version of Edge.

But can I trust NewsGuard?

NewsGuard uses actual humans -- journalists and analysts -- to determine if a website is on the level rather than relying on an algorithm that can be tricked or gamed.

Next to a site's URL at the top of Edge, you'll see a red icon if a site is dubious and a green icon if it can be trusted. Tap the icon to get a brief description of the rating. For Breitbart, for example, NewsGuard warns, "Proceed with caution: this website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability."

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You can then tap to See the full Nutrition Label, which provides a summary of the site and how it meets or fails to meet various journalist standards.

How to enable NewsGuard on mobile

NewsGuard is included with the latest update to the mobile Edge app, but it's not enabled by default. To turn on NewsGuards, tap the triple-dot button in the lower right and go to Settings > News rating and toggle on Display rating on the address bar.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

How to enable NewsGuard on a computer

On the desktop version of Edge, you still need to install the NewsGuard extension from the Windows Store.