I have received a weird message from Windows (see picture). I would like to know what this exactly means.

I have only used the Edge browser (if it even has to do with it) maybe twice. Also sometimes if I search in the search bar I might by accident opened Edge with the search.

Almost everyday I clean my pc with ccleaner and or with the windows tool disk cleanup.

Is this something that is unique? The sample message? Do I have to worry? What are Edge_BITS?

I have no clue what to do. How likely is it that this is a virus, and is there any way that I can check it further?

The Text of the sample submission

  • 2
    BITS is probably a reference to Background Intelligent Transfer Service which uses idle bandwidth to download updates: Windows itself and other software updater packages use this.
    – Yorik
    May 12 at 20:23
  • also, I think the windows start menu search feature uses edge, so you may use it more than you realize
    – Yorik
    May 12 at 20:26
  • 1
    @Yorik - Those search results would have no way to be connected, to the Edge user profile. The folder in question is not used by the Bing search results in the start menu.
    – Ramhound
    May 12 at 21:09
  • That all may be (and probably is) true, but the folder listed in the image is not the edge user profile storage location.
    – Yorik
    May 16 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


Best guess would be that because the built-in Defender routines can't fully recognise or analyse the content, it's asking you if you will allow that data to be sent to "Microsoft central" for further analysis.

Presumably it needs to ask your permission because there may be some small but non-zero chance that the data sample could contain personal data. MS are duty-bound to not only ensure any personally-identifying data is never kept or disseminated, but that also they must ask before transmission.
In any structure like this, you have to be able to trust that a major operating system company such as Microsoft, Apple etc are reliable enough that you can trust them to uphold the law in this instance.


What are Edge_BITS?

It's a directory in %TEMP% that was presumably created by Microsoft Edge, judging by the name and by the fact that Chromium browsers can have similarly named directories. Inside are some temporary download parts, perhaps. You could track the folder with e.g. Process Monitor to be sure which apps write to it in real time, if any. You can also always scan the file in VirusTotal if it's not big to be almost sure it's not a virus.

Is this something that is unique? The sample message? Do I have to worry?

You don't have to worry about anything. This message happens because you have automatic sampling enabled in: Windows Security -> Virus & threat protection -> Manage settings -> Automatic sample submission

That settings states:

Send sample files to Microsoft to help protect you and others from potential threats. We'll prompt you if the file we need is likely to contain personal information.

... which in this case is rather unlikely to contain personal information, but maybe it just does it because it's in a user folder.

You can even disable this setting without losing much security as this only potentially helps improving security in the future, it doesn't quite protect you on a regular basis. It helps Microsoft and people using Defender in the future more than it helps you.

  • So this is not a virus? May 12 at 9:41
  • 2
    I don't know, I'm not a heuretic algorithm to tell you that with not even 100% certainty as anything including antiviruses can be wrong. You can also always scan it in VirusTotal if it's not big and you desire to learn more about the file. I described the Microsoft Defender process though which has nothing to do with actual real-time virus detection.
    – Destroy666
    May 12 at 10:24
  • 4
    @Exotic_Morning_656 - The prompt is absolutely not a virus. Its impossible to determine if the file the prompt indicates is or isn’t a virus from the information you provided
    – Ramhound
    May 12 at 11:05

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