Did You Know You Can Remove Microsoft Edge From Windows 10?

Whether or not you use Microsoft Edge, you probably noticed how Windows 10 launched Edge on start-up beginning in May of this year. You may have also noticed that the browser looks a little different. The April 13th update removed the legacy versions of Edge and replaced them with a Chromium-based Edge shown in 2020. Even if you skip the April update, all updates after the 13th cumulative update will include this legacy swap.

Although the latest release of Edge is considered a significant improvement over the legacy versions, not every Windows user wants Edge as their default browser. Despite Microsoft’s recommendations, users may want to remove Edge from Windows 10. For users that may still be using legacy versions, the process is as simple as uninstalling the software; however, removing the latest release is a little more complicated.

Removing Microsoft Edge from Windows 10

If the words “command prompt” scare you, permanently removing Edge as your default browser may not be for you. If entering a few commands doesn’t concern you, here are the steps to follow.

Opening the Command Prompt 

Before attempting to remove Edge, be sure you are an Administrator for your device.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu in the lower left-hand corner.
  2. Alternatively, click on the Start menu and scroll down to the Windows System Folder. It should be the first item in the dropdown.

To become an administrator, start typing ‘Command Prompt’ in the search box. Select ‘Run as Administrator’ from the popup that appears. When asked if the application can make changes, answer ‘Yes.’ At this point, you should have access to the command prompt.

Removing Edge

The removal process involves deleting the installer from its directory. The first step requires navigating to the correct folder and then issuing the uninstall command. Before starting the process, determine the current version number of Edge running on the device.

Use the following steps to find the version number.

  1. Launch Edge.
  2. Select the ellipses in the upper-righthand corner.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the dropdown to select Help and Feedback.
  4. Select About Microsoft Edge.

The version number should display on the About page.

At the command prompt, enter the following command:

cd %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft\Edge\Application\xx\Installer

The ‘xx’ stands for the current version of Edge installed on the device. The command prompt should now contain the path to the above location.

Enter the following at the command prompt.

setup --uninstall --force-uninstall --system-level

No restart is required. You may still see the Edge icon in the tray or on the desktop, but it will not launch at startup.

Preventing Edge from Being Reinstalled

Since the latest release of Microsoft Edge has been a part of every update since April, the browser may be reinstalled automatically. If you don’t want to go through the process of uninstalling Edge after each update, you can prevent the reinstallation by making changes to the Registry.

Touching the Registry is not for the faint of heart. It always comes with a warning that making changes carries risk and should be made with extreme care. Correcting an error in the Registry is usually a long and involved process during which system instability is of primary concern.

  1. Type ‘Registry Editor’ in the Search box.
  2. Open the editor and navigate to this location:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft
  3. Right-click on the ‘Microsoft’ folder.
  4. Select ‘New.’
  5. Select ‘Key.’
  6. Enter ‘EdgeUpdate’ as the key name.
  7. Right-click on the key name.
  8. Select ‘New.’
  9. Select ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value.’
  10. Name this key value ‘DoNotUpdateToEdgeWithChromium’.
  11. Double-click on the key to open.
  12. Change the value to ‘1.’
  13. Click OK.
  14. Exit the editor.

If successful, Edge should not be installed with future updates. However, some Windows updates may fail after removing Microsoft Edge. If that occurs, do the following:

  • Navigate to the ‘Program Files (x86)’ folder on your C: drive.
  • Locate the ‘Microsoft’ folder under the x86 folder.
  • Open the folder to delete any subfolders related to Microsoft Edge.

Windows updates should install.

A Simple Alternative

Windows users should have the choice of using Microsoft Edge. For some people, having unused software on their devices is unacceptable. However, removing the application and ensuring it doesn’t reinstall has its associated risks.

At Parkway Tech, we suggest an alternative. Set the default browser to something other than Microsoft Edge. It is a simple alternative that can be accomplished in a few steps:

  1. Launch the Start menu.
  2. Scroll to Settings.
  3. Select Apps.
  4. Select Default Apps.
  5. Scroll down to Web Browser.
  6. Click on the displayed browser and select the one you want as the default.

The icon may still appear, but it will not launch unless you select it.

Because Edge is so integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, we do not recommend removing it from the system. When a well-integrated component is removed from the operating system, it can result in system instability. It can also add to the complexity of applying updates. When cumulative updates fail, time and resources are expended to ensure completion, and that can happen at least once a month.

Beyond the impact the removal may have on Windows 10, there’s the possibility that security updates may not be promptly installed, or they may not work as intended. With the increase in cyber threats, maintaining a secure operating environment is essential to protect against a possible breach. Any of these events could add vulnerabilities to your system.

Parkway Tech, as a managed services provider, not only has expertise in Microsoft products, but it also has cybersecurity professionals that can ensure that your system is secure and your data is not on the Dark Web. For businesses in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and the Triad, Parkway Tech provides services ranging from business continuity planning to cloud services.

Whether you’re looking for help with software applications or enterprise-wide infrastructure enhancements, our team has the resources to deliver solutions to meet your needs. Why not contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your technology needs?

Written by Chris Michalec posted on July 19, 2021

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