What to do when you see the “new” Microsoft Edge

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With some recent updates, you might see a new icon on your screen – the icon for Microsoft Edge. What do you do with it?

 

In case you didn’t know, Microsoft Edge is the web browser that comes with Windows 10. Microsoft doesn’t want you to use Chrome or Firefox (the high-quality web browsers) – they want you to use their crappy browser, Edge. That’s why, sometimes after a Windows Update, you might find that your default browser has been changed to Edge.

Here’s an interesting bit of information.

When you get a new Windows computer, the default web browser is set to be Microsoft Edge. So if you don’t do anything, that’s the program you’ll be using to view websites. So you’d think, since Edge is the default, that a lot of computers would still have it as their web browser. Often in situations like this, people are just lazy and don’t bother to change a program, they just go with what is already there because it’s convenient.

But not in this case. As I write this, roughly 70% of computer users around the world have their default web browser set to be Google Chrome. Only 7% are using Edge.

What does that tell us? It tells us that Edge is so awful, one of the first things people do when they get a new computer is download and install Google Chrome, and set that as their default browser. The vast majority of people do that, so that they don’t have to use Edge. Installing Chrome is definitely one of the things I do every time I set up a new computer – I put Chrome on there, and set it up with ad blockers so you don’t have to see all the junky ads when you visit websites. Chrome has all kinds of great extensions and ways you can customize it for the way you want to work and how you want to view websites.

But here’s what I want to tell you today. With a recent update, you might see the Microsoft Edge icon as a new icon on your desktop screen. You might also see it down at the bottom of your screen, on the taskbar. It looks like this:

Microsoft Edge icon

Microsoft Edge icon

 

In fact, you might even see a full size window filling your screen, telling you to download the new Edge:

Edge download screen

 

If you see that full size screen, just close it with the X in the top right corner.

If you see the Edge icon at the bottom of your screen on the taskbar, do a RIGHT click on it, and choose “Unpin from taskbar”.

If you see the Edge icon as a new icon on your desktop screen, do a RIGHT click on it, and choose Delete.

If you find that Microsoft has changed your default browser from Chrome (or Firefox) to Edge, you can just change it back:

  1. Click the Start button, then click the Settings icon.
  2. Click on Apps, then click on the Default Apps section on the left.
  3. Scroll down and click on “Web browser”, and choose Chrome (or Firefox if you prefer) from the list.

By doing these things, you aren’t actually removing Edge from your computer. You can’t really do that easily, since it’s part of Windows 10. But these steps will at least move it out of sight so you don’t accidentally click on it.

And don’t be surprised if you have to do these things again after another Windows Update.

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Norma Rudametkin
September 14th, 2020

Always appreciate your insights! My computer at home is fine, but the one where I work part-time, Edge was the default. What a nuisance ~ deleted it. So, thanks for your tips.

Norma

Lee
September 17th, 2020

Your advice is a bit misguided. The new MS Edge is based on the Chromium open source browser, the same one Google Chrome is based on (you can verify this by looking at Menu->Help and Feedback->About Microsoft Edge, where it says “Version 85.0.564.51 (Official build) (64-bit) This browser is made possible by the Chromium open source project and other open source software”).

Because it uses this new codebase, the new Edge is a better browser than the Edge is replaces. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and I think it passes the test. YMMV.

Scott Johnson
September 17th, 2020

Thanks Lee. Edge may have improved from previous versions, which is good. I don’t have any reason to switch from Chrome though. And when Microsoft, in its typical style, forces Edge on the desktop and taskbar, and even changes the default browser from what the user has already chosen, I decline to use it out of principle if nothing else. Especially if the main selling point is “it used to suck, but now it works more like Chrome” I’m happy to stick with Chrome itself.