Microsoft's new Edge is a much better browser than the previous version and a legitimate contender to Chrome.
But instead of letting you decide that for yourself, Microsoft is making Edge a permanent fixture of Windows 10 — and by permanent, I mean that it can't be uninstalled (via ZDNet).
- Microsoft Edge hands-on review: The Chrome killer has arrived
- Google Chrome vs. Microsoft Edge: Which browser is best?
- Google Chrome issues critical security warning for 2 billion users
The Redmond-based software giant sneakily published a new support page (opens in new tab) on its website titled "Can't uninstall Microsoft Edge." Ironically concise in how it captures the knee-jerk frustration of those who try to remove the browser, that headline pretty much says it all.
Microsoft writes a few more sentences underneath attempting to justify the rigidity of this policy.
"We want to ensure all Windows customers have the latest Microsoft Edge browser for the performance, privacy, security, productivity, and support features it offers."
Fair enough. But then the hammer drops: "The new version of Microsoft Edge is included in a Windows system update, so the option to uninstall it or use the legacy version of Microsoft Edge will no longer be available."
There is a good reason for why Microsoft Edge comes installed on new Windows 10 laptops: you need a browser to download another one. The problem is that people who don't want to use Edge can't get rid of it after installing their browser of choice. It will remain on your PC, eating up hard drive space and taking up a slot in the Start Menu.
I'm personally a big fan of the new Edge but I'm an even bigger advocate of consumer choice. Microsoft isn't on the same page. Instead of letting its new browser speak for itself (seriously though, it's great), the company is forcing people to keep it on their systems, which could artificially inflate its user numbers (the new Edge already toppled Firefox as the second-most popular browser).
Before I signal Microsoft out as the only offender, Apple doesn't let you manually remove the Safari browser from macOS. Instead, you need to download a third-party app cleaner, like CleanMyMac.
How to remove the new Edge from Windows 10
If you can't go on with Edge in your life, we have a solution. The folks at deskmodder found a workaround that will get rid of the web browser, just be aware that the following steps require some technical know-how.
- Navigate to C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Microsoft \ Edge \ Application
- Select the current version number
- Locate setup.exe
- Navigate to the file path within Command Prompt
- Execute the following command: setup.exe --uninstall --system-level --verbose-logging -- force-uninstall