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Microsoft won't let you remove Edge — but there's a workaround

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Since its launch, Microsoft Edge has proven divisive to say the least. But no matter if you hate it or love it, the browser here to stay on your Windows 10 PC. 

Even though Statista claims Edge has only 1.9% of the web browser market, Microsoft says you're going to have to live with it, like some fern in the corner you forgot you bought (and let die). 

In an Edge Support page posted on Wednesday (Aug. 5), Microsoft announced that this new Edge (which replaced the older, unsuccessful version) is both being pushed out to all users and that you can't get rid of this new Edge.

Specifically, Microsoft explains that we won't be given an option to uninstall the Chromium Edge, "or use the legacy version of Microsoft Edge," because this new version is "included in a Windows system update." 

Microsoft, for its part, has seemingly done a slow, steady and proper rollout of Chromium Edge, making it something you could choose to download at first. Now, the app is delivered through Windows 10 updates, and can't be removed.

How to remove Microsoft Edge (sort of)

Of course, because everyone loves to break the rules and thumb their noses at authority, our sister site Tech Radar shared a power-user-level workaround to rip Edge out at the roots. Of course, because these steps involve using the Command Prompt, I will reiterate there is some risk involved.

Also, while this may work for now, there's no telling if it could cause a problem in a future Windows 10 update, or if Microsoft will find their way around this workaround, to give you Edge again. That's the thing about using a computer — you're playing a game with someone else's rules, and if Microsoft wants you to have Edge, this might turn into a seasonal game of cat and mouse. 

Anyways, here's the steps you need to take, and a reminder — whenever you're playing in the Command Prompt — make sure to back up your data in case something goes wrong. We can't play tech support with your issues. 

  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft \Edge \Application
  2. Select the current version number
  3. Locate setup.exe
  4. Navigate to the file path within Command Prompt
  5. Execute the following command: setup.exe --uninstall --system-level --verbose-logging -- force-uninstall

The PCs in my apartment will continue to have Edge on them, because I feel like fighting Microsoft at its game of mandatory software is more trouble than it's worth. At least you can delete Candy Crush Soda Saga and the other bloatware on Windows 10 PCs. 

So, for most of us, Chromium Edge is here to stay ("forever-ever" as Andre 3000 would say).