Microsoft says its new Edge web browser cannot be uninstalled but that is simply not true. The right PowerShell command entered in the right folder can accomplish the task.
Unless you or your company actively take steps to prevent it, Microsoft will roll out a new Chromium-based Edge browser to your Windows 10 PC by the end of 2020 (if they haven't already). This new version of Edge replaces the older Edge versions, which have been reclassified as deprecated legacy browsers. The installation of this new Edge browser also signals the end of Internet Explorer, which should please many cybersecurity experts.
According to Microsoft blog posts and answers to user's questions, the new Edge browser cannot, and should not, be uninstalled from a Windows 10 computer. But there is indeed a way to uninstall the Edge browser that involves a specific PowerShell command performed in a specific file folder on a specific file. The question of whether uninstalling the Edge browser is a good idea, however, is still up for debate.
This how-to tutorial shows you how to uninstall the new Edge browser from Windows 10 using PowerShell.
SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)
Note 1: This method works for Windows 10 Pro Version 2004 and Edge Version 84. Microsoft updates features and installations periodically, and this method may not be effective in a future iteration.
Note 2: You will want to download and install a replacement browser before you uninstall the Microsoft Edge browser.
Uninstall Edge browser in Windows 10
To uninstall most applications in Windows 10, the first step would be to navigate to the Apps & features page of the Settings menu. Click or tap the Start Menu button, click the Settings icon, and then select the Apps & Features link. As you can see in Figure A, when you scroll down to the Edge entry (Version 84) in the apps list, the Uninstall button is grayed out.
To uninstall the Windows 10 Edge web browser, we will have to use PowerShell. Open File Explorer and navigate to this file folder deep inside the Program Files (x86) folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\
Still in File Explorer, open the file folder with the Edge version number, in our example it is named 84.0.522.63.
Then open the "Installer" folder to find the setup.exe file, the file we are looking for. The complete path to the right folder should look something like this and Figure B:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\84.0.522.63\Installer
Now that we are in the right folder, open an administrative level PowerShell session in File Explorer by clicking File | Open Windows PowerShell | Open Windows PowerShell as administrator. This will open an instance of PowerShell located at the correct file folder, as shown in Figure C.
Enter the following command at the PowerShell prompt:
.\setup.exe --uninstall --system-level --verbose-logging --force-uninstall
That combination of commands and parameters should uninstall the Edge browser from your Windows 10 computer.
Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done
On a personal note, I would NOT recommend you uninstall the Edge browser from Windows 10. Microsoft has heavily integrated Edge into the inner workings of the operating system and uninstalling it could cause significant system instability.
If you want to use another web browser like Chrome or Firefox, download it, install it, and then set it as your default browser. There is really no need to take the drastic step of uninstalling Microsoft Edge, particularly if you are a novice user of the Windows 10 operating system. Use this technique at your own risk—there will be consequences.
That said, I don't like it when Microsoft says something cannot be done, when it can.
- What's in Windows 10 19H2 for enterprises? (TechRepublic)
- Windows 10: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Top Windows 10 run commands (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Power checklist: Securing Windows Server 2016 (TechRepublic Premium)
- Microsoft delivers first Windows 10 Fast Ring build from its new development branch (ZDNet)
- 6 simple security changes all Windows 10 users need to make (CNET)
- Get more must-read Microsoft tips and news (TechRepublic on Flipboard)
Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a typo in the PowerShell prompt.