Microsoft has given a bit more detail as to why Windows 10 users can’t uninstall its Edge browser.
The new Edge browser is based on Google’s open-source Chromium project — the foundation for Chrome, the world’s most widely used browser on predominantly Windows 10 PCs. Back in August. Microsoft explained that 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.”
Now the company has updated its advisory again to explain that “because Windows supports applications that rely on the web platform, our default web browser is an essential component of our operating system and can’t be uninstalled.” The updated explanation was first noticed by Windows Latest.
SEE: Cheat sheet: Windows 10 PowerToys (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Edge is far from the only app that cannot be uninstalled – as Ed Bott points out, across Windows, Mac and Android there are plenty of apps that you can’t just get rid of. But then again, you don’t have to use them, and in many cases you can easily download alternatives.
The delivery model for the new Edge was a significant departure from Microsoft’s history of shipping Edge and Internet Explorer with new versions of Windows as part of the operating system.
In shifting to Chromium, Microsoft for the first time also made Edge available for macOS, iOS, Android and Windows 7. Before June, Windows 10 users had to manually download and install the new Edge
In June, Microsoft started to roll out the new Edge browser to Windows 10 users via Windows Update. At the time, Microsoft advised Windows users that “this new Microsoft Edge does not support uninstalling of this update.”
Rather importantly, while users can’t get rid of the new Edge after installing the update that delivered it, Windows users do have the option to install Chrome or any of the other Chromium-based browsers like Opera, Vivaldi and Brave.
“Microsoft Edge gives users full control over importing personal data from other browsers. In addition, Windows users can download and install other browsers and change their default browser at any time,” Microsoft says.