How to Disable Microsoft Edge as Your Default Browser in 2021

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-01-06T15:09:43+00:00

Even though the new Microsoft Edge browser is a huge improvement, it — and Internet Explorer before it — usually serves one purpose: to compel you to download a better web browser.

Even after you’ve done this, though, the browser lingers on your system, taking up resources through updates and background processes. To stop this from happening, we’ve put together this guide on how to disable Microsoft Edge.

If you’d rather remove the browser entirely, you can check out our guide on how to uninstall Microsoft Edge instead. Unfortunately, the main method of uninstalling the browser (using the “get-appxpackage” and “remove-appxpackage” commands in PowerShell) doesn’t always work in Windows 10. 

If this is the case for your system, you might be stuck with disabling the browser instead of uninstalling it. The good news is that disabling the browser accomplishes pretty much the same thing as uninstalling it does, although some files will remain on your computer.

How to Disable Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

The easiest way to completely disable the browser in Windows 10 is to rename the Microsoft Edge folder.

  1. Navigate to C:\Windows\SystemApps
  2. Locate the folder named “Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe”
  3. Rename the folder; for example, by appending “_DISABLED” to the end of the folder name
Folder-Rename

If you followed our naming example, the full path of the Microsoft Edge folder should now be “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe_DISABLED.”

This should disable the browser in the short-term, but a future update to Windows 10 may revert this name change to the Edge folder and reenable the browser. To stop this from happening, you need to ensure that the browser’s update services don’t launch automatically.

How to Stop Edge from Launching Automatically on Login

Even if you follow the steps above, Windows may still preload certain background processes that do nothing but waste your computer’s resources. If you’d like to disable these entirely, there are a few things you need to do.

Step 1: Change the Settings in Edge

First, you need to change some settings in Edge itself and the Windows 10 settings menu.

  • Launch Microsoft Edge
  • Click the three dots in the top-right corner
  • Select “settings”
Edge-Dropdown
  • Select “system” in the menu on the left side of the screen
  • Switch off the setting called “continue running background apps when Microsoft Edge is closed”
Edge-System-Settings
  • Close Edge

Step 2: Check if Edge Is Listed as a Background App

Next you need to check if Edge is listed as a background app in Windows itself.

  • Press the Windows key
  • Type “background apps” and press enter
Start-Menu-BackgroundApps
  • Look for Microsoft Edge in the list
  • If you find Edge in the list, switch it off
Background-Apps

Step 3: Disable Edge’s Scheduled Update Tasks

Now you need to disable Microsoft Edge’s scheduled update tasks.

  • Press the Windows key
  • Search for “task scheduler” and press enter
Start-Menu-Task-Scheduler
  • Look for the two tasks: “MicrosoftEdgeUpdateTaskMachineCore” and “MicrosoftEdgeUpdateTaskMachineUA”
  • Right-click each of these tasks and select “disable”
Task-Scheduler

Step 4: Make Sure Edge Isn’t the Default Browser

Next up is ensuring that Edge isn’t set as the default browser or default program for other file types, such as PDFs.

  • Press the Windows key
  • Type “default apps” and press enter
Start-Menu-DefaultApps
  • If Edge is listed as the default browser, change it to something else, like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer
Default-Apps
  • Select “choose default apps by file type”
  • Scroll through the list and change any Microsoft Edge entry to another program, like a different web browser or PDF reader (depending on the file type)
Default-Apps-By-File-Type

Step 5: Edit the Registry

Finally, you need to do some edits to the registry. Be very careful when following the next set of steps, as editing the registry is a risky procedure. If you make a mistake here, it could completely break your Windows installation, so make sure that everything you enter is correct. Additionally, we advise performing a full backup of your system before continuing.

  • Open the “start” menu
  • Search for “regedit” and press enter
Start-Menu-RegEdit
  • Locate the following path in the menu: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft”
Reg-Edit-Navigate
  • Right-click the “Microsoft” folder and select “new” and then “key”
Reg-Edit-NewKey1
  • Type “Microsoft Edge” as the name for the key and press enter
  • Right-click the entry you just created and select “new” and then “key” again
Reg-Edit-NewKey2
  • Give it the name “Main” and press enter
  • Right-click the “Main” key you just created and click “new” and then “DWORD (32-bit) Value”
Reg-Edit-New-DWORD1
  • Name this Dword “AllowPrelaunch” and press enter
  • Double-click the “AllowPrelaunch” key, set its value to “0” and click “OK”
Reg-Edit-SetValue1
  • Right-click the Microsoft Edge key again and click “new” and then “key”
Reg-Edit-NewKey3
  • Enter the name “TabPreloader” and press enter
  • Right-click the “TabPreloader” key and click “new” then “DWORD (32-bit) Value”
Reg-Edit-New-DWORD2
  • Name it “AllowTabPreloading” and press enter
  • Double-click the “AllowTabPreloading” key, set its value to “0” and click “OK”
Reg-Edit-SetValue2
  • Close the registry editor and reboot your computer

Once you’ve done all this, the Edge browser should be completely disabled and unable to automatically launch or update itself.

Stop Edge From Launching Automatically

  1. Change Edge settings
  2. Check if Edge is a background app
  3. Disable Edge’s updates
  4. Make sure Edge isn’t set as default
  5. Edit the registry

How to Disable the Pop-Up Blocker on Microsoft Edge

Sometimes the browser can be a bit overzealous with blocking pop-ups, which can prevent windows that you want to see from opening. Luckily, disabling the Edge block on pop-ups is easily done by following these steps:

  • Launch Microsoft Edge
  • Click the three dots in the top-right corner
  • Select “settings”
Edge-Dropdown
  • Navigate to the “site permissions” menu
Site-Permissions
  • Click on “pop-ups and redirects”
PopUps-And-Redirects
  • Switch off the “block (recommended)” setting
Block-Disabled

Once this is done, all you need to do is restart Edge and the pop-up windows should start appearing.

How to Disable Website Notifications in Microsoft Edge

By default, the browser will ask your permission before allowing any website to send you notifications. If you’d like it to be even more strict and never even ask you in the first place, you can follow the steps below to block all notification requests.

  • Launch Microsoft Edge
  • Click the three dots in the top-right corner
  • Select “settings”
Edge-Dropdown
  • Navigate to the “site permissions” menu
Site-Permissions
  • Click on “notifications”
Notifications-Menu
  • Disable the “ask before sending (recommended)” setting
Notifications-Blocked

Alternatively, if you just want to block notifications from a specific website or set of websites, you can replace the final step with clicking “add” under the “block” section and add the websites that you don’t want to receive notifications from.

Block-Specific-Site-Notifications

Final Thoughts

Even though the new Microsoft Edge is a huge improvement on the older non-Chromium version or the even older Internet Explorer, it’s still frustrating that there are so many obstacles to removing it. 

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Luckily, even though you might not be able to uninstall the browser completely, this guide on how to disable Edge will make sure that it doesn’t take up any resources whatsoever. If you’d like to learn more about what web browser you should replace it with, check out our list of the best browsers.

What did you think of our guide to disabling Microsoft Edge in Windows 10? Did we miss a method you’ve used or did one of our solutions fail to disable the browser? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.