You’ll Be Able to Run New Edge and Edge Legacy Side-by-Side

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 23 Comments

A Microsoft support document explains how you’ll be able to run the old Edge and the new Edge together if you want. The bad news? It requires it requires Group Policy, which leaves out Windows 10 Home users. (There are Registry-based workarounds, of course, so I’m sure we’ll find out what that is before the new Edge launches.)

“Installing the Stable channel of the next version of Microsoft Edge at system-level will cause the current version (Microsoft Edge Legacy) to be hidden,” the support document notes. “If you want to let your users to see both versions of Microsoft Edge side-by-side in Windows, you can enable this experience by setting the Allow Microsoft Edge Side by Side browser experience group policy to ‘Enabled’.”

To enable this, open the Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge Update > Applications and select “Allow Microsoft Edge Side by Side browser experience.” Then, click the Edit policy setting link, and in the window that opens, select Enabled and then click OK.

Microsoft also notes that the Allow Microsoft Edge Side by Side browser experience should be enabled before the new version of Microsoft Edge is deployed for the best experience. If you don’t do it ahead of time, you’ll have a few issues to deal with. For example, you’ll need to run the new Edge installer again before you can both versions side-by-side. You’ll have to re-pin Microsoft Edge Legacy to Start or the taskbar. And any sites that were pinned to Start or the taskbar for Microsoft Edge Legacy will be migrated to the new Edge.

Given this, I expect a simpler solution for consumers to appear as well, so stay tuned.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “You’ll Be Able to Run New Edge and Edge Legacy Side-by-Side”

  1. hrlngrv

    Will there be any more updates to legacy Edge? I haven't been paying attention: when was it last updated, with 1909? If it won't be updated going forward, how long until it becomes unsafe to use?

    • t-b.c

      In reply to hrlngrv: I doubt it will be updated afterward. It is being offered (probably) because not all apps will work on the new chromium engine. I know, for example, that Comcast (Xfinity) streaming service does not work on ChrEdge, or Chrome. Businesses will need time to make everything work on the new browser.

    • ezab

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Check out this article from Microsoft on Nov. 4, 2019 about new Edge and testing:

  2. IanYates82

    I've just gone to enable this on my domain. Had some trouble getting the group policy editor to display it so I read the docs...

    Visit here for the official Microsoft docs page about the policy:

    It literally says the registry key that needs to be set to make this work. It ought to behave for Windows Home too

    Here's the relevant bit extracted from the docs.... (sorry for dodgy cut/paste formatting)

    Windows Registry Settings
    • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftEdgeUpdate
    • Value Name: Allowsxs
    • Value Type: REG_DWORD

    And the value should be 0x00000001

  3. Fuller1754

    There ought to be no way at all of running both of these side by side. Once installed, the new version of Edge should completely replace and override the old version in every case, with no workaround. Alas, Microsoft has always been overly sensitive to legacy concerns. Should Mozilla have let Firefox 57 (the new "Quantum" version), run alongside Firefox 56 after the update installed? What a mess that would be. Microsoft kept IE available in Windows due to legitimate compatibility issues for some LOB applications that depended on it. With the built-in IE mode, the new Edge should also trigger an irreversible uninstall of IE (it probably won't though, and IE will linger to collect dust in the ever-growing attic of Windows code). In the case of legacy Edge, what possible compatibility concerns could there be? Just get rid of it, for goodness' sake! Those (and look, I'm one of them) who liked features like Set Tabs Aside and Ask Cortana will just have to move on. The new Edge is way better.

  4. IanYates82

    I'll enable this. As a Web-based line of business app user, I'll have customers still using legacy edge for a while so I need it around for testing purposes.

  5. mjdamron

    Who wants to run the old Edge?

  6. rufusw

    I have Windows 10 Pro 1903 and don't appear to have access to "Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge Update > Applications" group policy. The support document is under "Microsoft Edge in the enterprise" - is this an Enterprise only group policy?

    Edit: It looks like you need 1909 installed - the support document states "The procedures in this article apply to systems that have been updated with the latest security updates, up to and including November 2019."

  7. remc86007

    When are they going to implement real smooth scrolling? Old edge is still infinitely smoother to use than new edge and chrome and somewhat better with touch support still.

  8. jblank46

    New Edge is literally so much better than old Edge this would definitely be something for extreme edge cases.. no pun intended!

  9. kcnewf

    I am sure that all 2 users running Legacy Edge on Windows 10 Home are anxiously waiting for this critical work around.

  10. Pommster

    Does that basically mean there will be three web browsers in Windows 10 - Internet Explorer, Legacy Edge and new Edge?

  11. wbhite

    Out of curiosity, why would anyone need or want legacy Edge? It's not like IE, where thousands of corporate LOB/Intranet applications relied on it. I doubt anything has been developed specifically for Edge, and other than a "screw you" to the Chromium project and slightly better scrolling, I don't see the benefit of having this.

    • craigb

      In reply to wbhite:

      Sometimes when using SAAS browser based applications, often the back end server sees your browser and account as one in the same so you can't have 2 accounts open in the one browser or it confuses the server. One work around is to use different browsers so that the server sees two different instances. Another work around is to use an InPrivate mode in a new window. However there have been numerous times that having Credge and Edge has come in really handy. Poor old IE cant render a lot of modern pages so isn't of any use here unfortunately. So this is why it would be handy to have Credge and Edge side by side.

    • JCerna

      In reply to wbhite: the main thing for us is inking, old edge has good inking tools for pdf and websites that works great for presenting. New edge has nothing that does this yet.

    • gmj

      In reply to wbhite:

      For those using legacy Edge, there may be some features in legacy Edge not yet available in new Edge ( ...

      • Paul Thurrott

        We've written about this. Legacy Edge is being kept around to run the components that app makers rely on.