Microsoft to Remove Legacy Edge from Windows 10 in April

Posted on February 6, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 31 Comments

We’ve known since last year that Legacy Edge will exit support on March 9, 2021. But now Microsoft has revealed its plans for removing the browser from Windows 10.

“The new Microsoft Edge will be available as part of the Windows 10 cumulative monthly security update—otherwise referred to as the Update Tuesday (or ‘B’) release—on April 13, 2021,” the Microsoft Edge Team revealed. “When you apply this update to your devices, the out of support Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application will be removed and the new Microsoft Edge will be installed. The new Microsoft Edge offers built-in security and our best interoperability with the Microsoft security ecosystem, all while being more secure than Chrome for businesses on Windows 10.”

The removal of Legacy Edge will occur across multiple Windows 10 versions, including 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, 2004, and 20H2, and across all supported product editions, Microsoft says. (Remember that Legacy Edge was only made available on Windows 10, and not on previous versions of Windows.) If the new Edge is not yet installed, it will be installed when Legacy Edge is removed. Otherwise, just Legacy Edge will be removed.

There is one wrinkle for those businesses that use Legacy Edge in kiosk mode: The new Edge doesn’t support certain features provided by Legacy Edge. You can learn more here. And the legacy version of EdgeHTML, a rendering engine used by some Store apps—will continue to be supported. Microsoft recommends that developers use the new Edge-based WebView2 instead, of course.

For best results, you should of course upgrade to the new Edge before March 9. By which I mean before March 9 of last year, since this browser is a considerable improvement over Legacy Edge.

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Comments (31)

31 responses to “Microsoft to Remove Legacy Edge from Windows 10 in April”

  1. sevenacids

    It's a shame that there is no option to prevent the new Edge from being installed, and the only way to get rid of it is to remove it by uninstalling afterwards. No group policy, no component you can easily remove from an installation image. For me, it's not a problem that they remove the legacy Edge, but on the other hand, people shouldn't be forced - again - to install a browser they don't want to use. They could at least provide an option for IT professionals/in enterprise deployment scenarios to remove it from the Window image and keep it out of cumulative updates.

    Besides, what's the support story of Internet Explorer? That relict is still a part of Windows by default (and I guess it will be like that for many years to come).

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to sevenacids:

      All they're doing is swapping something that comes with WIndows with something newer/better that comes with Windows. This isn't a conspiracy.

      IE is still in Windows for commercial customers that require it. Very few customers require the original version of Edge.

      • mikegalos

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        And removing it completely without replacing it would remove rendering components and other APIs that are called by Windows applications that use those components even if the user never used web sites or webapps.

      • dftf

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Seeing as the original Edge was essentially "IE 12" from an engine-standpoint, and with no plug-in support, except Flash, then yeah, have to agree it's unlikely any business would be reliant on it.

        Out of interest: which web-browser comes on the Xbox 360, Xbox One line and Xbox Series line thesedays? Wasn't 360 originally IE9, and did Xbox One not have Edge Legacy?

    • behindmyscreen

      In reply to sevenacids:

      You stuck in 1998 or something? EVERY platform comes with a browser pre-installed except for SOME desktop Linux distros because they are designed for a small small small small minority of computer users.

    • F4IL

      In reply to sevenacids:

      I believe Legacy Edge was a re-branded Internet Explorer with a revamped JavaScript engine.

    • dftf

      In reply to sevenacids:

      If you're running Windows 10 Version 20H2 or later, the new Edge is now preinstalled by-default and cannot be removed; you can only remove it on 2004 or older, or Windows 8.1 or 7 devices (though how-long it will remain supported on Windows 7 is anyone's guess)

      Internet Explorer is still there as many businesses have apps that were built around-it, and it's also the only browser you can use now if you need certain plug-ins (e.g. Flash, Silverlight, Java) to run as all-other browsers ditched anything except Flash years back, and Flash was dropped last-month

      Eventually it might disappear from the Home version, but will remain in Enterprise and LTSC for a while yet

      • navarac

        In reply to dftf:

        It can be uninstalled using something like Ccleaner if you're brave.

        • dftf

          In reply to navarac:

          Seeing as Legacy Edge is a "Modern UI" app, you could likely also remove it via PowerShell:

          Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online -PackageName MyAppxPkg -AllUsers

          Replace "MyAppxPkg" with the actual package-name for Legacy Edge

  2. crunchyfrog

    I'll never understand why so many companies build platforms around one specific browser engine, especially from Microsoft. Have they not learned their lesson from IE over the years...

  3. crunchyfrog

    We only went through this, how many times with IE?

  4. mattbg

    Re: "Remember that Legacy Edge was only made available on Windows 10, and not on previous versions of Windows."

    Didn't legacy Edge first appear on Windows 8? It was their new browser for the touch-first experience that Windows 8 introduced.

  5. pmeinl

    I hope they will update Windows Sandbox accordingly so one does not need to install a current browser on each Sandbox usage.

  6. cwfinn

    Can Internet Explorer be far behind?! Some corporate sites still require IE, shudder...

    • mattbg

      In reply to cwfinn:

      The company I work for, which still has IE11 as the default browser on Windows 10 due to corporate site compatibility issues, has set a target of 2024 to have IE11 removed.

      I believe Internet Explorer is considered a component of Windows, though - so for as long as they continue including IE11 with Windows, it'll be part of whatever support lifecycle Windows itself follows.

      • webdev511

        In reply to mattbg:

        They do know that IE 11 is End of Life and that Microsoft will no longer be supporting IE11 on ANY of their services August 2021. There are ways to use Edgium and still render specifice sites/apps using IE11 rendering engine. Time for them to get a move on...

        • mattbg

          In reply to webdev511:

          Agree, but then again they are also running Windows 10 Creators Edition, which was never part of LTSC as far as I know.

          And we're still on Office 2013.

          I'm able to use most of the IE-requiring sites using the IETab extension inside Chrome and have been doing that for years, so I don't know why they can't figure that out - especially since they do have short-term plans to make Edgium be the default browser (it is currently IE11!)

    • wright_is

      In reply to cwfinn:

      Siemens WinCC viewer for PLCs still requires IE11 and Active. You can't install any Windows or IE security updates on PCs with their control software, without them being verified by Siemens. That can take months, at best.

  7. brandonmills

    Count me in with kiosk PCs that just plain don't work with new Edge. Maybe fix this for 21H1?

  8. sherlockholmes

    ByeBye. We hardly knew ya.

  9. Greg Green

    Hadn’t this already happened? I’ll have to check my PCs, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got the multi colored icon rather than the blue one.

    • dftf

      In reply to Greg Green:

      I think the code for Edge Legacy is still there, but all shortcuts to it were removed and the .exe files for it are now just stubs that can be used to launch certain functionality, but not the browser itself.

      As of the latest 20H2, you can still make it pop-up for a moment via the new Edge: go to ... (menu) > Settings > Privacy, search and services > tap the "Choose what to clear" button then scroll to the bottom of the pop-up and tick "All data from the previous version of Microsoft Edge" then click "Clear now". You'll see briefly the old version of Edge pop-up

  10. markbyrn

    They should have marketed the Chromium based replacement as Internet Explorer.