Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Here’s how to REALLY uninstall Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is desperately pushing Microsoft Edge by bundling the Bing-centered, functionality-limited Web browser with most editions of Windows 10, and by making it difficult to switch away from and (nearly) impossible to uninstall. Microsoft Edge provides always connects to Bing, even when you choose not to use the search engine.

Many have attempted to delete Microsoft Edge from Windows PowerShell using the Remove-AppxPackage cmdlet.  However, Microsoft blocks certain first-party apps, including Microsoft Edge, from being removed this way.  If you try to do that, you’ll get this error message: “This app is part of Windows and cannot be uninstalled on a per-user basis. An administrator can attempt to remove the app from the computer using Turn Windows Features on or off. However, it may not be possible to uninstall the app.”  Of course, unlike Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge is not a feature that can simply be “turned off”.

It turns out that you can bypass this uninstallation restriction by giving Microsoft Edge an end-of-life status manually.  To do so, simply create the following registry key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\EndOfLife\‹your Windows account SID›\‹package full name of Microsoft Edge

You can obtain your Windows account SID (security identifier) by executing whoami.exe -user.  To get the full package name of Microsoft Edge, use the Get-AppxPackage cmdlet in PowerShell.

Watch the video below to get an idea of how it works.

You can use the same trick to get rid of other “protected” AppX packages, such as “Contact Support” and “Send Feedback” (and, in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the “Secure Assessment Browser” (or “Take a Test”)).

Please share this article if you find it useful.

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