How to disable Microsoft Edge in Windows 11

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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  • You may want to disable Microsoft Edge in Windows 11 yet keep in mind that its market share has doubled over the course of the last year.
  • Some users suggest renaming the Edge installation directory as a way to disable it permanently.
  • You can also change file associations to stop it from working as a default web browser. 
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Microsoft Edge is the default browser on Windows 11, but many users don’t like it. Even though it went through a major overhaul, some are still determined not to switch to it.

There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that people are just used to their favorite web browser and they aren’t going to change it.

This is why some of them decided to take drastic measures and completely disable Edge in Windows 11. If you’re tired of Microsoft Edge and you want to do that as well, this guide will help you.

How popular is Microsoft Edge?

Currently, Google Chrome has a market share of 68.5%, while Edge holds an 8.21% market share, just behind Safari. As for Firefox, it’s at 7.64%.

Browser market share from July 2020 – July 2021 (Source: Statcounter)

Although Edge’s market share is low, we have to mention that its market share has doubled over the course of the last year, so it may continue to rise in the future.

Is Edge better than Internet Explorer?

Microsoft Edge is designed to be an Internet Explorer replacement and as such, it offers many advantages compared to the latter.

Most notably, Edge follows the latest web standards more closely than Internet Explorer. It’s built on Chromium engine, same as Chrome, making it able to handle any modern website with ease.

Edge also has dual engine support, so it can handle legacy websites that are made specifically for Internet Explorer. Lastly, it is more secure since it works closely with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

Internet Explorer will be retired on June 15, 2022, so the choice is yours: you can enable Internet Explorer on Windows 11 or switch to another browser even if it isn’t Edge.

How can I disable Microsoft Edge in Windows 11?

1. Change file associations

  1. Click Start and select Settings from the menu.
  2. Navigate to Apps in the left pane. In the right pane select Default apps.
  3. Select Microsoft Edge from the list of apps.
  4. Select the first file type.
  5. You’ll get a message asking you not to switch. Choose Switch anyway.
  6. Select the desired browser and click OK.
  7. Now select the next file type on the list, and choose your desired browser.
  8. Repeat this step until you’ve replaced all instances of Microsoft Edge.

For more information, we suggest that you check our guide on how to change the default browser on Windows 11.

This method won’t disable Microsoft Edge, but it will change all file associations and stop it from working as a default web browser.

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In our solution, we used Opera since it’s more reliable and it offers more features than Microsoft Edge, so you might want to give it a try.

2. Rename Microsoft Edge installation directory

  1. Open File Explorer. File Explorer on Windows 11
  2. Go to the following directory: C:\Windows\SystemApps
  3. Locate the Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe directory.
  4. Right-click it and rename it to DISABLED_Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.

If you want to revert the changes after completing the above procedure, just rename the directory back to its original name.

Why does Edge make it hard to change your default browser?

Microsoft made changing the default applications in Windows 11 a bit different. When you start a new browser, you’ll have an option to make it a default one.

If you ignore this message, you’ll have to manually assign each file type to work with the desired browser. This is a lengthy process, and it can take a couple of minutes to complete.

In previous versions of Windows, you just had to change the default web browser and the file associations would be changed automatically.

This isn’t the case anymore, and we don’t know why did Microsoft make this change, but we feel that this is a step in the wrong direction.

Can Microsoft Edge work with Chrome extensions?

Microsoft Edge is built on a Chromium engine, and it fully supports most Chrome extensions. This feature isn’t enabled by default, but you can enable it by doing as described below and keep using this browser if this was your main concern:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the Menu icon in the top right corner and choose Extensions.
  3. Now select Allow extensions from other stores.
  4. A confirmation dialog will appear. Click on Allow.

Microsoft Edge can sometimes be persistent, but we hope that you managed to disable it by following the instructions above.

Changing the file associations is the best way to stop using Edge, and although it can take a while, it will help you achieve your goal. Even more, there are ways to stop Edge from running automatically in the background.

However, iIf you aren’t sure that this should be your next move, also check out our guide on how to fix Microsoft Edge problems on Windows 11. Maybe you’ll find it suitable for you after all.

Do not hesitate to let us know your final choice in the comments section below.

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