Categories: SoftwareWorkspace

Microsoft To Remove Legacy Edge Browser In April

Microsoft is to swap out the legacy version of its Edge browser for the new, Chromium-based version in an April security update.

The move means that if systems are still running legacy Edge when the update is applied, the software will be automatically removed with the new version installed.

Microsoft announced in August 2020 that it would no longer provide security updates for legacy Edge, which is based on its own EdgeHTML rendering engine.

The new Edge, first released in January 2020, is based on Chromium, the open-source version of Google’s Chrome browser.

Image credit: Microsoft

Browser switch

Microsoft recommended that users make the switch to the new Edge before April.

This particularly applies to systems running in kiosk mode using legacy Edge.

If those systems are still running the older version of the browser they “will experience a disruption” when the 13 April update removes legacy Edge, Microsoft said in an advisory.

If the new browser is already installed, it will not be reinstalled with the April Windows 10 Patch Tuesday on 13 April. Instead, the update will only remove legacy Edge, Microsoft said.

“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 company said in a blog post.

Kiosk-mode disruption

Some kiosk-mode users may have avoided switching to the relatively new browser as yet because it does not include all the features of legacy Edge.

Microsoft acknowledged this and said “most use cases” would be supported by the new Edge as of version 90, set for release in April, with “parity” scheduled for version 91, which is not scheduled for full release until May.

The versions of Windows 10 on which legacy Edge will be removed by the 13 April update are 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, 2004 and 20H2, Microsoft said.

Version 20H2 already uses the new Edge as the default browser, so the April update will not reinstall it.

App compatibility

However, until now 20H2 has included legacy Edge, allowing users to run the two browsers side-by-side. This will no longer be possible after 13 April, as the update will remove legacy Edge.

Microsoft said that users who experience issues running their apps in the new browser should contact its App Assure programme for help.

The company said it does not recommend users to skip the 13 April Patch Tuesday update as it is intended to provide “critical updates” to the operating system.

Edge is a cross-platform browser and is also available for iOS and Android.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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