Microsoft will be releasing the Microsoft Edge Chromium based browser next month via Windows Update. If you don't want it to be installed automatically here's how to prevent it.
Microsoft's Chromium Edge browser is set to be released January 2020. It will be rolled out to users via Windows Update for all PCs running Windows 10 1803 or newer approximately mid-January.
Microsoft has released the Microsoft Edge Blocker Toolkit that blocks automatic delivery through Windows Update but still allows manual download and installation. It can be used by individuals or businesses who want to prevent automatic deployment. The tool creates a registry value that blocks automatic downloading.
You can modify the registry manually or use the Toolkit. To use the toolkit, download it from Microsoft.
Run the .exe file, which will create three files.
Open an administrative command prompt and enter “EdgeChromium_Blocker.cmd” (minus quotes) and press enter. The options to use the toolkit will be displayed. If you want to prevent automatic update, add the block flag to the entry so it reads: “EdgeChromium_Blocker.cmd /b” (minus quotes).
To allow the automatic update, from an administrative command prompt the entry would be “EdgeChromium_Blocker.cmd /u” (minus quotes).
To add the entry to the registry manually, back up the registry, then open Notepad. Copy and paste this into Notepad to create a reg file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Save the file to the desktop or other location - give it a descriptive name with a .reg extension, something like BlockEdgeChromium.reg.
Click on it to merge the data into the registry. If you don't feel comfortable with those steps you can download and run the registry file from Bleeping Computer (starts download).
Edit: Not all installations of Windows have the registry key that gets modified.
If installing and running the toolkit doesn't add the registry key and/or downloading and running the reg file from Bleeping Computer doesn't add the registry key, follow these directions:
Download and run the toolkit. It will install three files.
Navigate to the folder where the downloaded files are located.
Click anywhere a blank spot of the folder.
Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and right click a blank spot of the folder.
Choose Command Prompt (Administrator).
Type: EdgeChromium_Blocker.cmd /B to block distribution of the file.
Typing EdgeChromium_Blocker.cmd /U tol unblock distribution of the file.
A message should appear:
Blocking (or unblocking if that was your choice) deployment of Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) on the local machine
The operation completed successfully.
To check if the operation was successful and the registry key was added, tap the Windows key or open the Start Menu, type regedit, and check to see if the key has been added here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE > Microsoft > EdgeUpdatea
and that this value is in the right hand pane:
Microsoft Edge Chromium is shaping up to be a solid alternative to Google Chrome. Microsoft has removed the tracking and other intrusive parts of Google Chrome and added some of their own features that include privacy protections. You can download the Beta Channel (most stable), Dev Channel (weekly updates) and Canary Channel (nightly updates) for Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10, macOS, iOS and Android at the Microsoft Edge Insider site.
(h/t Redmond Mag)
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