Microsoft has told customers that the April cumulative update for Windows 10 — the one slated to arrive on April 13, that month’s “Patch Tuesday” — will remove the original, and now outdated, Edge browser and replace it with the newer Chromium-based Edge that debuted a year ago.
Users who accept April’s update, which will include, as does every Patch Tuesday update, the month’s fixes for security flaws, will then also receive Chromium Edge and lose the legacy Edge. The older browser launched in mid-2015 as the default browser for Windows 10.
Skipping the April update will do no good, as every cumulative update issued after April 13 will also include the old-Edge-gone new-Edge-here process.
The April update will end the transition from the legacy Edge to the Chromium-based browser, which was first released in its “Stable” channel on Jan. 15, 2020.
In August 2020, Microsoft spelled out much of how it would end legacy Edge’s life, including the March 9, 2021, date of the final security update release. The Redmond, Wash. developer did not, however, set a removal date for the older, homegrown version of Edge.
Devices powered by Windows 10 20H2 — the upgrade that released in October 2020 — already run the Chromium Edge, so the browser will not be reinstalled. Instead, the April cumulative update will only scrub the system of the legacy Edge.
PCs with other versions of Windows 10 whose users had manually installed Chromium Edge will be treated the same.
Microsoft also noted that customers who apply the Windows 10 March Preview update — slated to show around March 16 — will find Chromium Edge installed and the legacy edition deleted, as that optional release also will run the browser swap.
For IT administrators planning the deployment of Chromium Edge, more information can be found here.