Fix: Microsoft Edge doesn’t work anymore or crashes

[German]Some Windows 10 users are facing real issues with Microsoft Edge. The browser suddenly doesn’t want to start, doesn’t work properly or crashes. Here are some possible solutions to solve the problem through various approaches, including registry changes.


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Microsoft Edge is causing problems

Microsoft Edge ist used (according to this article), on 300 Million devices monthly. But this browser seems a nasty beast. Browsing forums I recognize Windows 10 users reporting issues with Microsoft Edge. Some times Edge won’t launch after an update. Or the browser crashes. This Technet forum thread discusses a crash after an upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update. Here is a MS Anwers forum entry dated September 15, 2017, mention a sudden crash during normal operating.

A tip from a blog reader

Blog reader Dietmar H. contacted me a few days ago about an Edge issue (seem to be fixed with an update, see Windows 10 V1703: Update KB4040724 (09/25/17)). He wrote:

Today we spent an entire afternoon troubleshooting Edge not working (browser windows was gray and empty). All the “usual” fixes did not help. Then I found the following key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Spartan REG_DWORD RAC_LaunchFlags 1. Afterwards the Edge worked again immediately. Do you know what the key mean?

Fix #1: Set RAC_LaunchFlags

Edge browser has a registry entry that is managed for each user account in the HKey_Current_User branch (the same entry may exist for the entire system under HKLM). Here are the steps to set the registry entry.

1. Open the registry editor regedit.exe (can be done from standard user accounts, just type regedit.exe in the search box of the taskbar and press Enter).

2. Navigate in the left-hand column of the registry editor to the key: HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Spartan


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Since the subkey Spartan probably does not exist, you must create it again. Otherwise, skip the unnecessary steps.

Registrierung Schlüssel anlegen

3. Right-click the Internet Explorer subkey and choose New/Key from the context menu.

4. Then enter the key name Spartan and press Enter.

5.  Once the new key name has been created, select it in the left-hand column of the registry editor.

Registrierung DWORD 32-Bit anlegen

6. In the right-hand column of the Registry Editor, right-click an empty area and choose New/DWORD value (32-bit) from the context menu.

7. Enter the name RAC_LaunchFlags and press Enter.

8. Select the DWORD 32-bit value RAC_LaunchFlags by double-clicking it and set the value to 1 .

Then close the dialog box using the OK button. The registry entry shown here should be visible.

Registrierung RAC_LaunchFlags

Then the Microsoft Edge browser should start. The browser should work again. If that does not help, there is another problem. You can also try the approach described in this forum post and enter the following command in the Command Prompt window.

reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Spartan” /v
RAC_LaunchFlags /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Important: This is a single command line and may be entered at a command prompt window.

The blog reader asked what the key RAC_LaunchFlags means. I don’t know more details – but the abbreviation RAC or RACAgent stands for reliability monitoring in Windows (see).

The value RAC_LaunchFlags =1 is also mentioned in this current Microsoft Answers forum post as a measure for edge problems.

Fix #2: Delete and reinstall Edge

Blog reader Leon has given me an approach for experienced users. Here are the steps to delete Edge.

1. Start Windows 10 in Safe mode and opens in Explorer the following folder:
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages

2. Search the packet MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, right click it and select Properties.

3. Goto global tab and uncheck the Read-only attribute.

After these steps it should be possible to delete the package with Microsoft Edge (MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe). In a further step, Edge must now be reinstalled.

1. Open an administrative PowerShell window (enter PowerShell in taskbar’s search bar and use context menu command Run as administrator).

2. Enter the following PowerShell command.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose}

If everything works, Edge will now be reinstalled. After that you can restart Windows 10 in normal mode.

Fix #3: Reset Edge

One action that can help with problems with Edge is to delete the profile folder for each user and the global data folder. The Microsoft Edge profile folder can be found at:

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

The global data folder is located at:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Rename Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe in Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.old (requires adminstrative rights).

Then open PowerShell and enter the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register „$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml“ -Verbose}

This reinstalls Edge (see this forum entry and here). And here is a description how to reset Edge.

Other sources of trouble

A good summary of possible actions has been given by a user in this forum thread. In this Technet forum post a user mentions conflicting Software Restriction Policies from a previous build. Another source for trouble are third party antivirus software packages. Here McAfee Endpoint Security Suite is mentioned. Another user mentioned, deleting Favorites helped. The favorite folders are documented here. Also using the hints given within my blog post Check and repair Windows system files and component store may help.


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8 Responses to Fix: Microsoft Edge doesn’t work anymore or crashes

  1. Kim Cummins says:

    Thank you so much! You guys are amazing techs! Finally got it to work after spending 3 days pulling my out! I will spread the word about your site!

  2. Matthew Dirks says:

    Thanks for this. I’m working towards adding this registry enrty into to my Group Policy to fix the annoyance that the Creator’s Update unleashed that lead me to having to weaken our Software Restriction Policy (SRP) to work around the issue (an SRP that had been working just fine alongside Edge before the update). Slight correction though on the blog reader’s statement. RAC does not stand for “Reliability Monitoring”. It stands for “Reliability Analysis Component” which is part of the overall reliability infrastructure of the system.

    Also, I’m making an educated guess that the folder has to be named “Spartan” as that was the original name for the Edge browser although why Microsoft would have categorized it under Internet Explorer when it was supposed to be an entirely separate browser is beyond me.

    I haven’t been able to determine yet either what that registry entry does specifically either but it looks similar to other registry flag that would be passed to the agent program behinds the Reliability Analysis Component similar to how you would pass various switch parameters to programs on the command line. Each bit of the flag value would enable or disable some option so the last bit (or first depending on how you look at it) must toggle some feature that underlies the fault that was causing Edge to crash. Whatever this flag does apparently keeps whatever library file that resided under the user’s profile from being executed (at least on the user level anyway … for all I know that flag my have the agent run with system level permissions or something).

    • Matthew Dirks says:

      Addendum to my prior post. I found out the significance of the registry entry (although I didn’t find out exactly what it does). Apparently this registry entry was present in earlier versions of Windows 10 but did not get properly migrated over in the Creator’s Update. It’s noted in this YouTube video at around the 2:20 mark:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho1G088NoHk

  3. Tim Scott says:

    Of all the advice I found & tried, including reinstalling Edge, the registry fix was the only thing that worked.

    Brilliant guys – well done.

    There is so much rubbish on this issue – not least from Microsoft. They seem unable to support or maintain their own software effectively. The hours they cause to be wasted is getting increasingly obscene.

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  5. Chris Moore says:

    Well here we are in 2018 and this is still a major issue, even on new build machines.

    Thank you for the registry information and solution – the only thing that brought Edge back to life.

  6. A Sad BAC employee says:

    Unbelievable. Been trying to fix edge on a domain connected workstation for over a YEAR AND A HALF.

    Fixed it. Right now. Fantastic job of debugging.

  7. shubhendu says:

    Fix#1 worked for me : i mean the commandn which we have to enter in the cmd line .
    Only this command i entered i did not have to try the other things suggested on Fix#1 and edge worked perfectly fine .
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Spartan” /v RAC_LaunchFlags /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

    Great . Thanks for suggesting . Appreciate it and thanks ..

  8. James Pumphrey says:

    I found your Microsoft Edge fix on Tenforums.com. I haven’t been able to use Edge for close to a year. Then today I was trying to fix some Event Viewer errors and saw the multitude of Edge errors and decided to dive in. I have been trying to fix Edge for a long time with no results and no good answers from Microsoft. I used Fix #1 from your article here http://borncity.com/win/2017/09/26/fix-microsoft-edge-doesnt-work-anymore-or-crashes/ and Edge opened right up. No reboot was even needed. Just wanted to drop you a few words of thanks for posting something that actually worked.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you !
    Jim P.

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