Run old and new Edge in Side-by modus

[German]On January 15, 2020, Microsoft plans to ship the Chromium-based Edge Browser under Windows 10. Microsoft has now published a document that explains how to run both browser versions side by side.


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Background: The Chromium-based Edge

Edge, powered by Chromium comes for Windows and macOS). The details were announced by Microsoft employee Joe Belfiore on December 6, 2018)in a blog post ag Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration. The intention was to adapt the Microsoft Edge web platform to web standards and other Chromium-based browsers.

In short, Edge was cored by its own web rendering engine and then provided with the Chromium Blink web rendering engine. After one year of beta testing, a rollout of the new Edge browser for the still supported Windows 10 machines (version 1709 and higher) will be rolled out out via Windows Update from 15 January 2020. The old Edge Browser will remain in Windows 10 as a ‘code corpse’. By default the update removes all references to the old Edge Browser. It can then no longer be accessed. I had reported the details in the blog post Microsoft’s Chromium Edge will be distributed via update soon.

Side-by-side mode for old and new Edge

For enterprise environments, however, there may be scenarios in which you cannot or do not want to do without the old Edge Browser. You may have to use both Edge versions for a transitional period. Microsoft has already published this document at the end of November 2019 for enterprise environments. It describes how administrators can ensure, that both Edge versions can be run side-by-side. I assume that this approach will bei continuable to apply to the final version of the Edge.

  • This requires that the automatic installation of the new Windows Edge via Windows Update is disabled (I had explained this in the blog post Microsoft’s Chromium Edge will be distributed via update soon).
  • Furthermore, the new version of the Edge Browser must be explicitly installed by the administrator. In the document Microsoft refers to the beta version, but this should be possible with the Final in exactly the same way.

Microsoft recommends that you make the following changes to Group Policy before you install the new version of Edge. If this is not done, there are several side effects that Microsoft describes in this document. For example, the following actions will not take effect until the Edge is reinstalled. In addition, the Edge must be re-pinned to the Start menu and taskbar. A reinstallation will automatically make these adjustments.

In this document, Microsoft describes how to make operating system customizations for the new Edge using the BrowserReplacement value in the registry key:

SOFTWARE\Microsoft\EdgeUpdate\ClientState\{56EB18F8-B008-4CBD-B6D2-8C97FE7E9062}

This value is overwritten by default with every update. Therefore, the automatic browser update must be deactivated as described above.

Set Group Policy

To enable parallel operation, a separate group policy must be set up. First of all, the policy templates MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates.cab from Microsoft is required (download here). Double-click on the downloaded .cab file and unzip the zip archive into a new folder. Then unpack the zip-archive into another folder. Then copy two .admx files and the language subfolders contained in the subfolderWindows\admx to the following folder of the Windows drive:


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C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions

With this step, Windows knows the group policy for the Edge. Now you can open the group policy editor gpedit.msc with administrative permissions. Then navigate (in an English Windows) in group policy editor to the branch:

Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Edge Update/Applications

There, the policy Allow Microsoft Edge Side by Side browser experience must be enabled.

Also available for Windows 10 Home

For Windows 10 Home the relevant registry key is documented on this Microsoft page. Open the registry editor with administrative privileges and go to the registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft

Create the subkey EdgeUpdate there. In this subkey, add the 32-bit DWORD value Allowsxs and set it to 1. However, I can’t currently think of any reason why a Windows 10 Home user should force Edge to run side-by-side. That shall work from Windows 10 Version 1809 and upward.

Similar articles:
Microsoft’s Chromium Edge will be distributed via update soon
Some information about the Edge Browser
Microsoft released 1st Edge-Beta, also for Windows 7


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