back to article Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

Microsoft is investigating claims by some Windows 10 Insider users that Edge pops up after their PCs start up, even if the software has been told not to do that. This comes after punters last week complained to Redmond's support gofers that they can't seem to stop Edge from running at boot. "We've heard from our community …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    I have some Windows 2016 servers which constantly complain when I launch a browser other than IE. No matter how many times I tell Windows that I really do want to use the alternative browser as my default browser and not use IE, they just keep on nagging me.

    1. moonpunk

      IE??? Really??

      Do you mean IE (Internet Explorer) or do you actually mean Edge?

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: IE??? Really??

        Do you mean IE (Internet Explorer) or do you actually mean Edge?

        Server 2016... yup... they mean IE....

        It's really quite jarring when you're not expecting it.... it looks like Win 10.... oh.....

        (Shame really, as Edgium (??... Croge??... whatever...) is actually quite nice).

    2. J. Cook Silver badge

      We ran into that allll the way back with 2008 R2. There's a service called Network Location Awareness, and by default it tries both passive and active probing to determine if there's internet access. Usually the result of it is that a browser window is brought up (usually to perform a proxy authentication against a web security appliance or gateway), but more often than not it's just another ill-documented annoyance.

      To fix this 'issue', disable Active Probing in the registry:

      I'm willing to bet money that this is what's happening with some of these folks.

  2. theOtherJT Silver badge

    Remember when... just put links to things you want run at startup in the startup folder and the job was done? One nice simple location, nothing in the way. Easy to read. Easy to write. Easy to understand.

    There was one simple way and problems like this didn't happen. Every step we have taken away from that simple model has made things worse.

    See also /etc/rc.d

    The old ways were better. They weren't pretty, but they were better.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Remember when...

      ...or dropping programs into WBStartup on Workbench long before MS invented the idea.

      1. tin 2

        Re: Remember when...

        have 50,000 upvotes.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Remember when...

      now there's not only the system registry, and the user's registry, but also the task scheduler (which I've only looked at long enough to dislike it, especially when compared to something straightforward like crontab), in addition to a common startup directory and a user startup directory. All of these have the ability to start processes automatically on bootup.

      So yeah. need to check all those things. Or maybe there's a background service that's running on startup for Edge now, and for some *weird* reason it spawns on the desktop...

      sad icon, because this really happens [apparently]

      1. My-Handle

        Re: Remember when...

        I had an issue with ransomware a little while ago. The core program was a small enough thing, but the little bugger had a nasty habit of copying itself into every one of the locations you described above, every time it booted. So if you cleaned and rebooted the machine (air-gapped, of course) and you'd missed even one version of the program, it'd restart and copy itself everywhere again (though at least you could use Task Manager to figure out where it had started from -this- time).

        It wouldn't have been nearly as easy for something like that to revive itself without Microsoft's scatter-brained approach to start-up programs.

      2. Techienumber1

        startup problems eh

        right here is what you do right click on the start bring up task manger goto start

        choose edge in the then right click it disable it click ok your done you are welcome

        this happens when yo install third party software

        no real problem

    3. 9Rune5

      Re: Remember when...


      The Start menu appeared with Windows 95 along with the startup folder.

      Windows NT, released in automn 1993, already had e.g. HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run at that point.

      Services was also part of both NT 3.1 and Win95. Nothing new there.

      COM might have arrived later, but it builds on OLE that was introduced in 16-bit Windows (3.1?).

      Login-scripts for domain users harkens back to the win16 glory days. (possibly a WfWg 3.11 feature? Although msft had some Lan Manager or similarly named product before that)

      The ability to replace the user's shell I think predates Win95 as well, but it was certainly present very early on.

      1. Techienumber1

        Re: Remember when...

        and even before that we used to use thing's like cobalt and ibm firmware editing for the old guys who can still run ring's around the youth of today

    4. Teiwaz

      Re: Remember when...

      I seem to remember fighting an often losing battle (in the late 90's) against windows software that wanted to be loaded into status tray at startup.

      It's a long time ago, and I switched to Linux around the millennium so memory is a little vague - but I recall there were items removed from a sensible startup folder that still loaded because of a second startup list.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Remember when...

        I seem to remember fighting an often losing battle (in the late 90's) against windows software that wanted to be loaded into status tray at startup.

        Oh yes, used a prog that whenever a new piece of functionality was required they just added another little sub program. This was done until it could be incorporated into a new version. As those came around every thousand years you didn't have long to wait. The sub prog usually just had a status tray icon to indicate it was running. The problem was if one of these went down so did your ability to use the system. The custom keyboard being a prime example of this. It took us a long time and a call to their UK head office to figure it out. It didn't help that the status tray icon didn't always disappear if something crashed. If you hovered over it, it would usually go but that was unhelpful. Also the icon didn't look anything like the thing it was running. To give one example the eye icon referred to the custom keyboard prog.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Remember when...

          It didn't help that the status tray icon didn't always disappear if something crashed. If you hovered over it, it would usually go...

          You’ll not be shocked to learn that this behaviour still occurs in Windows 10.

          For example, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wondered why I’m getting no IMs from colleagues even though Skype-for-Business/Lync is still running... only to hover over its system tray icon, which immediately disappears, showing that the damn thing actually crashed minutes/hours ago but fooled me into thinking it was alive.

    5. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Remember when...

      I used a program that had a batch conversion process built in and accessible from a drop down menu. In the next version it was gone completely much to my utter annoyance. Called the UK rep who told me it wasn't seen as very popular and had been removed as a result. I asked if I could downgrade back to the old version but the terms of the license didn't allow it. They had made a standalone batch converter though and if you got in touch you could have a copy under your existing license. I called it barking mad to do that.

      Somebody once said to me that an engineer designs things to work well. Designers and Marketing then make it look nice. You can have software that works perfectly but is buggered by useless GUI. I've used some progs where everything works brilliantly and some where the UI just sucks. In one case everything was geared towards the American market. Sort of like not making left hand drive vehicles for Europe etc. Not a thing was done to allow for regional variations or heaven forfend a customer request. Which was a shame as the people we'd moved from would bend over forwards, to bend over backwards to help. We suggested a feature we wanted and they agreed it was a good idea. A month later we had a beta version to test.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: bend over forwards, to bend over backwards to help

        That is the kind of support you get from small companies who need to make a place for themselves on the market. They care about their customers because they don't have four continents of them.

        The more customers a company gets, the more rigid the support structure, until you get to Borkzilla where the support structure has gone the same way as quality assurance : it's the beta testers - sorry, the Dev Channel - that take up that role now.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          Re: bend over forwards, to bend over backwards to help

          Small (Not one person companies) rock.

          I deal with a small company who prided themselves on their software never crashing. A week before go-live we managed to crash it. I logged a support case and the news was ominous. They had no idea what was going on or where to start looking. Left the office that day stressing about what we were going to do about that go-live date.

          On the way home got a call from the lead engineer (Yes the lead engineer. Not tech support. Not account manager but the person who actually writes the code!): "We've worked out what's going on. We've got a reproduceable test case. You'll have a fix on your system first thing in the morning"

          Still using that company's software over a decade later.

      2. bpfh

        Re: Remember when...

        Epson print monitor, happily taking up 500 k of memory on your 4 meg system, just to tell you that you had low ink when you printed maybe 5 pages a month...

  3. Chris G


    When I first got Win 10, I went to setting for edge, disabled all app permissions. It fired itself up once so I went back to settings and hit the terminate button, no problems since!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Chris G - Re: Terminate

      Noted! I can hardly wait to put it in practice on my systems.

      Thanks for the tip!

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: @Chris G - Terminate

        Shutup 10 does the job, and more.

        1. Aussie Doc

          Re: @Chris G - Terminate

          Big upvote for SU10 - so easy to stop so much crap from loading.

          Works hand-in-hand nicely with Classic Shell.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: @Chris G - Terminate

          Shutup 10 does the job, and more.

          Wow, that's frikking awesome, and where has it been all my Win10 life! No longer will I have to stare at Task Mangler screaming "What are you? Why are you running? Why won't you die!" when this has a clean UI allowing me to burn cruft with fire.

          Just downloaded and ran it, now my Win10 box feels less bloated, and leaner!

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: @Chris G - Terminate

            Glad to be of service, but I can't take credit that goes to another commentard and, of course, to OO Software themselves. But maybe El Reg should include a link in all future articles of this type.

            1. H in The Hague

              Re: @Chris G - Terminate

              "But maybe El Reg should include a link in all future articles of this type."


              And perhaps gradually build up a list of Commentard-recommended software. Various comments have led me to some interesting software such as Sumatra PDF reader, FreeCAD, Notepad++, etc. I would feel more comfortable picking from a list like that than just searching the Intawebs - where I might find software that's 'interesting' in the wrong way.

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: @Chris G - Terminate

                In that case, I heartily recommend Irfan View for image viewing.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Terminate

      Oh dear. You have just told MS what to [cough][cough] reset in the next patch release and in every patch release after that.

      Well done for trying to fight against the Redmond Borg but as the saying goes, 'resistance is futile'. They will make you and all the other deviants come around to their way of working. Mummy MS knows best.

      Yes, I am being sarcastic. (or perhaps not).

      After all, everyone should use the MS supplied browser at least once. And that is to download your favourite alternative browser. Mine is currently Brave.

      1. 9Rune5

        Re: Terminate

        I am a little bit surprised that you guys are bothered so much by the browser.

        I never did anything and use Chrome just fine. Never been bothered by Edge.


        They keep resurrecting the bloody Beep device driver. AND they activate hibernation.

        I even have a little powershell script I run after each feature upgrade of Windows:

        $job = Start-Job -ScriptBlock { Stop-Service Beep }

        Set-Service Beep -StartupType Disabled

        powercfg /hibernate OFF

        if (!$(Wait-Job $job -Timeout 5)) {

        Stop-Job $job


        (a vain attempt to do the service shutdown in the background -- a few versions ago they even made it impossible to shut it down cleanly just to annoy me further)

        I'm also bothered by the sticky keys asking to be enabled whenever I rest my finger on the shift-button. Oh, and as a foreigner I'm haunted by, I think, left-shift + ctrl. That switches the input keyboard language! I have become popular with several colleagues after telling them why they suddenly are typing away on a different keyboard layout. This "feature" has been that way since at least 16-bit windows.

        But that Edge icon on my desktop? Not a bother at all. Not compared to the bigger issues mentioned above.

        1. Wade Burchette

          Re: Terminate

          The issue is the browser runs when the computer boots. No program or app should start automatically without your permission. And what is worse, to disable the Edge browser starting, you need to go in the group policy editor, do a registry hack, or use O&O Shut Up 10. A browser is not an essential OS function, it should not start just because Microsoft wants me to use it.

          1. 9Rune5

            Re: Terminate

            It doesn't autolaunch here. And I got 2004 several weeks ago.

            So I'm inclined to believe it is a problem affecting a very small minority.

        2. Techienumber1

          Re: Terminate

          wow a long way for such a short journey

      2. Michael Habel

        Re: Terminate

        I heard that Brave Bowser was kinda sketchy selling your seaches off to affiliate Sites. So Plus ça change, Plus c’est la même chose.

  4. J. R. Hartley

    It hasn't gone away you know

  5. Sampler

    Standard Win10 Error

    I thought this was just the normal Win10 error, where a random application you had open when you shutdown (not suspend) boots when you relaunch, mostly for me it's excel, occasionally powerpoint and once or twice Chrome (so it's not just ms apps), not using Edge I wouldn't be surprised if it did the same..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Standard Win10 Error

      Shutdown on Win10 may not do what you expect of a command called "shutdown". It's more like "Go into a deep sleep and try to forget about the troubles of today, but while your dreaming, weird things may happen that affect what you do when you next wake up".

      What you really wanted to do is now handled by selecting Reboot/Restart and then turning the power off at the appropriate moment if the wind is in the right direction and the correct bits of the chicken entrails has been draped over the computer.

      1. aFatCatIsaHappyCat

        Re: Standard Win10 Error - easy fix

        Disable Fast Boot (or StartUp)

        This explains it well.

        I have had many issues with SoundBlaster card drivers over the years since Win 10 and this has always fixed it. On a modern PC, a few seconds more at boot is worth a ton of stability.

        1. Captain Scarlet

          Re: Standard Win10 Error - easy fix

          I always nuke fast startup (It was introduced in Windows 7 wasn't it?), it literally saves a few seconds these days so I see no point in it.

      2. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Standard Win10 Error

        Or you simply hold the Shift key down when you shutdown .

    2. Boothy

      Re: Standard Win10 Error

      For any old instructions that told you to do a cold boot, i.e. Shut down, then start up again, if on a default Win 10, you need to do a restart instead now.

      As others have mentioned, Win 10 shutdown is actually a hybrid hibernation by default (it logs you out, then hibernates), which can lead to odd issues. (For example my network drives always show as disconnected, with a warning icon in the tray, despite actually working fine when opened).

      Whereas a restart in Win 10, seems to close everything down before starting up again. So if using Fastboot, do a restart instead of a shutdown to clear up issues.

      Personally I don't see the point in Fastboot mode on a modern machine. my personal machine has a fast SSD (M.2 NVMe), and for me there is no perceptible difference in boot time with our without Fastboot. Plus wiithout it, it also fixes the occasional odd app behaviour, and also resolved the network drives disconnected issue I had).

      That being said, Fastboot might be useful for people on a slow HDD. My company provided laptop is an old 4 core, 4 thread thing, on a slow HDD, and boot times are noticeable faster with Fastboot on, but I do a restart about once a week, otherwise it starts to get testy (apps crashing etc).

      For ref, the Fastboot setting is under:

      Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\System Settings

      Alternately, type Power into the search bar (i.e. Windows key, then type), then click 'Additional power settings' on the right, then click 'Choose what the power buttons do', which takes you to 'System Settings'. (Don't you just love Win 10s mixed approach to settings!).

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Standard Win10 Error

      Chrome always autostarts on my system (and yes, I've double checked all the settings to make sure it's not set to do that).

      It seems to be linked to the 'fast startup' feature, where Windows actually hibernates rather than shutting down when you click the Shutdown option.

      Instead I have a shortcut on the desktop which runs shutdown.exe /s /hybrid /t 0, which forces a proper shutdown.

  6. Kev99 Silver badge

    I don't have that problem. But then again, I use the real thing - CHROME - not some cobbled together spider web.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Good for you. Not that it's really relevant to the problem at hand.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Google thank you for your slurped data.

  7. Carl D

    Edge has always "preloaded" into memory at Windows startup (and again after a short time when you've actually used and closed Edge so I've heard).

    Just one of Microsoft's "little tricks" to make it look like their products are faster than the competition "Oooh, look... Our fabulous Edge browser opens a full half a second faster than our nearest competition.... blah... blah...".

    Looks like they've now gone a step further and made Edge run completely on Windows startup because, as we all know, the first thing we all want to do is start using Edge as soon as we turn on our PC's. (rolls eyes).

    (Oh, I have a .reg file in my Windows 10 'box of tricks' that stops Edge preloading into memory at Windows startup)

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      "Oh, I have a .reg file in my Windows 10 'box of tricks' that stops Edge preloading into memory at Windows startup"

      Care to share??

      1. Carl D


        Not sure if this is where I downloaded it from a while ago but it is available from many places.

        After downloading, unzip the file and there will be 2 registry files, the first one is for disabling pre-loading of Edge and the second one undoes the change if needed. Just double click on the .reg file to use.

        This is for the "new" Chromium Edge so I don't know if it works with the original Edge - probably does but I'm not sure - but I think you can still download the .reg files for the original Edge with a quick Google search.

        1. Captain Scarlet
          Thumb Up

          Oh wow I havent been on Major Geeks in years!

          It even looks the same!

        2. n_c

          I'm not sure the HKCU is needed ; that is not on the MS site and its not what uses.

      2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
  8. Gordon 11

    Slightly different Edge issue

    KB4559309 is rolling out on Windows 2004 update.

    When this "installs" (read on) after the restart it fires up Edge at the next login (for every user) and gets them to configure it.

    But this has left my system believing that it always has a pending update for KB4559309! So Windows is always going to schedule a reboot for it. Since Windows doesn't believe it is yet installed I can't uninstall it.

    After half-a-dozen reboots had no effect on this I decided to fire up Edge. When I got to the "About" screen it reported that it was 81.0.416.81 and then started to update itself. After that update it was 83.0.478.45.

    Still had no effect on the status of KB4559309: Windows Update still thinks it has yet to do it.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: KB4559309: Windows Update

      Windows and Update. Two words that should never go together. The whole process is borked. MS knows that it is and has done for years and years yet steadfastedly refuses to do anything about it.

      Phantom updates (where it has been applied but the OS thinks that it hasn't) is not new. I'm sure that it is deliberate on the part of MS to keep your system accessing its servers for updates that don't exist.

      Who knows what information your version of Windows Update is sending to the Mothership eh?

      1. Teiwaz

        Re: KB4559309: Windows Update

        MS knows that it is and has done for years and years yet steadfastedly refuses to do anything about it.

        That's a bit rough.

        I think they'd have to be aware and trying to do something.

        Unfortunately the result of their efforts seems to be a little like pissing into the wind.

  9. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge kindly share diagnostic data through our secure in-browser feedback tool...

    Hang on a minute... we've already told you we don't want to use Edge, now you're telling us to use it.

  10. SloppyJesse

    I don't use Edge. Well, not intentionally

    Title says it all.

    I only saw Edge when some (normally MS) tool decided to open html in it rather than using the default browser.

    Until recently when Edge decided it should handle PDFs and refuses to give them up. Have yet to successfully change it back to FoxIt. Either Windows or Edge refuses to change the association

    1. X5-332960073452

      Re: I don't use Edge. Well, not intentionally

      Try, right click a PDF, Open With, Choose another program, choose Foxit, tick box for always open.

      Hope this helps.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What's this place?"

    If you click on the "Where was this photo taken?" link on the login screen it always pops up edge to let you know after logging you in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What's this place?"

      My wife thought she had to click on one of those hotspots to log in because that's where her cursor changed to the hand, and was frustrated at having to close Edge every time she logged in. I showed her she needed to click "anywhere *but* the hotspot", and that solved the issue there...

  12. nematoad


    Having read all the posts detailing how to stop Windows running things you don't want it to run takes me back to the time when Linux was being decried as "too difficult".

    Not having used Windows for years I did not realise that people were forced to jump through so many hoops to get the damned OS to work as you wanted.

    Of course there may be reasons why people need or want to run Windows but I am thankful that I managed to get off that train a long time ago.

  13. MatthewSt

    Hint: Aren't they both one line?


  14. Falmor

    Auto App Start

    Sounds a bit like what ever it is in Windows 10 that restarts any apps that were active when you shutdown or reboot. Feels like I have to disable this after every windows update.

    Nice to see Microsoft still using stdout redirection with "> c:\users\edgelogfile.txt" rather than the more verbose "| out-file c:\users\edgelogfile.txt".

  15. Anonymous IV


    "He's just zis guy, you know..."

    (with apols to Mr Z Beeblebrox)

    1. 9Rune5

      Re: Fawkes?

      Zaphod did not say that. It was said _about_ Zaphod.

      'Gag Halfrunt was the private brain-care specialist of Zaphod Beeblebrox. He became famous for saying in interviews "Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?"',zis%20guy%2C%20you%20know%3F%22

  16. Andytug

    2004 update to blame?

    2 out of the 3 laptops I've upgraded to 2004 recently (all different manufacturers) had a brief issue after reboot where they opened 100+ Edge windows on startup. End Task in Task Manager stopped it, but could be connected?

    1. Boothy

      Re: 2004 update to blame?

      I've updated one VM at home as a test, it didn't go well (gfx corruption issues), and one of my colleagues updated a work laptop, also had issues.

      My main PC (home built last summer, all current tech, no legacy device), is currently blocking the 2004 update, stating on Windows Update "... your device isn't quite ready yet.".

      What they actually mean of course is that "Windows 2004 isn't quite ready yet".

      I've no idea why it's blocked, there doesn't seem to be any details, but personally, I'm in no rush for the update.

  17. poohbear

    Well at least the instructions were trivial to memorize.

    "Open the command prompt from an Admin account – Press the Windows key then type in “cmd” or 'command prompt' into the search. You’ll see a black window open."

    Do not be alarmed. Black is not necessarily evil.

    1. Captain Scarlet


      We can fix that, use command:

      color c4

      (Or like me type colour c4 3 times before realising its US English not UK English)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @poohbear - Hwo dare you say black window ?

      Instead, the politically correctness police recommends that you must say "a very dark window".

      When I witnessed the dawn of the communist regime in my country I thought I will never see this kind of thing ever again. Then I moved into a Western country with a long history of democracy and the same cra... sorry, thing happens.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. earl grey

    ms is making the whole world insane

    i actually upvoted bombastic bob. wtf ms?

  20. TheSkunkyMonk

    Ive been getting this for a couple month, very rarely though its normally a restart or two from the last time I use it when this happens, Really annoying but I havent played SeaofThieves since they started charging for pets and cosmetics so its probably time to reinstall Ubuntu anyway, Doesn't feel right having so a close connection to the marketeers.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While they're at it...

    can they stop OneDrive for Business from popping up a File Explorer window periodically for apparently no reason?

  22. William Higinbotham

    It does what it wants to do, brought to you by Open SourceProject

    This is why it does what it does. Under About Microsoft Edge - "This browser is made possible by the Chromium open source project and other open source software." I had older Windows 10 and for some reason, Microsoft Edge did not update itself to this new version. Then I came across about it and installed the new version on top of the old. I have not a clue. This is why I have 4 different versions of browsers on my machine:-)

  23. Big Al 23

    It would appear that Microsoft is encouraging some other entity to produce a quality PC OS.

  24. CountCadaver Silver badge

    Now if win10 would stop searching the web

    disabled websearch through every group policy object i can find and it still searches the web (Win 10 Pro 1909)

  25. TheSkunkyMonk

    Wierdly it has now stopped all by its self and instead now Xbox app seems to want to launch randomly on startup instead

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