Hot Take Microsoft: Why is Microsoft Edge running in the background?

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Preinstalled on every Windows PC, Microsoft Edge remains the default browser for millions of Windows users. You may have seen the browser listed on task manager running in the background even when you don’t have it opened. Why is this? Is it okay? Understand why Microsoft Edge runs in the background and find out if you need to take any action to change it.

Benefits of Microsoft Edge running in the background

Microsoft Edge runs in the background right when you turn on your computer, even before you open your browser. Why? Everything happens for a reason, and Microsoft does this for a couple of reasons—both designed to improve your experience.
  1. First, running in the background ensures the browser opens right when you need it, so you don’t waste time waiting for the browser page to load.
  2. Second, while running in the background, installed apps and extensions can update regularly. That means they’re equipped with the most recent features and security protections at every moment.
Disadvantages of Microsoft Edge running in the background of an older computer

While running Microsoft Edge in the background is useful, it does come with a couple of minor disadvantages, especially if you’re on an older or lower-end system. Having something as powerful as Microsoft Edge running in the background can tax your system’s resources including memory, performance, and battery life. A newer, powerful computer can most likely handle it, but an older one might struggle. If your older computer barely chugs along, turning off Microsoft Edge background processes may help speed up your processing power.

How to disable Microsoft Edge from running in the background

If you decide you prefer not to have Microsoft Edge running in the background, disabling it is easy with these steps:
  1. Open Microsoft Edge and navigate to the ellipses () to open Settings and more.
  2. Select Settings > Systems and performance.
  3. Scroll to Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed to toggle it off.
  4. Now, when the browser is closed, it won’t be running in the background.
Microsoft Edge has a host of performance features designed to ensure your browser and PC are operating efficiently. For many users, Microsoft Edge running in the background can be to your benefit.
 

LennyFox

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Jan 18, 2024
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Microsoft first focussed on making Edge a better (more safety and privacy features) browser than Chrome. Preloading also made Edge a lot faster (first) starting than Chrome.

Currently Edge loads cold only a tad faster than Chrome on my laptop. This is partly because of faster SSD's, but mostly because of the bloat added to Edge.

With switches and (registry) policy settings all Edge extra security features are also available in Chrome.

Many new Microsoft Edgr features (image enhancing for instance) also added new ways of tracking mechanisms.

Privacy wise they are on par (or as bad), so the only decision left is: do you appreciate all new Edge features. Yes? Than keep using Edge, No? Consider Chrome again (it's focus on core browser functionality feels as a relief). When going back to Chrome is not an option, give Brave a chance or try one of the ungoogled Chromium versions.
 
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TairikuOkami

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MS should have let AI to respond, because those lame excuses are bellow the tech level of people, who were actually interested in the answer.
First, running in the background ensures the browser opens right when you need it, so you don’t waste time waiting for the browser page to load.
Cold start of my Edge is a second, webpages open in 1-2 secs, so no thanks MS. Not counting the bug, which causes Edge to lag for 5 secs every 5 mins due to the blocked spying DNS.
Second, while running in the background, installed apps and extensions can update regularly. That means they’re equipped with the most recent features and security protections
They update instantaneously, once the browser is opened and it is opened at least once per session, since that is most likely what people do on PC. Start PC, check emails, open the browser.
 

LennyFox

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Jan 18, 2024
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MS should have let AI to respond, because those lame excuses are bellow the tech level of people, who were actually interested in the answer.

Cold start of my Edge is a second, webpages open in 1-2 secs, so no thanks MS. Not counting the bug, which causes Edge to lag for 5 secs every 5 mins due to the blocked spying DNS.

They update instantaneously, once the browser is opened and it is opened at least once per session, since that is most likely what people do on PC. Start PC, check emails, open the browser.
I am honestly interested why someone who has locked/limited traffic through DNS (I think it is very creative and give it a hat off with a deep bow (y)), still uses Edge?

Most of the new Edge features are intended to enhance the seamless user experience, marketing language for we are tracking you, otherwise we (the smart Edge) can not get the stuff ready which you like or use a lot. Edge triggering DNS requests ignoring DOH is not a bug, it is probably done on purpose to evade encryption of domain names.

You are probably the only one noticing this, because of your creative use of (Next)DNS traffic control ;)

1707255494024.png
 
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TairikuOkami

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I am honestly interested why someone who has locked/limited traffic through DNS (I think it is very creative and give it a hat off with a deep bow (y)), still uses Edge?
There are not that many good browsers out there I would like, regularly updated, otherwise I would still use Yandex and MS services are neatly integrated into Windows.
Edge being a password manager syncing with android and MS Authenticator, which can be used for a passwordless login, it is like Google on android, it is an easy choice.
I got tired playing cat and mouse with MS regarding MSA and Edge, so I am learning how to use it by limiting it as much as possible. MSA will be mandatory sooner or later.

it-is-inevitable-358bf62bc1.jpg

Besides I do not really browse much, I mostly spend time on Youtube via Brave or on FB via Librewolf, so Edge is just a necessary evil, like using TOR only when needed.
 

razorfancy

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Nov 27, 2016
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This setting seems to be broken or at least partially broken for me and for other people because even when both "Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed" and the "Startup Boost" options are disable Microsoft Edge just keeps running in the background after I click to closed it.
This problem doesnt happen every single time I close Microsoft Edge but it still happens a lot.

I also try using the registry key to disable copilot and nothing works.

For me this problem appear with Edge version 118 and its been there ever since.

Other people talking about this problem:
Reddit post
Microsoft Community page
 
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razorfancy

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Screenshot showing both "Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed" and the "Startup Boost" options are disable:

1.png


Screenshot of the bug happening:

Edge background.png


I also already try reset Microsoft Edge settings and disable all extensions but it didnt fix this problem.
Another thing I want to mention is that this bug in the majority of that time if not all time happens when the "Subframe: https://edgeservices.bing.com/" process appears inside the Microsoft Edge process(the screenshot above shows that).
 
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razorfancy

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Nov 27, 2016
168
This setting seems to be broken or at least partially broken for me and for other people because even when both "Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed" and the "Startup Boost" options are disable Microsoft Edge just keeps running in the background after I click to closed it.
This problem doesnt happen every single time I close Microsoft Edge but it still happens a lot.

I also try using the registry key to disable copilot and nothing works.

For me this problem appear with Edge version 118 and its been there ever since.

Other people talking about this problem:
Reddit post
Microsoft Community page
I found a workaround to this problem:
  1. open regedit
  2. go to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" (if this path doesnt exist, make it)
  3. add DWORD32 "StandaloneHubsSidebarEnabled" and set 0.
  4. reboot or kill and restart edge.
For anyone that wants to just download the registry key(go to the Disable Standalone Sidebar option):

I found this registry workaround here:
Link to the Reddit post
 
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razorfancy

Level 4
Verified
Well-known
Nov 27, 2016
168
This setting seems to be broken or at least partially broken for me and for other people because even when both "Continue running background extensions and apps when Microsoft Edge is closed" and the "Startup Boost" options are disable Microsoft Edge just keeps running in the background after I click to closed it.
This problem doesnt happen every single time I close Microsoft Edge but it still happens a lot.

I also try using the registry key to disable copilot and nothing works.

For me this problem appear with Edge version 118 and its been there ever since.

Other people talking about this problem:
Reddit post
Microsoft Community page
Yesterday Microsoft Edge update to Version 121.0.2277.128 seem to have fixed this problem for me so I no longer need to use the registry workaround I posted in my previous comment in this topic.
 
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