Microsoft Edge updates will be tied with Windows Update, starting with the release candidate, It will not allow you to use the older version or Legacy version of Edge anymore. Any attempt will launch the Chromium version of Edge. However, you can enable side-by-side experience setting that will allow you to run both Legacy and the Chromium versions of Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
The new version of Microsoft Edge will replace all existing shortcuts, pinned icons, and any reference with the new one. Also, let me clear one thing. If you been using Microsoft Edge Chromium, it is the latest version. The legacy version is the NON-CHROMIUM version. The release candidate will become officially available from January 15th, 2020. Some of us might be using Edge beta for so long, and this new version might sound different except that it is not.
Run Legacy Edge & Chromium Edge side by side
When the Chromium version of Edge gets installed in Windows, it will HIDE the Legacy version automatically. It is there, but if you install the stable version, it will not be visible. However, if you want to use both of the versions side-by-side, you need to enable a group policy or change registry settings on the computer. Some of the businesses who were using the older version for their products, then to make sure everything works as before, it is an important feature.
1] Enable Side-by-side experience using Registry Editing
Open Registry Editor
Navigate to Microsoft Polices
Right-click on the Microsoft folder, and create a new key with name EdgeUpdate
Select EdgeUpdate folder, and right-click on the empty side on the left-side
Create a new 32-bit DWORD with the name Allowsxs
Double click to edit the value of Allowsxs and set it as 1.
2] Enable Side-by-side experience using Group Policy
- Open the Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the Run prompt followed by pressing the Enter Key.
- In Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge Update > Applications.
- Under Applications, select Allow Microsoft Edge Side by Side browser experience and then click Edit policy setting.
- Select Enabled and then click OK.
Note: While Microsoft Docs clearly says this policy is there, I wasn’t able to find it yet.
Apart from this, Microsoft has also talked about a Registry entry, which is also not visible. I am guessing that it will be available later. It has something to do with the GP policy.
After the systems are fully updated and the Stable channel of the next version of Microsoft Edge is installed, the following registry key and value is set:
Key value: BrowserReplacement
This key is overwritten every time the Microsoft Edge Stable channel is updated. As a best practice, we recommend that you don’t delete this key to allow users to access both versions of Microsoft Edge.
After following any of these methods, if you install Microsoft Edge Chromium, the old Edge will be renamed as Microsoft Edge legacy. However, the instances from Taskbar, Pinned tiles, etc. will be removed.
When enable Edge Legacy Support?
You need to enable the side by side browser experience before Microsoft starts rolling out the Chromium version of Edge. If you are an IT admin, make sure to deploy the settings to all the users.
You can also choose to delay the Windows updates, which in turn will delay the installation of the Edge Stable Chromium version on Windows 10. Windows allows you to pause updates which will give you enough time to change the group policy settings, and also test the new version of Edge if you haven’t tried it yet.
The best would be to install the Beta version and experience it. It comes with the least number of bugs, as of now matches with the release candidate version.
Enable Edge Legacy mode after installing Edge Chromium Stable
If you have already installed it, then a lot of things have already happened. Here is the list of drawbacks.
- You will have to re-pin the Legacy Edge to Start or Taskbar and Start Menu as the new one will overwrite them.
- Sites that were pinned to Start or the Taskbar for Microsoft Edge Legacy will convert to the new version of Microsoft Edge. So you will have to recreate them again.
Let us figure out how to fix this situation:
- Go to Settings > Apps & Features > Select and then Uninstall Microsoft Edge Chromium (Stable)
- As soon as you uninstall, the Legacy Edge Browser will appear.
- Create the Registry Key or update the Group policy which I have mentioned above (Allowsxs)
- Download and install Microsoft Edge Stable
- Go back to the Start menu, and you should see both of them.
As you can see in the above image, I have all versions of Edge (Chromium) and Edge Legacy installed. While in the Start menu, the difference is evident with the name, in the applications list, its called Microsoft Edge (Microsoft Corporation) and has the old icon.
I hope it was clear how you can run both Edge legacy and Chromium Edge side by side if you need to do so.