After installing KB5034204 update for Windows 11, Microsoft Edge automatically opens all tabs from Chrome
Users have reported that after installing the KB5034204 update for Windows 11, the Microsoft Edge browser automatically opens all tabs from Chrome.
Verge Editor-in-Chief Tom Warren confirmed that on his PC in Edge (which is not the default browser on the system) the option to import data from Google Chrome on every launch was previously disabled, but now the setting at edge://settings/profiles/ importBrowsingData became active without any user action.
“Last week I turned on my computer, installed Windows Update, and rebooted to find that Microsoft Edge automatically opened with the Chrome tabs I was working on before the update. I don’t use Microsoft Edge regularly and I have Google Chrome as my default browser. At 9am, bleary-eyed, it took me a while to realize that Microsoft Edge had simply taken over Chrome from where I left off. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I have never imported my data into Microsoft Edge or confirmed if I want to import my tabs. But Edge automatically opened after a Windows update with all the Chrome tabs I was working on. At first I didn’t even realize I was using Edge and was confused as to why all my tabs were suddenly spread out.”
– Warren said.
IS expert Zach Edwards confirmed freelance Edge behavior. “I specifically reinstalled Windows 11 and found that there is an obscure setting to sync Chrome data with Edge (it’s also available for MSFT if you’re signed in and syncing your browsing data), to turn it off, open Edge and then: Edge :// settings/profiles/importBrowsingData,” Edwards clarified.
It turns out that when installing update KB5034204, a window appears for a few seconds informing the user that Microsoft Edge will now regularly receive data from other browsers available on Windows PCs, including information from the sections of favorites, browsing history, cookies, autocomplete data , extensions, settings and other browser data. By default, the Accept button is active in this window to activate the sync option. Some users simply skip this window by pressing the Enter key to finish installing the update.
Microsoft says the data import is done locally and stored locally, but it will be sent to Microsoft if you sign in and sync your browsing data with cloud services.
Notably, Microsoft displays a large blue “Accept” button in the message to encourage Windows users to enable the feature, along with a darker “Not Now” button if users are against and want to opt out of the new sync option. Microsoft doesn’t offer “I don’t want this option” buttons at all.
According to Warren, this is the wrong position on Microsoft’s part to push Edge so aggressively. In this case, Microsoft is using tactics commonly used by malware and spyware developers to promote its web browser, Warren believes.
In some cases, even disabling the synchronization option in the browser settings does not help, and the data import continues. Then there is another solution. Users are advised to edit the registry to completely disable this option (reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Edge” /v AutoImportAtFirstRun /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f ).
In October 2023, Microsoft began offering users a survey when trying to download and install Google Chrome from the Edge browser.
In August, the updated version of Microsoft Edge for some time classified the original installation file of the Google Chrome browser as a potentially dangerous program in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
In the past, Microsoft touted the advantages of Edge when visiting the Google Chrome download page or persistently warned Windows 10 and 11 users with a message that Edge was better than Google Chrome.