If you don't want to use the new Edge browser, follow these steps to prevent automatic Edge Chromium installation in Windows 10.
For the past few months, Microsoft is working on a new web browser based on the open-source Chromium browser. In fact, you can already download the beta, dev, or canary builds right now and test it. After a long time testing and development, Microsoft thinks the browser is ready for prime time and is planning to release it to the general public. Frankly, though the new Edge browser is missing some features like Extension sync, it is better and faster in many ways than the old Edge browser.
Since the new browser is going to become the default one, in typical Microsoft style, the new Edge Chromium is delivered via regular Windows update. This increases the adoption rate and seamlessly replaces the old Edge browser.
Now, if you are used to some other web browser like Chrome or Firefox and have no interesting in switching or trying out the Edge Chromium browser, you can stop Windows 10 from automatically installing the new Edge Chromium browser via Windows Update.
To do so, follow the below steps.
Note: The methods only prevent automatic installation. You can still download and install it manually.
Use Official Tool to Block Edge Chromium Installation
Guessing that there might be people who don't want to go with automatic installation, Microsoft itself made a simple tool. Using this tool, you can prevent automatic Edge browser installation in Windows 10.
1. First, head over to this page and download the Microsoft Edge Blocker Toolkit software. Once downloaded, execute the exe file. You will be asked to choose a folder to extract the files in it. Click on the "Browse" button.
2. Now, select a folder to extract the files and click on the "Ok" button. In my case, I created a new folder on the desktop and selected it.
3. In the main window, click on the "Ok" button to confirm the folder. This action will extract the contents of the exe file to the target folder.
4. Now, open the start menu, search for "Command Prompt", right-click on it and select "Run as administrator" option. This action will open the elevated Command Prompt.
5. In the Command Prompt window, use the below command to go to the extracted folder. Replace "<folderName>" with the actual folder name.
Note: If you've extracted to a folder in some other location, change the path in the below command to reflect that.
6. Once you are in the folder, execute the below command. If the command is successful, you will see the "Blocking deployment of Microsoft Edge (chromium-based) on the local machine. The operation completed successfully" message.
7. Close the Command Prompt window.
That is it. You are done. The new Microsoft Edge browser will not be installed automatically via Windows update. As I said before, you can still install it manually by downloading the installer file from Microsoft, just like Google Chrome or Firefox.
If you want to remove the block and allow the Edge Chromium web browser to automatically install via Windows update, you can reverse the process. Open the elevated Command Prompt and execute the below command and you are done.
That is all. It is that simple to prevent Edge Chromium from automatically installing in Windows 10. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.
If you are using the Edge Chromium browser, you might be interested in knowing how to change the Edge Chromium default search engine from Bing to Google. Do check it out.