Upgrading to the new Microsoft Edge through Windows Update (expanded)



The world has changed dramatically over the past six months with shifts to remote work environments and virtual classrooms that are now accessed through the web browser. With remote work and learning, IT departments must be equipped to protect their schools and organizations in this new hyper-digital environment. To address these changed conditions, we are making our new browser—with the latest security features—more broadly available through Windows Update.


We recently began rolling out the new Microsoft Edge browser to Windows 10 devices by Windows Update, following the plan we outlined in January which excluded education and business devices. We are now providing an update to that plan.




Beginning no earlier than July 30, 2020, Microsoft will update Microsoft Edge Legacy to the new Microsoft Edge browser by Windows Update on Windows 10 devices in education and business. This update will not impact devices in education and business updated by Windows Update for Business (WUfB) or by Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Updates will target education devices first to accommodate back-to-school timing. We will share a business timeline at a later date.


In summary, no action is required with this change. If you are a K-12 educational organization, there are additional steps required to configure for education. If you want to block this update for your organization, review the information on the Blocker Toolkit page. Review the FAQ below for more information on this update. 


Microsoft Edge for Remote Learning and Work

Protecting organizations—while offering new ways to support productivity in remote learning and work scenarios—is why we have decided to extend the audiences for this important update.


Security to match the moment

The new normal is here to stay. In a blog post last week, Forrester Research shared that they see most clients planning to permanently leave 20% - 30% of the workforce remote, up to even 50%. Similarly, a recent study by University of Michigan found that 1 in 3 of parents may not send children to school because of the pandemic. The phenomenon of users using their personal devices, and working off their personal and other non-corporate networks to access organizational data and resources, is not a one-time spike.


We are updating Microsoft Edge Legacy to the new Microsoft Edge because we believe it is the best browser for business and educational institutions. Fundamentally, the new Microsoft Edge is a modern browser that offers a fast cadence in terms of delivering security updates, enabling responsive security.


Importantly, we want to help you prevent security issues. Threat analysis during this time by the Microsoft Threat Protection Intelligence Team showed that “the vast majority of the threat landscape [still] falls into typical phishing and identity compromise patterns.” Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is integrated by design into the new Microsoft Edge, providing an early warning system against websites that might engage in phishing attacks. Even if your end users haven’t received training on phishing threats, they will be steered to avoid traps with clear warnings such as the below.


Microsoft Defender SmartScreen exampleMicrosoft Defender SmartScreen example

To address identity—while also helping you balance between security and productivity—the new Microsoft Edge enables single sign-on and natively supports Azure AD Conditional Access. There’s no need to install a separate extension. You can enable seamless access to enterprise or educational cloud resources protected using Conditional Access, and do so across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.


Additionally, we recommend that you consolidate on one browser to access the modern web and legacy web apps. Internet Explorer mode enables employees to surf the modern web with the latest security features and productively access Internet Explorer apps and sites from tabs in the same browser.


We encourage you to explore additional security features supported by the new Microsoft Edge, such as Windows Defender Application Guard (hardware isolation), Windows Information Protection (data disclosure management), and Password Monitor (alerts on password breaches, since employees may use same passwords in different settings; available in Canary Preview build now).


Management of the new Microsoft Edge is simple – the enterprise-ready recommended security configuration baseline package is already available as part of the Security Compliance Toolkit.


Learning more and working smarter

End users are seeking tools to cope with the new normal too. We believe that the new Microsoft Edge is the best browser to support students and employees with remote learning and work.


School, work, and home life have blended, but online life and data can be neatly separated with multiple profiles on the new Microsoft Edge. School, work, and personal profiles can sync across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices with the new Microsoft Edge installed.  Swapping profiles is one-click, thanks to automatic profile switching that prompts users with the appropriate profile when needed.


With students so reliant on digital learning now, built-in learning tools in the browser can be a lifeline. Immersive Reader helps to improve reading comprehension by reducing distractions on a web page. Students can just hit the F9 key to open web pages in Immersive Reader (or right click on any highlighted text to open only that text) for a distraction-free experience with additional options to learn grammar, narrow visual focus to a few or a single line, and even translate text in 54 languages.


Lastly, when life is all-digital, everyone is swimming in information. For visual learners, Collections is an easy method to track key links. Tracking down last week’s assignment or yesterday’s presentation can be time-consuming, but in the new Microsoft Edge, students and employees can simply search for internal files, data, and websites in the address bar just like they search the web. Opening a new tab page can now be a time saver too. Setting the new tab page layout to Office 3651 creates a “document dashboard” for recent files, shared docs, and pinned sites. Notice the Office “waffle” is at the top left corner of the new tab page for a shortcut to the Office 365 suite of apps.


With fast performance, compatibility across modern and legacy web apps and sites, security with simple management, and productivity tools in line with the new normal, Microsoft recommends the new Microsoft Edge browser for education and business customers – available on Windows 10, Mac, iOS, and Android.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening?

Beginning no earlier than July 30, 2020, Microsoft will update Microsoft Edge Legacy to the new Microsoft Edge browser by Windows Update on Windows 10 devices in education and business.


This will only impact Windows Update-connected education and business devices. This update will not impact devices in education and business updated by Windows Update for Business (WUfB) or by Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).


When can I expect this?

Microsoft will begin with education devices and update them to the new Microsoft Edge by Windows Update in the weeks after July 30, 2020 to accommodate back-to-school timing. This will be a phased rollout and you will be notified via the standard WU notification process.

Business devices will be updated starting on August 31, 2020. This will be a phased rollout and you will be notified via the standard WU update process.


What won’t happen?

Internet Explorer 11 will remain untouched on the device. This update will respect your previously established default browser choice.


Will anything more happen after this update?

Once the new Microsoft Edge is delivered by Windows Update, the browser will automatically update shortly after to the latest version currently in-market (no additional action is required to update to the most recent version).


What should I know as an educational organization?

Your Windows-update connected devices will begin to update beginning no earlier than July 30, 2020.

Microsoft Edge requires additional steps to configure for K-12 education. To understand these requirements, or how to enable specific features, please visit https://aka.ms/EdgeEduReference

Once updated to the new Microsoft Edge, users will go through a first run experience (FRE). To block this for your users, deploy this policy. Pre-configured policies in the new Microsoft Edge for transferring passwords, favorites, etc. will be respected.


What should I know as a business organization?
Your Windows-update connected devices will begin to update no earlier than August 31, 2020.

Once updated, the new Microsoft Edge will not auto-launch by default. Your users will only see a Windows 10 taskbar pin or desktop shortcut if a pin or desktop shortcut for Microsoft Edge Legacy had existed there previously.


Can I get help with deploying the new Microsoft Edge?

If you’d like help to upgrade all your organization’s devices to the new Microsoft Edge, FastTrack can help with deployment and configuration at no additional charge for customers with eligible Microsoft 365 subscriptions.  


If your web apps or sites work on Internet Explorer 11, supported versions of Google Chrome, or any version of Microsoft Edge, they'll also work with the new Microsoft Edge. If you encounter web app or site compatibility issues, FastTrack Specialists provide advisory and remediation guidance at no additional cost for customers with eligible subscriptions through the App Assure program.


For self-guided deployment information, visit our Microsoft Edge Docs site.


How can I block delivery of the new Microsoft Edge?

While we recommend updating to the new Microsoft Edge, we understand that your organization may want to make a different choice. If your organization would like to keep using Microsoft Edge Legacy, visit the Blocker Toolkit page on Microsoft Docs for information on how to block automatic delivery.


What will happen to Microsoft Edge Legacy policies and extensions?
Existing policies set for Microsoft Edge Legacy will not transfer over to the new Microsoft Edge and need to be reconfigured. A reference document for how policies in Microsoft Edge Legacy map to policies in the new Microsoft Edge can be found here.

Microsoft Edge Legacy extensions will be imported into the new Microsoft Edge during the onboarding process if the equivalent extension is available in the Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store. You can also use policy to manage extensions in your environment.


1 Microsoft 365 subscription required and sold separately

8 Replies

@Elliot Kirk this is great news and there are great feedbacks about Microsoft Edge and from discussion in this forum and talking with people I know in IT Professional and Developer community and even normal Windows users, they really love Microsoft Edge.


@Elliot Kirk 

I'd like to see 2 things with Chromium Edge:

For those who are new to Edge and maybe migrating from IE, I'd like to see the option to have the menus similar to IE for transition purposes. Even Firefox has this.

Speaking of Firefox, would like to see the full history when I click on a link like what Firefox does. Firefox shows not just the destination link but if the page has been redirected.

What won’t happen?

This update will respect your previously established default browser choice.

Great stuff!

@Elliot Kirk Sounds great! Will this update be generating new Edge icons on the desktop or taskbar? We have removed the Edge icons for certain users, so it would be ideal if this update occurs without a visual impact.

@Elliot Kirk imho the new Microsoft Edge should also replace IE11 and any older version (during upgrade), for security reasons.

@Elliot Kirk There's a typo in the section: Will anything more happen after this update?

I'll highligh the sentence, I am sure you can see what's wrong: (no additional is required action to update to the most recent version).

Thank you, @Rahsna Asurac the typo has been fixed.

- Elliot