How to Reset, Repair or Reinstall Edge Web Browser

Web browsers may need resetting sometimes — to revert to the default settings especially in the aftermath and removal of a browser-based attack, search hijack, PUA, PUP or Adware infection. We recently saw how to reset Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox manually. This post tells you how to reset Microsoft Edge completely and start afresh.

Contents

Clear Edge Browsing History and Cache

Every major Web browser has a reset option to restore default settings in a jiffy. For instance, Internet Explorer Options has a feature to quickly Reset Internet Explorer Settings in a couple of mouse clicks. Microsoft Edge doesn’t have a similar GUI option, yet. You can clear most of the stuff though, by deleting the following browsing history items via Edge Settings (Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + Del):

  • Browsing history
  • Cookies and saved website data
  • Cached data and files
  • Download history
  • Form data
  • Passwords
  • Media licenses
  • Pop-up exceptions
  • Location permissions
  • Full screen permissions
  • Notifications permissions

clear edge browing history

Clearing the above, however, won’t reset other items such as your Favorites, search hijack registry entries and other browser settings. To clear those items, you’ll need to complete the comprehensive reset procedure described below.

Repair and Reset Edge via Settings (1709 and up)

In Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (v1709 Build 16299), you can Reset or Repair Edge via the Apps and Features page via Settings. Use these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Settings. Or use Winkey + i to open Settings.
    2. Click Apps, and under Apps & Features
    3. Select Microsoft Edge, and click Advanced Options.
    4. In the “Storage usage and app reset” page for Edge, click Repair to repair Edge without losing the app’s data.
    5. If you want to reset Edge so that your cookies, browsing history and cache are reset, click the Reset button. Note that favorites will be preserved.
repair and reset microsoft edge fall creators update
Repair or Reset Microsoft Edge via Apps and Features (v1709)

As said earlier, these two options are available if you have Fall Creators Update (or higher) installed.

Reset Microsoft Edge Manually (v1703 and earlier)

Step 1: Clear Edge user data folders

Resetting Edge may be necessary if its performance is sluggish despite clearing the cache. No reset option exists up in the Creators Update and earlier builds. If you’re running the earlier builds, you can use the following method to complete reset Edge web browser for your user account.

Note: The following procedure will reset Microsoft Edge settings & data completely. Items that are cleared include the Reading list, Favorites, Web Notes, Developer Tools preferences, Cache, Cookies, ePub Bookmarks, and other data and preferences for Edge.

  • Close all instances of Microsoft Edge
  • Open the following folder:
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

The above folder stores the entire user content related to Microsoft Edge, including the Favorites database file Spartan.edb. It’s advisable to backup all sub-folders above to a different location. It’s worth noting that as of Windows 10 Redstone 2 (aka Creators Update), Microsoft Edge has an option to import or export favorites to a HTML file.

reset microsoft edge browser

  • Delete all the sub-folders under Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe directory after backing them up to a safe location.

Can’t delete folders “AC” and “AppData”?

If you’re not able to delete the folders named AppData and AC, try stopping “Cryptographic Services” from the Services MMC first. And then delete the two folders.

Alternately, you can use the following command from an elevated Command Prompt window, to stop Cryptographic Services.

net stop cryptsvc
reset microsoft edge browser
Stop Cryptographic Services using Command Prompt

You may also try restarting Windows once and attempt to clear the folders.

Step 2: Delete Microsoft Edge registry key to clear user settings

Pretty much every user preference or setting configured via Edge’s user interface is stored in the registry. Let’s say, you dismiss Edge’s multiple tabs close warning dialog box with the “do not show again” checkbox enabled. This preference is stored in the registry.

You can delete the following registry key to revert back the factory default settings for Microsoft Edge. It can be useful in the case of search hijacks or PUA infection in Microsoft Edge.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppContainer\Storage\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge

Download reset-edge-registry-settings.zip, unzip and run the enclosed registry file to reset Edge registry settings. If you want to do that manually, use these steps:

  • Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the above location.

reset edge browser

  • Right-click MicrosoftEdge key and choose Export. Save it to a .REG file.
  • Right-click MicrosoftEdge key and choose Delete.
  • Exit the Registry Editor.
  • After clearing the Microsoft Edge data folder, you’ll have to reinstall Edge using PowerShell. That would regenerate the Microsoft Edge user data folders which we deleted earlier.

Reinstall Microsoft Edge using PowerShell

Start PowerShell.exe as administrator, and execute the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
reset edge browser
Reinstall Edge using PowerShell

This reinstalls Microsoft Edge.

Edge is now reset and reloaded. Starting Microsoft Edge would now load the First-run or the Welcome page.

reset edge browser
Welcome to Microsoft Edge page

Editor’s note: Microsoft Edge Web browser is a modern or UWP app that has better protection than any other browsers out there. However, there has been instances of adware infections and search hijacks taking place in Edge browser, albeit rarely. In such situations, completely resetting Edge would set things in order, back again.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

1 thought on “How to Reset, Repair or Reinstall Edge Web Browser

  1. Hi,
    Microsoft edge opens ok I go to settings and click open with start page but every time it does not hold this instruction and closes then I reenter and open again and start page is not there.
    Have tried every fix recommended on the internet including deleting and reinstalling with getapp etc pasting. Can you help????

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