Microsoft Edge steals tabs from Google Chrome without asking

Microsoft Edge steals tabs from Google Chrome without asking

Microsoft always takes liberties beyond what is acceptable. Now it is this update that is causing frustration and irritation.

“Why did you log out everywhere?”

Whether there are constant questions about upgrading to new versions of Windows, OneDrive announcements, or the hassle of setting Edge as your default browser: there always is something. But now the company has gone further. The Verge's Tom Warren, the company's Windows expert, noticed something strange the other day: Edge had imported all of your tabs from Google Chrome without being prompted.

“I don't use Microsoft Edge regularly, and I've set Google Chrome as my default browser,” explains Warren, who woke up to begin his daily browsing spree, but couldn't believe Edge had started stealing data from Chrome to get him to switch from Chrome to Edge as his default browser.

What made him react was that he was logged out of all tabs from different services, when he first thought it was Google's browser. Warren also hasn't imported anything into Edge or agreed to let Microsoft's browser do so. “You can always access your recent browser data every time you browse with Microsoft Edge,” the post reads, which isn't even activated according to a Windows journalist.

Uses familiar interface tricks

What's happening is that Microsoft has released a Windows update (KB5034204) which states that the operating system can do this, but the message appears with a fresh installation of Windows 11 (see screenshots in post

“With your confirmation, Microsoft Edge will regularly collect data from other browsers available on your Windows device. This data includes your preferences, browsing history, cookies, autofill data, extensions, settings, and other browsing data,” the message reads during the initial setup.

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Initially, these are local transfers only, until you sign in with your Microsoft account and use Edge. “Microsoft displays a big blue consent button to encourage Windows users to enable the feature, while a dark 'Not Now' button opts out of the feature,” explains Warren, who still doesn't understand how that's possible. It's possible there's a bug in the operating system as a new question box related to Edge appeared for a moment.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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