Edge Imports Chrome Tabs Without Permission

John Lister's picture

Users have reported Microsoft Edge opening up and displaying tabs they'd just had open in Chrome. The most generous reading is that a "helpful" feature is triggering by mistake.

Users have been extremely confused to start up their computer and not only find Edge open unexpectedly, but that it had replicated the sites they'd been using on Chrome. The Verge's Tom Warren noted he didn't even realize it was Edge running at first until he investigated why he was logged out on several of the open sites.

The mystery isn't how this is happening but rather why it is happening. Edge has several features to import data from Chrome which are designed to make it easier to switch browsers permanently, which is what Microsoft wants people to do. This includes importing bookmarks and stored passwords.

Workarounds Unhelpful

In this case the setting is labeled "Always have access to your recent browsing data each time you browse on Microsoft Edge." It's accessible through the settings menus or directly at "edge://settings/profiles/importBrowsingData".

It's understandable that people might be confused by that setting given the description makes no mention of the browsing data coming from other browsers. However, the affected users say that's not what's happened here: the setting is switched off on their computers.

Numerous users report this happening, most commonly following a system reboot after a Windows update. Some responses from Microsoft in support forums suggest it's a deep-rooted issue as they've shared workarounds including editing the Windows registry. That's not exactly a consumer-friendly fix.

Could Be Sync Error

Some users will likely be cynical about this issue given Microsoft hasn't exactly been shy about pushing the line of acceptable behavior when trying to get Windows users to switch to Edge. However, it does appear more likely in this case that it's a technical error.

One possible explanation is that users have (knowingly or not) enabled the feature on one computer and its mistakenly "synced" to start working on another computer with the same Microsoft user account.

While Microsoft hasn't publicly commented on the issue, reports suggest it intends to fix it with a future Edge update. (Source: theregister.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Have you experienced this problem? Did you know about this setting? Do you think this is a genuine error or something more suspicious?

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