In Windows 10 1607 Anniversary edition, Edge has a new a Welcome to Microsoft Edge dialog page that will open in the default tab the first time the user launches Edge. In this post, I explain how to remove the Edge welcome page and show you can disable the default browser prompt.

Jörgen Nilsson

Jörgen is a principal consultant at Onevinn in Sweden. His work focuses on enterprise client management and system management. He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Enterprise Mobility. He also speaks at events such as Microsoft TechDays, Microsoft Management Summits, and TechEd.

Many enterprises would like to control and remove such notifications because they can confuse users and trigger unnecessary help desk calls. At the time of this writing, no Edge setting or Group Policy exists that allows admins to remove the Edge welcome page. Thus, I decided to dig in to how we can stop the page from showing.

Edge Welcome Page

Edge Welcome Page

It turns out that it is controlled by the following two registry keys:

I also noticed that if you have Internet Explorer set as the default browser, Microsoft Edge will prompt you to change it.

Edge Default browser prompt

Edge Default browser prompt

There is no way to stop this behavior using Group Policy either, so I have included the registry key to disable the default browser prompt as well:

I don't recommend using Group Policy Preferences to deploy these registry settings. The problem is that the entire Appcontainer registry key structure is not present when Group Policy Preferences are applied during the first logon. Only when the user logs on the second time will the settings be applied, and many users will have already started Microsoft Edge by that time.

This why we created a PowerShell solution for the task. You can deploy the script as a logon script with Group Policy or use Configuration Manager (described below).

Using a PowerShell logon script ^

You can use the script below as a logon script or copy it to your existing logon script.

The script will wait 60 seconds for Windows to create the Appcontainer registry key. If the key did not exist previously, the script will exit. This ensures that the script doesn't run forever, which could happen on Windows 10 LTSB where Edge doesn't exist. Once the key exists, the script will add the registry values for disabling the Edge welcome screen.

Adding a logon script in Group Policy

Adding a logon script in Group Policy

Using PowerShell and Active Setup ^

Another option is Active Setup because it ensures that the script runs only once per user at logon time. My solution consist of two scripts. The first script (InstallEdgeWelcome.ps1) copies the second script (EdgeWelcome.ps1) to C:\Windows and adds the registry keys required for Active Setup.

One way to deploy the install script is by using Configuration Manager during OS deployment (explained below). Another option is to use a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT Task Sequence), which I don't cover in this post.

Active Setup registry key

Active Setup registry key

The script EdgeWelcome.ps1 is perhaps a bit unorthodox. It first starts a new PowerShell process that launches the script again. This is necessary because the Appcontainer registry key might not yet exist during the logon process (as mention above), and the logon process would get hung up.

The script then creates the registry values that tell Microsoft Edge that the welcome screen has already been displayed. It also adds a registry key to remove the prompt that informs the user that Edge is not the default browser.

Deploying the script with SCCM during OS deployment ^

To deploy the scripts with Configuration Manager, follow these steps:

  1. Copy both files to a folder that can be used as source for Packages in Configuration Manager.
  2. Create a new Package in Configuration Manager that you can use as a source for the script in a Task Sequence.
    EdgeWelcome Package

    EdgeWelcome Package

  3. Select Do not create a program because we will use the "Run PowerShell script" step in the Task Sequence (see step 5).
    Create Program dialog

    Create Program dialog

  4. Distribute the content to the Distribution Points
  5. Edit your Windows 10 1607 Task Sequence and add a new Run PowerShell Script step with the settings shown in the screenshot below.
Task Sequence settings

Task Sequence settings

When the user logs on to a newly deployed computer, it will have the registry entries and therefore not launch the Edge welcome screen or the prompt to set Edge as default browser.

The PowerShell scripts discussed in this post are also available at the TechNet Gallery.

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16 Comments
  1. Richard P 1 year ago

    Come on MS, what's with the hating on GPO settings for Edge??!!!

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  2. Jhon jaka 1 year ago

    Awesome..

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  3. Hermann 1 year ago

    You could start script using runonce key, it will be fired after ActiveSetup.

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    • Author
      Jörgen Nilsson 1 year ago

      Hi,

      Yes, I thought of that but then I would have to wrap the powershell script in a vbscript as well, otherwise the end users would se a command prompt windows flashing by. But it should work just fine as well.

      Regards,
      Jörgen

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      • Gary 1 year ago

        Thanks Jorgen, I used your info to use a batch file that uses the runonce key.  You always have great content, and thanks for providing the detail about which keys.

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  4. Dave B. 1 year ago

    Why the hell is there not a Group Policy for this stuff? Get with the times, Microsoft.

    And even this script seems so hacky, with the keys not existing at logon. Microsoft shouldn't be putting us through this.

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  5. Steve Turgeon 1 year ago

    Why not configure it through RunOnce in the Default User's registry? All new users logging on to the system will get the RunOnce registry key:

    REG LOAD HKLM\DefaultUser %SystemDrive%\Users\Default\ntuser.dat

    REG ADD HKLM\DefaultUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v EdgeSetup /t REG_SZ /d "Powershell.exe ..." /f

    REG UNLOAD HKLM\DefaultUser

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    • Jay Connor 1 year ago

      In default hive if you have existing roaming users it won't target them.

      Good post, I used activesetup and compiled the script (from line 32 to end) to be hidden with powergui

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  6. arjan 11 months ago

    Hi,

     

    How to do this in MDT? I've added a Powershell step with this command %scriptroot%\installedgewelcome.ps1

    It seems to run fine but when i logon edge welcome tab starts.

    I must say i'm using an mandatory profiles

    any idea?

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  7. Author
    Jörgen Nilsson 11 months ago

    Hi,

    You can check if the Activesetup registry key is there, if so it should work. I haven't tried it with a Mandatory profile could be that could be the issue as well.

    Regards,
    Jörgen

    1+

  8. arjan 11 months ago

    all the keys are present.

    but not working with our mandatory profile.

    I've made the profile using this: https://technet.microsoft.com/nl-nl/itpro/windows/manage/mandatory-user-profile

    Any idea. should i run the script when making the profile perhaps?

    0

    • Author
      Jörgen Nilsson 11 months ago

      Hi,

      Yes, you can run it when you create the mandatory profile, then it should be included in the mandatory profile.

      regards,
      Jörgen

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  9. arjan 11 months ago

    unfortunately it doesn't work.

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  10. Paolo Maffezzoli 9 months ago

    Thanks for this article, the logon script works perfectly.

    0

  11. Mike Bruton 9 months ago

    The Creators update (1703) includes a GPO to disable the First Run Setting, go figure.

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