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Like its predecessors, Edge Chromium also serves as a vehicle for Microsoft to impose its online services on users. In addition to the Bing search engine, this also applies to the news page, which is displayed in every new tab by default.
Edge loads its predefined pages not only when a new tab is opened but also when the browser is started and when the homepage icon is clicked. Hence, hiding the news on new tabs is also a good opportunity to change the settings for the other pages.
Use GUI to hide the News page
If you want to interactively customize the content of new tabs, then you first open a new tab. Independent of its content, there is always a gear icon in the upper right corner. After clicking it, select the Custom option from the list displayed.
This opens a dialog box in which you can switch the Content setting to Content off. In addition, you can hide the background image and the so-called quick links, if necessary.
For the other pages mentioned above, go to Settings > Start, home and new tabs. There, you can set the desired URLs for the start pages and the home page on the spot or select alternative options.
Configure new tabs via group policies
It is worth remembering here that you have to install the administrative templates for Edge Chromium separately, because they are not included with Windows.
The group policies for Edge assemble the settings for the various start pages under Computer or User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions > Microsoft Edge > Startup, home page and new tab page.
Here, you can disable the setting Allow Microsoft News content on the new tab page. If you also want to remove the default background, you can do that via the Configure the background types allowed for the new tab page option.
If you also want to remove the quick links and top site tiles, disable Allow quick links on the new tab page and Hide the default top sites from the new tab page.
On the one hand, there is a setting to specify the URLs that are loaded when the browser starts. It provides three options to determine the page(s) that the browser actually loads when it starts: Restore the last session, Open a list of URLs, and Open a new tab, which is the job of Action to take on startup.
If you choose a list of URLs here, then you have to enter these web addresses via Websites that should be opened when the browser starts. If you activate this setting without specifying a URL, the browser will start with an empty page.
On the other hand, the term home page is used in connection with the Home button. The icon is hidden by default, and when clicked, it loads the same page as a new tab, i.e., Microsoft News. In the group policies, this behavior can be enforced using Set the new tab page as the home page, so that users are not allowed to configure an alternative here.
But you can also use a setting called Configure the home page URL to specify a URL that is different from the default tab page.
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After configuring the group policies, you can enter edge://policy/ into the Edge address bar to check which settings the browser has detected and implemented.
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The News setting isn’t available in the Intune Settings catalog. Hopefully it’s coming.
In the case you set “Sites to open when the browser starts”, the user isn’t able to modify the “When Edge starts” Category within Edge Configuration.
Is there any way to force a defined Home Page URL in the startup but allow the user how the Edge starts?