If you run the Chrome browser in Windows 10 or 11 and you’ve suddenly discovered that you’re running Microsoft Edge instead, you’re not alone. The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that he and multiple other users on social media and Microsoft’s support forums have suddenly found their Chrome browsing sessions mysteriously replicated in Edge.
Without an official comment from Microsoft, Warren posits that the tab-snatching happened because of a bug or an inadvertently clicked-through dialog box that triggers a feature in Edge that’s meant to make it easier to (intentionally) switch browsers. The setting, which can accessed by typing edge://settings/profiles/importBrowsingData into the browser’s address bar, offers to import recent browsing data from Chrome every time you launch Edge, as opposed to the one-time data import it offers for Firefox.
Assuming it is a bug, this data-importing issue is hard to distinguish from some of Microsoft’s actual, officially sanctioned, easy-to-reproduce tactics for pushing Edge. I encountered two of these while installing Chrome on a PC for this piece—one when I navigated to the Chrome download page and another across the top of Edge’s Settings pages after I had set another browser as my default.
Microsoft has also used system notifications, special Edge-specific pop-up messages, and full-screen post-update messages about “recommended browser settings” to push Windows users into running Edge and using Bing. (I personally would love it if PCs I’ve been using for months or years would stop asking me to “finish setting up [my] device.”)
Edge is based on the same Chromium browsing engine as Chrome, and most users probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference in how most pages render in either browser. But Edge is centered on Microsoft’s products and services, starting with a Microsoft account but also extending to coupon codes and other shopping notifications, the Microsoft 365 app suite, and generative AI tools like Image Designer and the Copilot chatbot.
Microsoft has gotten more aggressive about how it pushes everything from Microsoft account sign-in to Microsoft 365 and Game Pass subscriptions in recent years, something that has made a “clean” Windows install feel much less clean than it used to. Whether this Edge data-import thing is a bug, it’s telling that it’s not immediately obvious whether it’s a bug or something that Microsoft did intentionally.