I love progressive web applications. I use them all the time in Google Chrome for my favorite websites. PWAs help me stay focused and their capabilities improved – offline support, notifications, etc. – change the game. After trying for weeks the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge, I find that the implementation of PWA in Microsoft’s redesigned browser is even better.
Just like in Chrome, the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge allows you to easily install progressive web applications on your desktop. And for sites that don’t have native PWA support, you can always choose to install them as PWA forcibly. Better yet, Microsoft Edge Chromium also installs PWAs in a way that integrates them into Windows itself (via the system registry), like any other program.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? If you also want to use PWAs in Microsoft Edge Chromium, here’s how to install them. And if you’re looking for a way to uninstall them, below is also how to do that.
Install PWA in Microsoft Edge Chromium
Microsoft Edge Chromium offers three ways to install websites as progressive web applications. The first method shows you how to install websites with native PWA functionality. The second method shows you how to forcibly install any site as a PWA. And the third method shows how you can reinstall PWAs that haven’t been completely removed from your desktop before.
1. Installation of native PWA
Whenever you access a website with native PWA functionality, Microsoft Edge Chromium will automatically provide you with the means to install it. Just look in the right corner of the address bar and you should see an installation icon in the shape of a “+”. Click on it. In the floating box that appears, click Install.
The website will then be launched in its dedicated Edge window as a PWA application. You will also find an icon for the PWA (with the website logo) on your desktop, which you can then use to open the PWA whenever you want later.
2. Forced creation of PWA
PWAs are still quite rare. This means that the chances of your favorite website or web application benefiting from PWA support are fairly slim. But don’t let that stop you from forcibly installing a site as a PWA. Although you don’t get the hidden benefits of using a real PWA, the ability to launch a website in its dedicated window (with a desktop icon to start) is ideal if staying focused is a priority.
With the website open, open the Edge menu (click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the screen), then point to Applications. Then click on the option called Install this site as an application.
You will then be prompted with a confirmation box. Replace the default name if necessary, click Install and the site will be installed as PWA.
3. Recreating PWA shortcuts
If you previously installed a PWA and eventually deleted its icon from the desktop, you do not need to reinstall the PWA from scratch. Instead, start by launching Edge Apps Launcher – type edge: // apps in the address bar of a new tab and press Enter.
You will then see a list of all PWA Edge installed on your desktop. Simply right-click the PWA you want to add to the desktop again, and then click Pin to.
In the confirmation box that appears next, check the box next to Desktop, then click Pin.
Note: You can also check the box next to Pin to taskbar if you want to create a shortcut to PWA in the taskbar.
Uninstall PWA in Microsoft Edge Chromium
Microsoft Edge Chromium offers three ways to remove PWAs, as shown below. The first method guides you through uninstalling a PWA using the PWA itself. The second method shows how you can use the Edge application launcher to easily remove PWAs. And the third method shows you how to remove PWA like any other Windows application.
1. Uninstall via the PWA menu
A PWA Edge cannot be completely uninstalled just by removing its desktop shortcut. Start by launching the PWA. When loading is complete, click the vertical three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the PWA window. In the context menu that appears, click Uninstall.
You will then be prompted with a confirmation box. Check the box next to “Also clear data from Microsoft Edge” if you want to delete cookies and cache related to PWA.
Finally, click Remove to uninstall the PWA from your desktop.
2. Uninstall via Apps Launcher
If you have already deleted the PWA desktop icon or if you want to delete several PWAs without loading them first, use the Edge Apps management console (type edge: // apps in the address bar and press Enter).
Right-click a listed PWA, and then click Uninstall to remove it.
In the confirmation box that appears, check the box next to “ Also clear data from Microsoft Edge ” if you want to delete cookies and cache related to PWA. Click Remove to uninstall the PWA.
3. Uninstall via apps and features
Microsoft Edge Chromium tightly integrates PWAs with Windows via the system registry. Therefore, you can also use the Windows 10 Applications and Features console (or Windows 8 and 8.1 Programs and Features) to remove PWAs like any other Windows program.
Right-click the Start menu, and then click Applications and Features (or Programs and Features in Windows 8 and 8.1). Select the PWA you want to remove, then click Uninstall.
Windows will then remove the PWA from your computer.
PWA – The future
With Microsoft Edge Chromium, PWAs are a convenient and productive way to work with websites. And the increasing popularity of PWAs suggests that they will continue to improve with improved functionality over time. So why do you plan to use PWA? Share in the comments section below.
Did you know that you can install any Google Chrome extension in the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge? Here’s how to install Chrome extensions in Microsoft Edge Chromium.
Last updated on February 13, 2020