(Truly) Resetting Microsoft Edge

The Windows 10 Fall Update just came out and I decided to install it. After installation Edge was unusable. Using some links on the Internet I was able to get Edge working properly again. Here’s the long version of that story. TL;DR
  1. Go to where Edge is installed (default is: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_* where * is an encoded value.
  2. Delete everything inside there.
  3. Go to a Powershell prompt as an administrator.
  4. Run the following command.
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | foreach { Add-Appxpackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose }
  5. After it runs you should see a message about it being successful.
It has been a while since I refreshed Windows so when the fall update came out I felt it was time. But since I had some work to do first I simply installed over my existing Windows version. I don’t really like doing this because Windows basically reinstalls itself so you lose some settings and it keeps the old version around so you have GBs of wasted space. Nevertheless the update ran fine and I was able to finish my work. But it came time to wipe the system and things went downhill.

Slow Edge

Ignoring the other issues I had, I finally got Windows installed and Edge immediately started up. And then it froze. Hmm. I closed it and opened it back up and it loaded. But every time I went to a webpage it loaded the original page but froze as soon as you clicked on anything. After a while I got the “website not responding” error. Clicking the recovery option the page reloaded just fine again. Rinse and repeat.

If this were the only problem I could have used a different browser until it was resolved but the problems were more systematic. Any link I clicked on from anywhere (Edge, an installer, etc) would freeze for up to a minute and then finally open in Edge. This wasn’t good but fortunately others have had the same problem so I went online. Googling for “Edge freeze reset” returns lots of results. Ultimately everybody recommends the same approach, reset Edge. But you cannot truly reset Edge from the UI. You need to reinstall it. But it is a Windows Store app and cannot be uninstalled. Hence you go the backway through Powershell. The script posted earlier will basically wipe the app from the system and reinstall it. Note that you’ll lose all your settings so back up anything you care about first. Also be very careful about the syntax. While case doesn’t matter, the curly braces, dollar signs and quotes do. Don’t mix them up or you’ll get an error or nothing will happen.

Happily, after resetting, Edge is now running fine. I cannot understand how a fresh install of Windows would cause a corrupt version of Edge to get installed but it did. Nevertheless the reset worked.