Microsoft Edge bug is the cause of rogue Office web app installations

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft; Shutterstock)

Microsoft’s Edge browser hasn’t been stealthily installing Office web apps on the PCs of unsuspecting Windows 10 users after all – or at least not intentionally, as it turns out that this behavior is actually a bug.

You may recall that we very recently reported on Edge seemingly sneakily installing Microsoft’s Office web apps (Progressive Web Apps or PWAs) for testers using preview versions of Windows 10, so the theory was that the software giant was experimenting with this scheme of things.

However, as Neowin reports, it turns out that the installation of these PWAs was actually a bug in Microsoft Edge, not an intended feature – and naturally enough, bugs are to be expected in preview builds of software (that’s what they are for, after all – catching and squashing gremlins in the works).

The errant installation of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook PWAs has been happening to those who already have Office installed, as well as those with no Office apps at all on their PC.

Pinned sites

What normally happens for those who don’t have Microsoft’s Office apps is that links to the online apps are provided in Windows 10, which are shortcuts to open the apps in a browser tab.

In other words, these are simply pinned websites – but the bug with Edge meant that instead of simple links, they were changed to an actual installation of the respective Office PWAs (even if you already have the full Office apps installed, as mentioned).

At any rate, Microsoft is now correcting this issue, so it won’t (or shouldn’t) happen going forwards.

As we observed previously, if you’ve already been hit by this bug, the fix isn’t difficult to implement: all you need to do is uninstall the apps via Programs & Features in the Control Panel.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).