Chrome Browser HeroSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Chrome 96 Canary has a feature in testing that better integrates progressive web apps with Windows.
  • The feature makes progressive web apps installed through Chrome uninstallable through the Windows Control Panel.
  • Currently, progressive web apps installed through Chrome have to be uninstalled through the browser.

Update, October 8, 2021 (11:00 ET): This piece has been updated to clarify the development process of this feature.

Google Chrome could soon have a feature that makes it easier to uninstall progressive web apps (PWAs). The feature is in testing on Chrome 96 Canary, and it allows you to uninstall PWAs through the Control Panel. This is how Microsoft Edge handles PWA uninstallation already, and would make it simpler to uninstall PWAs installed through Chrome. The feature was first spotted by Techdows.

While the option has been available in Chrome for almost a year, it previously required a command line flag. Chrome has added a flag, making it easier to enable. As explained by Reddit user Leopeva64, this change was added to the Chromium project by a Microsoft engineer.

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At the moment, when you install a progressive web app through Chrome, you have to uninstall it through the browser's chrome://apps page. While uninstalling PWAs this way isn't complicated, it is a different experience than uninstalling regular apps. By allowing people to uninstall progressive web apps through the Control Panel, PWAs should feel more like native apps.

To try out the feature now, you have to enable a flag in the Chrome browser:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Go to chrome://flags.
  3. Search for "uninstallable".
  4. Select enabled next to the flag "Enable PWAs to register as an uninstallable app in Windows on the installation."

Windows Control Panel Programs TechdowsSource: Techdows

After following these steps, progressive web apps installed through Chrome will appear within the Control Panel. This allows you to uninstall the PWAs like you would any other app that you have installed on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

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Google Chrome Canary

Chrome Canary allows you to test out the latest features that are in the works for the Chrome browser. The latest update adds an option to make PWAs uninstallable through the Control Panel.