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Is Microsoft Edge filching Firefox, Chrome users' data? Here's what Microsoft says

Edge
Edge (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • People have complained about Microsoft Edge gathering browser data from Firefox and Chrome without permission.
  • Microsoft states that people are given the "opportunity to import data during setup."
  • If a person closes Microsoft Edge early during the first run experience, some data might not be deleted.

Microsoft Edge was a hot topic over the weekend as a result of a Reddit post alleging the browser imports browser data from Chrome and Firefox without permission. The text of the original post has since been deleted, but many comments echo the same sentiment, alleging that Microsoft Edge gathers data from Chrome and Firefox without permission.

One Redditor, orcusmorcus, states:

I just installed Edge today for testing, and I noticed my bookmarks from Firefox appear in the background/browser BEHIND the import acceptance dialog. The bookmarks disappeared after I said I didn't want it to import anything. Obviously it still went looking before asking!

Other comments are along the same lines. The issue seems to be twofold. First, based on people's experience, Microsoft Edge is importing browser data before you give it permission to do so. You can opt to have that information discarded if you'd like, but for at least a moment, it was gathered before you gave Edge permission to do so. Second, if you stop the first run experience of Microsoft Edge early, some of the data might not be fully deleted.

We reached out to Microsoft after spotting the Reddit thread. A Microsoft spokesperson sent us the following statement:

We believe browser data belongs to the customer and they have the right to decide what they should do with it. Like other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers people the opportunity to import data during setup.

As a bit of background information, during the first run experience of Microsoft Edge, people are shown an option to discard or keep imported data. If they choose to discard it, the data is deleted. If a person stops the first run experience early, by using Task Manager or another way that cuts it off, there can be some residual data that might not be deleted.

Note that there are options for discarding or keeping data. There is not an option to not have the data imported in the first place.

If you are concerned about the imported data, you should go through the first run experience entirely and select to discard the data. If you close the experience early with Task Manager some data could stick around.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

22 Comments
  • Oh my god, people... By 2020, everyone is so sensitive about everything, humanity is on a path to doom if we keep this up. Your data is not stolen, your privacy is not broken, your so called sensitive data is still yours. Edge read your bookmarks from another browser? Omigod, br3ach! Even though your data is being kept on your machine, where it originates (unless you decide to import AND sync your bookmarks).
  • Right?! Amazing the things people sweat about! It's ridiculous!
  • Agreed. It's ridiculous.
  • Sleeping on our butts is how Facebook and Google got so big. Sure might be nothing but we need this kind of attitude because the tech giants already harvest our data at will.
  • True that, but, now you have 1st hand answer what's up
  • people just have the microsoft sync on for windows/edge, not expecting that their private chrome/firefox stuff will be auto synced up into the cloud and spread to other devices.
  • I think, you missed the aswer as sated in this article
  • Ppl in 2020 and up coming years are not really so smart, when you publish everything about your self on all social networks then come and make a comment about such topic, Well, should i continue ?!!!!😫
  • I agree, as long as it is still on your computer, still a strange way of doing it.
  • But why do it in this order? Why not first ask the users permission first and if yes than just collect the data to import it. This seems like such a weird order which begs the question if (perhaps in the future) really nothing gets send to MS of it? (probably nothing substantive but still).
  • The Edge must have the Coronavirus causing this mischief...! It needs to be quarantined for 14 days...!
  • For some of us this is a very legitimate problem. I need to use my browsers for very different purposes and the bookmarks being imported would be a big issue. Other than that, you should still have a choice.
  • And you do have a choice. Two, in fact.: select to not migrate the data from the other browser and use Edge or don't use Edge.
  • Did you read this article and those Reponses in quotes? You have cjoices and couple of them for that matter
  • I think this issue people are raising is not that bad. I actually just switched to the new Edge this weekend. There seems to be a lot of control over privacy in the settings. Privacywise, I'm happy with the new Edge. There are things about the new Edge I'm not happy with. MotionMark 1.1 benchmark went down to 73% of old Edge performance. It is noticeable in smooth scrolling, particularly with PDF documents. Also, old Edge when power throttled, would serialize out its ram of open pages and it memory commit would drop to very low levels. New Edge holds onto its ram when power throttling, but at least its processor load goes to near zero. Syncing of new Edge works great. Old Edge syncing just didn't work and I gave up trying to figure out how to get it to work.
  • LOL, Edge is far more invasive by all accounts than chrome if that is possible.
    I have no need to change from Cent to a different browser.
  • That’s a bold claim. Can you evidence this so called invasive ness? Do not track works in Edge. But Google is against it no? Google incognito still sends your URLs to the Googleplex does it not? You’re gonna have to give us some nice links to evidence Edge is worse than Chrome. RSvP
  • I didn't even notice this problem, in fact when I switched to new Edge I'm glad all my favourites etc were there, saved me a job.
  • Same here, but others have the right not to and interestingly, MSFT provided couple of options to honor those rights.
  • I mean, it's not the only place Edge takes negative attention from
  • If Google/Facebook/Apple did that nobody would give a damn. I think everyone should calm down a bit....
  • That is really bad, i was installing Windows and while in process, i have removed the power cable and later i plugged in, guess what, Windows did not work and system was crashed, Hey Microsoft, you need to do a better job, OK. 🤣🤣🤣🤣