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Windows 11 UWP apps just got a big boost

Microsoft Store
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • WebView2 is now generally available for desktop UWP apps.
  • The rollout of WebView2 support coincided with the release of WinUI 2.8, which became available earlier this year.
  • WebView2 lets developers embed web content using the Microsoft Edge Chromium platform, which is compatible with more websites than Edge legacy.

WebView2 is now generally available for desktop UWP apps on Windows. The developer control's release happened alongside the rollout of WinUI 2.8, which came out earlier this year. WebView2 lets developers embed web content with the Edge Chromium platform rather than relying on Edge Legacy.

General users of PCs likely have not heard of WebView2, or any version of WebView, but it's an important feature for applications. Before WebView2, applications had to use the legacy version of Edge to embed content from the web. Edge legacy lagged behind Chromium and other platforms in terms of web compatibility when it was still Microsoft's platform of choice. The gap has widened further now that Microsoft has moved to Edge Chromium.

Incompatibility can cause all sorts of problems for applications, but it shouldn't be an issue with WebView2. Windows 11 supports a wide range of app types, including some that already worked with WebView2. Now, UWP supports the modern developer control as well.

Windows 11 has WebView2 built right in, so developers don't have to include it with their app. Microsoft Edge and the WebView2 Runtime are "hard-linked" together. Because of how they're connected, apps that use WebView2 only use the disk space of one product. Microsoft dives into further detail in a blog post from June 2022. WebView2 also works on Windows 10.

For many developers, swapping from WebView to WebView2 will be simple. In some cases swapping an application over requires only one step. Microsoft has a WebView2 feedback hub on GitHub that developers can use to reach out about any issues or concerns.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).