How to remove Microsoft Edge's Bing toolbar icon
Microsoft updated its Microsoft Edge web browser to version 111 today. Edge users who have updated the web browser may have noticed a new feature, that some may find annoying. Microsoft enabled an on-hover effect for the Bing icon in Microsoft Edge's toolbar, which displays Bing Chat and the sidebar, even if the sidebar is hidden.
Some users may find the new functionality annoying, as it is placed directly next to the main menu icon in the toolbar. Accidentally moving the mouse a bit too far to the right may activate the on-hover effect and display the sidebar. Microsoft has not integrated an option in Edge to disable the hover effect.
Edge supports a policy, which administrators may configure, to remove the Bing icon from the Edge toolbar. Downside to this is that this will take the entire sidebar with it. Still, Edge users who do not need the Bing Chat functionality or the sidebar, may configure the policy to get rid of both features. Bing Chat, after all, can still be accessed directly.
Note: setting the policy causes the browser to become managed; this means that it is no longer possible to set DNS-over-HTTPS settings in Edge directly. A policy may be used instead to make the required changes.
Update: Microsoft has integrated a switch to the latest stable version of Microsoft Edge to hide the Bing Discover button.
Preparations for removing the Bing Icon in Edge
Microsoft Edge administrators may remove the Bing icon using the Show Hubs Sidebar policy. Downside to this is that the removal of the Bing icon will also remove the sidebar functionality from Edge.
Note: the Group Policy Editor is only available in Pro, Enterprise, Education and Workstations editions of Windows 10 and 11. Please refer to the Registry option further down the article if you are running Windows' Home edition.
Windows administrators may download the latest Edge policy files from the Microsoft Edge Business website. Select the appropriate download, e.g., Download Windows 64-bit Policy, and confirm the operation by selecting "accept and download" when the "Download Microsoft Edge Policy file" prompt is displayed.
Extract the Cab archive to the system, and the ZIP archive that comes out of it as well; this places three Microsoft Edge policy files and language files on the system.
Copy the three Microsoft Edge policy files, founder in the Windows > PolicyDefinitions folder and called msedge.admx, msedgeupdate.admx and msedgewebview2.admx to %systemroot%\Policydefinitions (this is usually C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions). Now, copy the language folders, e.g., en-US, to the same directory.
Hiding the Bing icon in Microsoft Edge
Launch the Group Policy Editor on the Window system, e.g., by opening Start, typing gpedit.msc and selecting the Group Policy Editor.
Navigate the folder structure on the left to User Configuration > Window Settings > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge.
Double-click on the Show Hubs Sidebar policy and set it to Disabled on the page that opens. Select OK to complete the process. Microsoft Edge won't show the Bing icon anymore in its toolbar on the next launch of the browser.
To undo the change, set the Show Hubs Sidebar policy to "Not configured", or to "Enabled". Both values have the same effect.
Please note that the change affects all Microsoft Edge channels, if multiple are installed on the Windows device.
Making the change in the Windows Registry
Home users may edit the Windows Registry to apply the change on their devices. Some administrators may also prefer using the Registry.
Here is how this works:
- Select Start, type regedit.exe and select the Registry Editor result to launch it on the Windows PC.
- Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge.
- If one of the keys does not exist, right-click on the previous key and select New > Key to create it.
- Right-click on Edge and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Name it HubsSidebarEnabled.
- Make sure its value is set to 0 (which it should be, as it is the default).
- Open or restart Microsoft Edge.
- Load edge://policy and select Reload Policies. The new policy should be listed now on the page.
The Bing button should no longer be visible in the Microsoft Edge toolbar.
Introducing an on-hover effect in a browser without option to turn it off almost always guarantees a bad user experience for part of the entire userbase.
Now You: do you use the Microsoft Edge sidebar?