Microsoft caves in, adds Edge setting to disable the Bing button

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 16, 2023
Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has updated Microsoft Edge Canary today with a new option to turn off the Bing icon in the browser. The company launched the Bing icon in Microsoft Edge 111 and has received criticism for the way it has implemented it. The actual name of the feature is Discover.

Users criticized Microsoft for making the Bing button activate the sidebar on hover. Since it is placed next to the main menu button, accidental activations are common. To make matters worse, Microsoft did not add an option to Edge to turn the functionality off.

When Edge users hover over the Discover button, Edge expands the Bing Chat interface and displays the sidebar, even if the sidebar was not displayed previously in the browser.

Edge users may configure a policy, either in the Group Policy Editor or Registry directly, to remove the Bing button in the browser. A side-effect of this is that it turns off the entire sidebar, and that it turns the browser into a "managed browser", which means that some features may only be configured using policies.

Now, with the latest Microsoft Edge Canary, comes an option to turn off the Bing button in Edge. Canary is a development version of the web browser that is usually two versions ahead. Considering the usual release cycle, the option to alleviate the issue could land in the browser in May 2023.

The new functionality is in testing right now. It looks feature complete, but there is still a chance that Microsoft decides to modify it. The release to Stable versions of Edge may be postponed or even expedited.

Also worth a read: how to prevent Microsoft Edge from creating desktop shortcuts

Disabling the Bing Discover button in Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge show discover-switch

Hiding the Bing button in Edge is a straightforward process, provided that Edge 113 or newer is used.

  1. Open the Microsoft Edge web browser on the device.
  2. Either select Menu > Settings > Sidebar, or select the Settings icon displayed on the sidebar. If the sidebar is not displayed, hover over the Bing icon to display it.
  3. Scroll down to "app specific settings" and activate the Bing setting with a click on the arrow icon.
  4. Microsoft Edge displays three settings on the page that opens. The first, "Show Discover", defines whether the Bing icon is displayed in Microsoft Edge. Toggle it to off, and the Bing icon is removed immediately from the browser.

The two remaining options are disabled automatically when Show Discover is turned off in the Settings of the browser.

Note that this change does not affect the sidebar. It is still displayed and may be used. Users may toggle the "always show sidebar" option in the main Sidebar settings of the Edge web browser to hide it as well.

Closing Words

Microsoft introduced the new Bing Discover button in a user unfriendly way. The launch would not be all that problematic if Microsoft would have added a turn off option immediately.

Now You: have you used Edge's Discover feature?

Microsoft adds option to Edge to disable the Bing icon
Article Name
Microsoft adds option to Edge to disable the Bing icon
Microsoft has added an option to its Edge web browser to disable the Bing icon, which powers the browser's Discover functionality.
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  1. Brian said on March 28, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you this was driving me mad.

  2. STR8Talk said on March 17, 2023 at 8:25 am

    I actually appreciate Microsoft adding the Bing Button to Edge.

    I was looking for a good reason to do a registry backup, registry edit, a Chrome installation and then an Edge to Chrome bookmark import.

    Thanks, Microsoft!

  3. SomethingHappened said on March 16, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    Typical Microsoft today. Online services that deceive users and awful, incomplete software with black patterns. Off does not imply that something is switched off. They will enable it again whenever Edge receives an unexpected update. You won’t have to deal with it again if you simply hide it using group policy until Microsoft forces everyone to use another worthless feature.

  4. Anonymous said on March 16, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    Giving the option to disable now is = cave in? what a weird clickbait title… It was a weird placement for a feature, so obviously they would get criticism.
    I mean, people also complained about the ‘search tabs’ button in Chromium browsers, people complain about everything, they complain about the jigsaw extensions button, and sometimes it makes sense to change it or not, if Microsoft wasn’t planning to add this setting to turn Discovery off, they would have just change it of place and move on, it was already planned, but most of the time companies add a feature and then they add a way to turn it off, happens to any company.
    It is all planned, there is no “we need to rush to add an option to disable it”
    If Edge was fully opens source and you could see each commit they do to the browser, people probably would understand this probably was added to a PR days ago, and they just didn’t finish it until later.

    It sounds obvious Microsoft giving the option to disable stuff, especially when they know not everyone is going to use it.
    Building features like a button to disable something is not too hard or takes to long, but I am sure it wasn’t a “well people are complaining, we will make a button” the flag and everything had to be in place for this, they just had to expose it in the settings UI, you have to have everything planned so you don’t have to go back and move things around in the future.

    Since Edge is not open source then it’s not ‘cave in’ but ‘adds a button’ a pretty normal thing for a new feature.

    ‘Cave in’ would be if they removed it completely, because people complained about it.

    This is just as absurd as saying Brave caved in to people wanting to disable summarize, only because they offered the option to disable it days after, when it was already planned from the start!

    Cave in would if Google, removed MV3 and went back to MV2 for all the FUD people spread on the internet, or if Opera finally allows to set your own default search engine and stop thinking about Partners and money first, or Vivaldi not asking you to give your phone number to use the mail system or went back to a normal UI that will not use web technologies and be slower than native one or if Brave removed the BAT system or something more simple as a sync code and went the normal email and password because some people think that is to be like others in an unsecured system with so many holes when using email and the probable password 123 they would use anyway.
    Development needs testing, sometimes developers have an idea in their head and doesn’t work as expected, for example, since I mentioned Brave sync system, they added a 25th word that changes daily, it was a bad idea and they know it, and now they have to stick with it until they find something better, so even an employee added a page to easily find the 25th word which defeats the purpose of the 25th word but makes it better for the user.

    Again, if we could see each commit Edge does, we would understand more these, this is not a celebrity moment, when they when they did a joke or said something, and then few weak people ‘got offended’ and somehow media made it a bigger deal, and then the celebrity goes on camera with fake crocodile tears “I am sorry I offended anyone, I shouldn’t have said or done that, it was insensitive of me” (like what Tiger Woods did, with the tampons joke).

    This is just Microsoft adding a feature, a button, something that made sense and they pushed until now and didn’t before, maybe they were waiting for a public release to do it, roadmaps and ideas and everything shape the way you build something.
    Sometimes Browser companies don’t test features properly and it is until the user use them when they realize it is not working as expected.

    I mean, that’s how development is, especially when it hits millions of people and then it’s clear something is not working for everyone so it could be improved.

  5. Brad said on March 16, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    “…Considering the usual release cycle, the option to alleviate the issue could land in the browser in May 2023.”

    I mean, you could wait until May. Or you could just install Brave and not have to keep putting up with crap like this.

  6. John G. said on March 16, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    Great news! Edge should have less configuration options, it has dozens of items to configure, even more than Vivaldi/Brave that also have a lot of them. Thanks for the article!

  7. Someone said on March 16, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    yes. that crap showed to me yesterday. But surprisingly, MS added an fuction to disable it.
    Otherwise, this button is useless. I dont use at all edge for serious work.

  8. TelV said on March 16, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Great! Next thing we need is a means of turning off the f*cking Edge browser and preferably a means of uninstalling the damn thing.

  9. Leopeva64 said on March 16, 2023 at 6:49 am

    You’re welcome…


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