Microsoft Edge, disable Bing/Discover button in toolbar

Updated: March 13, 2023

As a matter of principle, I do not use Edge on Windows machines. In fact, I won't even let it run. The services are disabled, the scheduled tasks are disabled, and even the program itself is blocked from launching using IFEO. But in Linux, I do use it as a secondary browser. Plus, I use the Dev version, so I can test and see what sort of future nonsense may come upon us. One such thing is the Bing button in the main toolbar.

A few days ago, I updated the (Linux) system, and after launching Edge, I saw an ugly new button on the far right side. If you hover your mouse cursor over it, it will immediately pop open a sidebar full of modern crap. Who cares what you're doing right, let's show you some stuff! And then, nothing like being asked to accept/reject cookies as a great user experience. Well, let me show you how to neuter this.

Bing button

First step, settings

You won't be able to get rid of this thing in the Dev build using just the Settings options - and by the time you read this article, maybe there will be an option. For now, there isn't one. Nevertheless, you should go through the settings and carefully disable anything and everything you can regarding this unnecessary sidebar and this button. I went into the Settings menu, and toggled off everything. In particular, under App specific things, there's Discover that needs to be undiscovered.

Settings

Second step, browser launch options

You can, for now, and hopefully forever, use a launch flag to prevent this Bing button from showing. This also works for Edge on Windows. In Linux, under /usr/share/applications, open the Edge desktop file in a text editor (with root or sudo permissions), and then edit the Exec= line from:

Exec=/usr/bin/microsoft-edge-dev %U

To the following:

Exec=/usr/bin/microsoft-edge-dev --disable-features=msUndersideButton %U

The difference is in the following entry: --disable-features=msUndersideButton. That's the magic string.

Now, if you're using the Stable build, or other builds, you may not yet see the Bing button, or it may disappear through conventional means (settings). Or perhaps it will be hard-coded and unremovable. The Exec= line will also be different, as your program won't have the -dev suffix, so just: microsoft-edge. But I think you get the idea.

End result

A browser that works. With the Bing button there, Edge would actually crash. Yup. Every time you "close" it. Once you remove the low-IQ button, there are no more crashes. The browser behaves normally.

Edge crash

Bing button disabled

Conclusion

Another day, another fight against cheap mass consumerism idiocracy. It's not enough that the Edge new tab page has a hard-coded search field in the middle, it's not enough that Edge defaults to search via this field, it's not enough that, ironically, modern browsers have "dropped" the search field from next to the address bar so you could use the address bar DIRECTLY, now you also need a whole search button to do what three other methods allow you, and what was previously an explicit feature that was removed, in other browsers, over the years and the sad course of the modern so-called Internet and associated Web 2.0 crap.

The big difference is, this is intrusive, in your face, hover & open, a sidebar full of hyperactive nonsense. There's nothing of value here. Nothing that indicates care, introspection, intelligence. I guess this button is designed to lure various mouth breathers into impulsive buying or something. For now, you can get rid of it. I'm not sure what I'll do if this becomes a permanent fixture. I guess use a different secondary browser. We're done.

Cheers.