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Microsoft caught importing data before you give the OK

For years, Google Chrome has been the most popular web browser in the U.S. and across the globe. In fact, Chrome accounts for more than 60% of the internet browser market share worldwide, with Apple Safari coming in at a distant second place with roughly 18%.

While Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with Edge, that browser was rebuilt from the ground up. Tap or click here to find out how the new Microsoft Edge browser compares with Google Chrome.

But now some users have a warning if you’ve recently made the switch to Edge from another browser like Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Your other browser data may have been imported into Microsoft’s new browser, whether you authorized it or not.

Microsoft Edge and your data

This issue was first noted by a Reddit user who posted information alleging that the Edge browser has been importing browser data from Chrome and Firefox without permission. The post has since been deleted but it initially caught fire, with other Reddit users chiming in that they’d experienced similar issues with the Edge browser.

The comments note that in many cases Edge will ask for your permission to import data, but if you look closely some of your data is already there in the browser — and was imported prior to giving Edge permission to do so. The issue is marked by things like bookmarks from the old browser appearing on the new browser prior to giving permission to Edge to import any old data.

“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!” one Redditor commented.

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Microsoft responded to the issue with a statement to Windows Central, explaining that the import dialog gives users “the opportunity to keep or discard the imported data,” but there’s another issue here: If a customer stops the setup process early, “residual data may not be fully deleted.” If the browser weren’t importing data prior to getting permission, this wouldn’t be an issue.

The other issue is that while there are options to discard or keep data once you’re done with the setup process, there is no option to stop Edge from importing your data temporarily during the process. That’s why it’s important to know how to delete your data that’s already been collected.

Managing your browser data

To delete the data imported by Edge:

  1. Go through the entire Edge setup process — do not terminate at any point
  2. Select to discard the data when given the option

This will ensure that the data isn’t held onto or imported by Edge. What you should not do is terminate the install process early. There is a chance that the data could become stuck if you do that, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

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“We recommend customers not shut down the setup process prematurely to ensure an expected result,” Microsoft told Windows Central.

It’s important to note that you can still bring over things like bookmarks from Chrome or Firefox without allowing Edge to import other information. So discarding the data from the Edge install process doesn’t mean you’ll have to optimize your new browser completely on your own. Tap or click here to find out how to set up browser profiles to keep your work and personal life separate.

To move bookmarks from Chrome to another browser:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More.
  3. Select Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager.
  4. At the top, click More > Export Bookmarks.

It’s a little more complicated to move your bookmarks over from Firefox to another browser, but it can be done via exporting them to an HTML file, which can be used as a backup or to import to another browser.

To move bookmarks from Firefox to another browser:

  1. Click the Library button on your toolbar. (If you don’t see it there, click the menu button then click Library.)
  2. Click Bookmarks and then click the Show All Bookmarks bar at the bottom.
  3. From the toolbar on the Library window, click Import and Backup > Export Bookmarks to HTML….
  4. In the Export Bookmarks File window that opens, choose a location to save the file, which is named bookmarks.html by default. The desktop is usually a good spot, but any place that is easy to remember will work.
  5. Click the Save button. The Export Bookmarks File window will close.
  6. Close the Library window.

Your bookmarks should then be exported from Firefox and will be ready to be imported into another web browser.

Yes, Microsoft Edge may be more competitive than it’s ever been to other browsers when it comes to speed and other features, but its standout feature shouldn’t be importing your data without permission.

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