In the latest Creators Update Releases (Versions 1703 and 1709) when opening Internet Explorer (IE), the program opens a second tab to tout the Edge browser. It makes a not-so-subtle advertisement but also sets the focus on that tab. When I open IE, it’s because I want to use IE. So of course, I want to turn off IE Edge ad as soon as I see it. This turns out to require one simple Group Policy edit.
How-to: Turn Off IE Edge Ad
Indeed, there’s a Group Policy tweak that does this very thing. Fire up the Group Policy editor to make this tweak. I usually either type “Group Policy” into the Cortana search box, or simply go for gpedit.msc directly. Once you’re in the program, the navigation sequence is:
User Configuration -->Administrative Templates -->Windows Components -->Internet Explorer -->Internet Settings -->Advanced Settings -->Browsing
The Browsing setting is named “Hide the button (next to the New Tab button) that opens Microsoft Edge.” This must be set to “Enabled” to turn off the extra tab, as shown here:
A single setting targets and turns off the annoying Edge tab.
And What About the Newsfeed Page for New Tabs?
Yes, there’s a fix for that, too. It’s in IE Settings. Click the settings icon at Far right, then Internet Options, then click the Tabs button. In the Tabbed Browsing Settings window, find the “When a new tab is opened, open:” pick list. Select something other than the default “The new tab page with my news feed” to make an alternate selection. I usually go with “Your first home page” so I can jump right into Google search. You can do as you please here, as long as you pick one of the supported selections. For the record, this also includes “The new tab page” and “A blank page” as well. ‘Nuff said!
Note: Thanks to John Savill at Windows ITPro for the April 20, 2017 tip entitled “Remove Edge tab in Internet Explorer” that alerted me to the Group Policy tweak featured here.