Fix / Internet

How to Fix Edge Tabs Showing Up at Random in Taskbar as File Explorer

  • Some Edge browser tabs show up in the Windows 10 taskbar independent of their main window.
  • This happens over time, the longer Edge is kept open.
  • Restarting the browser fixes the problem, or better said, resets it.
  • This seems to happen if you use virtual desktops.
Edge tabs windows properties -
Edge tabs are actually File Explorer instances

This is a problem that’s been bugging me for a while now, at least a few months. I use Windows 10 virtual desktops a lot to separate my work projects so that I can keep the focus on what I’m currently doing.

The Problem

I use Edge browser with lots of different windows open, each with at least a bunch of tabs. Suddenly, random tabs from these windows show up in the taskbar, next to Edge icons.

Sometimes it happens right away, after launching Edge, if you switch virtual desktops, sometimes it takes a bit longer. In time the taskbar gets really cluttered.

Right-clicking on these tabs in the taskbar reveals they’re actually File Explorer instances. Left-clicking on them switches the focus to the actual Edge window where the tab was initially open.

How to Fix on Edge version 90

  1. Open a new tab and type edge://flags
  2. Search for #edge-window-tab-manager or Browser tab experiences in Windows
  3. Disable this setting and restart Edge
Edge flags disable browser tab experiences -

This is a bit of a temporary fix if you ask me, as you’ll lose the option to see opened Edge tabs in the ALT + TAB dialog when switching between opened apps. I’m not using this, so it’s not a problem for me.

I’ve seen a few people complaining about this bug, and Microsoft seems in no rush to fix this. I didn’t see it happen in Chrome, which uses the same render engine, so it must be something related to Microsoft’s own customizations.

Tested on: Windows 10 Pro 20H2 build 19042.928, Edge 90.0.818.49

How to Fix on Edge version 91

In a move that doesn’t really surprise me the bug is back on Edge version 91. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open a new tab and type edge://flags
  2. Search for Temporarily unexpire M90 flags or #temporary-unexpire-flags-m90
  3. Enable this flag and restart Edge.
  4. Search again for #edge-window-tab-manager or Browser tab experiences in Windows
  5. Disable this setting and restart Edge

Tested on: Windows 10 Pro 20H2 build 19042.985, Edge 91.0.864.37

Did this fix the problem for you? Do you have another permanent solution? Let me know below.

Other Possible Fixes: Update Edge and Windows

As always when dealing with software bugs, one of the recommended solutions is to upgrade the software to the latest version. Since I’ve switched to Windows 11 this problem never occurred again.

Edge got updated a few dozen times since the problem first occurred, so that might have helped too.

I know some people don’t want to switch to Windows 11, or just can’t because their computers don’t meet the minimum requirements, but there are ways around that.

If you still have this issue consider updating everything or doing a clean Windows install. We have tons of articles here on BinaryFork about Windows, so take a look if you’re having problems. Also, drop a comment if you need help. We may be able to help.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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