Sunday, August 27, 2023

Get Rid of Quick Access Search Bar and Bing Alerts

A week ago, I opened Chrome as usual.   But the following message (Figure 1) was popped up from nowhere nearby the right bottom corner of the taskbar on my Windows 10, asking me to switch and use Microsoft Bing as my default search engine.  

Figure 1. Microsoft Bing Alert Asking to be Default Search Engine on Chrome

Under the Google Search, I have learned that this issue is somewhat related to Microsoft Edge.  I don't use Edge.  I am surprised to receive the alert (Figure 1) while there was no Edge process found in my Task Manager.   Then, I opened Edge (edge://flags/) and disabled the experiment flag (i.e., Show feature and workflow recommendations) as recommended (Figure 2).

Figure 2.  Disable Recommendations from Microsoft Edge

When I exited Edge, I didn't expect that there was a Quick Access Search Bar right in front of my desktop (Figure 3).   It turned out that Edge didn't completely exit after closing.  And Edge got auto-updated while I had it open.  

Figure 3.  Quick Access Search Bar by Microsoft Edge

As my response, I clicked "Turn off search bar" (Figure 3).  Then I reopened the Edge and disabled Edge continuously running in the background after it had been closed (Figure 4).  

Figure 4.  Disable Microsoft Edge Running in the Background after Closing

Unfortunately, this Quick Access Search Bar was still triggered by Windows search regardless of my  default browser.  If there was Quick Access Search Bar, there would be Microsoft Edge always running in the background.  A registry trick is required to fix this.
  • Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  • Add a 32-bit DWORD key named "WebWidgetAllowed" in the location of   "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge"

    By default Edge key doesn't exist. Simply right-click on the folder and choose New > Key and then type Edge to create it.

    Inside the Edge folder, choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, and then type WebWidgetAllowed and set its value to 0.

Edge is a Chromium-based browser.  Thus, it behaves like Chrome.  It will always update automatically (Figure 5).  To prevent this from happening, I added the following URLs into my Pi-hole blacklist (Figure 6).
  •   (endpoint for Edge to check updates)
  • *   (services endpoints for download, also for windows update).
    Note that this item must be enabled for windows update.  Otherwise, windows update may get stuck.

    Figure 5.  Microsoft Edge is Always Auto-Update Like Chrome

    Figure 6.  Microsoft Edge is No Longer to Update after Pi-hole Intervention

Since then, I haven't seen any unwanted popups.  Hope that they are really gone forever.  Otherwise, I will consider completely to uninstall Microsoft Edge.

Here are the steps to remove Microsoft Edge via the command prompt when  the "uninstall" button is grayed out on Windows 10.
  • First, let's find out where the Edge's installer is via File Explorer (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application)

    Figure 7.  Navigate to Microsoft Edge Installation Folder 

  • Go into the matching version folder.  In this case of the example, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\116.0.1938.62\.

    Figure 8.  Location of Microsoft Edge Installer

  • Open the command prompt: at the location bar, type cmd or cmd.exe.  Or type the "cmd" in the  Windows search box.

  • Commands for Edge uninstallation:

    • In the command prompt, be sure you are in the setup.exe location (e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\116.0.1938.62\); otherwise, do

      cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\116.0.1938.62\

    • setup.exe --uninstall --system-level --verbose-logging --force-uninstall

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Fixing Scrolling & Clickable Issues on Chrome

Go to solutions

Some (discussion) Webpages (e.g., nextcloud, pi-hole) work fine at the first visit (Figure 1) when there is no cookie in place.  In the subsequent visits or refresh, the pages immediately become unscrollable (Figure 2) and all buttons and links are not functioning.  This situation has nothing related to the right-click being controlled.  These scrolling & clickable issues on Chrome are most likely in conflict with one or more installed Chrome extensions.

For example, if Auto Quality for YouTube extension is installed, the following pages won't be able to scroll after the first or initial visit of the Website.  Buttons or links are also unclickable.  In this case, the pages have no scrollbar and the internal scrollbar is also disabled if it exists (Figure 2). 

Figure 1.  Normal View at First Visit

Figure 2.  Non-scrollable after refreshscrolling and clickable issues

Figure 3.  Clear the Specific Site's CookieDelete the site cookie

Deleting the specific site cookie (Figure 3) will fix these issues once, but they will resume shortly after a simple refresh.  Apparently, clearing the site cookie is NOT a solution.

I also found that Websites using similar UI layout on Chrome may suffer the same issues.  Of course, there are some exceptions  The following two are one of the exceptions.

It looks to me that these issues are somewhat related to caching and cookies.  Regardless of what causes it, here are some solutions that work for me.


In my case, there are three (3) solutions.  I personally prefer the first or the second solution depending on my needs.

1. Hard Refresh

It is a simple solution without tempering anything.  Simply do a hard reload on the page should do the trick.

  • With mouse, do Shift-Click. 
  • With keyboard, do Ctrl-Shift-R.
    Hard Reload
2. Cookie Control

Disabling the site to store cookies will cause Service Worker registration to fail and no longer to work with cache.  This approach may cause errors if the site heavily relies on cookies.  Fortunately, it has been working fine for me so far.

  • Go to chrome://settings/content/siteData, and then
    scroll down to "Not allowed to save data on your device" section.

    Go to Chrome site data page

  • Click "Add" button to add the site

    Add the site into disallow to place cookies

  • As soon as the entry is added, simply refresh the page of the Website to see the effect.

    After having added an entry, refresh the page to see the effect
Also see how to allow or block cookies for a specific site on Google Chrome Help for details if needed.

3.  Temporarily off or Disable Extension

If one or more extension are installed with Chrome in conflict with the Webpage, it will be time consuming to find it out manually.  Uninstalling the extension is a long-term solution if the extension is no longer needed.  Most of time, it is not the case.  Then consider temporarily to disable it.

  • Go to chrome://extensions/
  • Slide on or off the extension to enable or disable it

    Enable or disable the extension from chrome

Hope that one the above solutions may work for you.  I would also like to hear from you if you have alternatives to resolve this.