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Chrome gets a flag to enable PWA uninstall in Windows Settings

You may remember that Google Chrome has the ability to remove an installed PWA using Settings and/or Control Panel. When enabled, it allows adds the appropriate Uninstall option to the Start menu shortcut context menu for installed PWAs. Well, Google goes further with this feature, and has added a flag to quickly enable or disable this functionality in the browser.

When you install a website as an app from Microsoft Edge, Windows creates a shortcut in the list of all apps and allows uninstalling the PWA from Windows Settings or the classic Control Panel. In fact, Edge has many PWA-related features and enhancements that make it stand out from the mainstream competitors.

Google is also working on improving the PWA experience in Chrome (good to see them working on useful changes apart from implementing controversial APIs). Earlier, you could turn on the ability to integrate Progressive Web Apps in Google Chrome with Windows 10 and 11 by using the --enable-features=EnableWebAppUninstallFromOsSettings command line argument.

But in Chrome Canary 96.0.4664.2, users spotted a new flag that simplifies that process.  Enabling the "Enable PWAs to register as an uninstallable app in Windows on installation" flag lets you uninstall PWAs from the Windows Setting app, Start menu, or the classic Control Panel without modifying its shortcut. So as of now you need Chrome Canary 96 to give it a try.

Enable improved PWA experience in Google Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Copy-paste the following URL into the address bar: chrome://flags/#pwa-uninstall-in-windows-os.
  3. Select Enabled from a drop-down menu next to the "Enable PWAs to register as an uninstallable app in Windows on installation" flag.
  4. Restart the browser.
  5. Now, install any Progressive Web App, then check it out in the Start menu, Windows Settings app, or Control Panel.

In case you missed it, Microsoft recently introduced a reworked page for managing PWAs in the Edge browser. The new page offers improved sorting and additional tools, such as the ability to pin an app to the taskbar, check tracking prevention settings, get more information about the publisher, etc.

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