Enable PWA Integration with Windows Shell in Microsoft Edge

How to Enable PWA Integration with Windows Shell in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is working to integrate Progressive Web Apps (PWA) with Windows. Edge already allows installing them as regular apps with desktop shortcuts. A new change in Edge Canary provides a deeper integration of web apps by adding them to the 'Uninstall an app' list in Settings, and showing extra options for them, similar to Store apps.


Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web apps that use modern web technologies. They can be launched on the Desktop and look like native apps. While PWAs are hosted on the Internet, the user can create a special shortcut to launch them like a regular app, or install them in Windows 10 using Microsoft Store.

Besides the Microsoft Store app, Windows users can use the certain Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Chrome to install them. When the browser detects a PWA on a web site, it allows installing it right from the main menu.

Edge Install PWA Site

We have already covered a special flag in Microsoft Edge, called Web Apps Identity Proxy (#edge-web-apps-identity-proxy). It supposed to make PWAs behave more like native Windows apps. They will get their own names in notifications instead of just "Microsoft Edge", and will also properly named in Edge task manager, and will have individual jump lists.

Edge PWA Proxy Flag

Microsoft has finally updated Edge Canary to use this flag. Once you enable it in Edge Canary, PWAs you have installed will appear in the list of installed apps. You will also able to change their advanced settings, e.g. to move a PWA to another drive.

Before proceeding, ensure that you have

To Enable PWA Integration with Windows Shell in Microsoft Edge,

  1. Open Microsoft Edge Chromium.
  2. Type the following text in the address bar: edge://flags/#edge-webapp-identity-proxy
  3. Select Enabled from the drop down list next to the Web Apps Identity Proxy
    option to enable this feature.Enable PWA Intergration With Windows Shell In Edge
  4. Restart the browser when prompted.

Now, open a web site that provides a PWA. For example, you can use Twitter or Outlook. Open browser's menu (Alt + F) and select Apps > Install Twitter (for Twitter).

Edge Install Twitter PWA

After you install the app, it will appear running with no browser frame, like a regular Windows app.

Edge Twitter PWA Installed

PWA with Windows Shell Integration

If you open Settings > Apps > Apps and features, you will see the PWA you have installed in the list of installed apps. In my case it is Twitter.

Edge Twitter PWA In Apps And Features

As you can see, it is possible to uninstall it from there, or open its advanced options, like for Store apps.

Edge Twitter PWA Advanced Options

From there, you can allow the PWA to run in the background, terminate or reset it, and more.

Actual Edge Versions

Download Microsoft Edge

You can download pre-release Edge version for Insiders from here:

Download Microsoft Edge Insider Preview

The stable version of the browser is available on the following page:

Download Microsoft Edge Stable

Microsoft Edge is now a Chromium-based browser with a number of exclusive features like Read Aloud and services tied to Microsoft instead of Google. The browser has already received a few updates, with support for ARM64 devices in Edge Stable 80. Also, Microsoft Edge is still supporting a number of aging Windows versions, including Windows 7, which has recently reached its end of support. Check out Windows Versions Supported by Microsoft Edge Chromium and Edge Chromium latest roadmap. Finally, interested users can download MSI installers for deployment and customization.

For pre-release versions, Microsoft is currently using three channels to deliver updates to Edge Insiders. The Canary channel receives updates daily (except Saturday and Sunday), the Dev channel is getting updates weekly, and the Beta channel is updated every 6 weeks. Microsoft is going to support Edge Chromium on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, alongside macOS, Linux (coming in the future) and mobile apps on iOS and Android. Windows 7 users will receive updates until July 15, 2021.

You will find many Edge tricks and features covered in the following post:

Hands-on with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge

Also, see the following updates.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Enable PWA Integration with Windows Shell in Microsoft Edge”

  1. It’s not install for me sites like twitter as regular app. Only like PWA app.
    I tried #edge-webapp-identity-proxy flag and it not working.

    1. It should work even without that flag. The flag adds extra entries and options, it doesn’t enable or disable PWAs in Edge.

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