• Microsoft Edge force-installs Google Docs Offline extension without permission

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    #2571791

    https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-edge-force-installs-google-docs-offline-extension-without-permission/

    Microsoft Edge users are reporting a somewhat head-scratching situation. The browser installs the Google Docs Offline extension (which allows creating and editing Google Docs without the internet) from the Chrome Web Store without permission or notifications.

    According to several observations, the extension appears in different channels, not only Canary or Dev. I got it on my primary PC running stable Windows 11 and Edge and on a virtual machine with the latest Windows 11 Dev build and Edge Canary. Although the extension is turned off by default, Deskmodder reports Microsoft Edge on their machines prompted to “repair” Google Docs Offline and enabled it without permission…

    *My Edge version 114.0.1823.67 doesn’t have the extension installed.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Alex5723.
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    • #2571840

      The 06-Jul-2023 AskVG article at Microsoft Edge is Installing Google Docs Offline Extension Automatically, Here is Why notes that the automatic installation of the Google Docs Offline Extension is deliberate and was documented in the MS Edge Version 114.0.1823.58 (rel. 22-Jun-2023) release notes.

      I’m currently on the latest MS Edge v114.0.1823.67 (rel. 29-Jun-2023) on my Win 10 laptop (with Allow Extensions From Other Stores enabled) and don’t have this extension so perhaps it’s only being delivered to Win 11 users.
      ————–
      Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.3086 * Firefox v115.0.0 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.23050.5-1.1.23050.3 * Malwarebytes Premium 4.5.32.271-1.0.2051 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2571878
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2584742

        … I’m currently on the latest MS Edge v114.0.1823.67 (rel. 29-Jun-2023) on my Win 10 laptop (with Allow Extensions From Other Stores enabled) and don’t have this extension so perhaps it’s only being delivered to Win 11 users.

        I was checking the extensions in my MS Edge browser today (which I rarely use since Firefox is my default browser) and noticed that the Google Docs Offline v1.66.0 extension was installed.

        MS-Edge-v116.0.1938.62-Installed-Extension-Google-Doc-Offline-v1_66_0-Installed-01-Sep-2023

        I don’t know when this extension first appeared in my MS Edge browser, but even the wording (“We have readily installed this extension …”) seems half-baked.
        ————
        Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.3324 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.23070.1004-1.1.23080.1005 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.6.1.280-1.0.2117 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * Firefox v117.0.0 * MS Edge v116.0.1938.69

    • #2571880

      Let me change the headline:

      “Microsoft once again sucks at communication and documentation”

      As that’s what is really going on.  Clearly they acknowledge that a huge customer base is using google docs, not office online.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2571883

        “Microsoft once again sucks at communication and documentation”

        Absolutely:

        The new feature was not listed on the changelog page when the version 114.0.1823.58 was released on June 22, 2023. Microsoft added the information later to make it clear that the Google Docs Offline extension is being automatically installed on all Microsoft Edge installations by Microsoft.

      • #2572105

        Let me change the headline:

        “Microsoft once again sucks at communication and documentation”

        As that’s what is really going on.  Clearly they acknowledge that a huge customer base is using google docs, not office online.

        That’s what happens when a vendor faces little effective competition. They believe that we’re stuck with them no matter what, so no skin off their nose if we are befuddled by their communications or inconvenienced by their practices.

        “‘If you don’t like it, you can just switch to Linux,’ he said with a smug smile.”

    • #2572121

      “‘If you don’t like it, you can just switch to Linux,’ he said with a smug smile.”

      Or a Mac (another smug smile)!

      MSFT Edge can also be installed on either of those Operating systems, thankfully it’s fully ‘OPTIONAL’ /smug grin

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
    • #2572157

      MSFT Edge can also be installed on either of those Operating systems

      Do you think the Microsoft will push Google Docs to Mac, Linux, Mobile (none existent) Edge versions ?

    • #2584750

      The Google Docs Offline extension has not been a problem on our machines.

      We uninstalled Edge a long time ago using the Revo Uninstaller.

      • #2584753

        We uninstalled Edge a long time ago using the Revo Uninstaller.

        I have completely uninstalled Edge from my PC’s, root and branch, including the entries in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps and the registry.  I’ve done the same for Internet Explorer.

        WebView2 is still onboard; Office uses it, my video editing software uses it, and my DuckDuckGo Beta browser also uses it.  But there is no Edge to use it.

        No need to switch to Linux or pay the Apple tax, just prune Windows to one’s own use/taste, and it’s one and done.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

      • #2584795

        We uninstalled Edge a long time ago using the Revo Uninstaller.

        Thanks for the advice, but I don’t mind having a second browser like MS Edge installed on my computer, even if I don’t use it often. If a web page isn’t behaving as expected in my default Firefox browser (e.g., a video isn’t playing correctly or a sign in to a web site fails) I find it useful to have a second browser on hand for testing so I can tell if it’s my Firefox browser or the actual web page that’s the cause of the problem.

        All I had to do was open my MS Edge extensions manager (edge://extensions/) and remove the unwanted Google Docs Offline extension so this annoyance has been resolved as far as I’m concerned.  However, I’m still peeved that Microsoft added this extension to my MS Edge browser without asking my permission, even if it was disabled by default.
        ———–
        Dell Inspiron 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.3324 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.23070.1004-1.1.23080.1005 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.6.1.280-1.0.2117 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * Firefox v117.0.0 * MS Edge v116.0.1938.69

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2584807

          Imacri

          Like you we like having a second browser.

          Our go to browser is Firefox and or secondary browser is Brave

          • #2584859

            Using storage real estate for a secondary browser, not likely here as
            my secondary browser is portable and on a usb stick.
            Comes in very handy, anywhere, on any windows device that permits.

            Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
            • #2584867

              Microfix

              Storage real estate is not at a premium on any of our PCs.

              A secondary browser is just part of our standard setup and provides browsing flexibility if required.

    • #2585550

      oh dear…more of the same, Redmond’s at it again

      Microsoft is adding more entries to Android phone’s menu that appears when you select or hold texts…

      Just can’t get away from the Redmond aggressive persistance.

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
      • #2585562

        Adding context menu entries for installed apps is not “aggressive”.

        The new “Microsoft 365 Note” option does not “hide other important features like Copy” on my Android phone, and is quite convenient.

        • #2585593

          Per the article,

          “Users’ major frustrations revolve around the ‘copy’ function. A commonly used feature, Android users are used to long-clicking on text to copy it. However, recent updates have hidden this feature with Microsoft’s tool.

          In our tests, we observed a similar behavior. The new buttons hide other important features like Copy or Select in the menu, at least on Samsung phones. If you select a text and click “Microsoft 365 Note”, it will open the “Notes” section of the Microsoft 365 app with the selected text already there.

          It’s not possible to manually change the order of the options in the menu, but if you go to the extended menu and click the ‘copy’ button instead of Microsoft 365 Note, your Android menu may automatically adapt to the behavior, and the ‘copy’ button will surface instead.”

          • #2585597

            I had already read the article before I replied to the post with its link.

            What’s your point?

            • #2585603

              The point was to provide more context and make it clear that while it’s not affecting your device, it is affecting many other end users hiding important default features such as copy.

            • #2585606

              it is affecting many other end users hiding important default features such as copy.

              Many? The article mentions two.

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