This post will show you what is Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime and if you need to uninstall or remove it.
In Windows 11, looking at the Apps and Features section in Settings, or the list of programs in the Programs and Features applet in the classic Control Panel, you might find software that you did not install. Specially, there will be an entry Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime. Also, you can find this component running in the list of processes in the Task Manager (the msedgewebview2.exe process).
Obviously, a novice user may have a question: what is it, where did it come from, is it necessary and can it be removed.
What is Edge WebView2 Runtime?
In simple words, Edge WebView2 Runtime is a software environment that allows embedding web content in desktop and universal apps. As it comes from its name, it uses the Edge browser engine. The advantages of using this component is to unify the functionality and interface of desktop and web applications.
For example, thanks to Edge WebView2 Runtime, developers can integrate interactive modules based on JavaSript, HTML and CSS from various online services into their software products.
While this is not a very good comparison, WebView2 serves roughly the same purpose as the .NET Framework or Java — allowing software to run on multiple platforms.
Is it possible to uninstall WebView2?
The WebView2 software environment appeared in Windows 10, in versions 2004 and 21H1. There, the user can remove it as a regular application.
But in Windows 11, it comes with the operating system, and it is not intended to be uninstalled. In the “Apps and Features” section of Settings, the uninstall button is inactive, The same for the the classic control panel applet, the uninstall option is not available.
Microsoft has disabled the removal option, most likely, not by accident. It is tightly integrated with the OS. In any case, there is no special need to remove the component.
Firstly, it starts only on demand and separately from the Edge browser. Secondly, if an app needs this component, Windows will download and install it automatically.
If you do decide to uninstall Edge WebView2 Runtime, you will need Revo Uninstaller or a similar program to do this.
Is it safe to remove WebView2 Rutime?
Removing Edge WebView2 Runtime is generally safe and does not affect the integrity of the operating system. But in the future you may experience problems with applications that use this component, such as Microsoft Outlook.
If for some reason Windows does not install it itself, you will need to do it manually. In this case, you can download the environment installation file from the official developer page developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/webview2.