Google Chrome makes it pretty easy to install Progressive Web Apps or, PWAs, on your machine to where they feel like native apps. Soon, on Windows machines, you’ll be able to uninstall web apps from Chrome just like you can native apps.
As spotted on Reddit, Google has introduced deeper integration between Chrome and Windows 10. Now available in the Canary and Dev releases of Chrome and, eventually, stable releases, Chrome will put any Progressive Web Apps in the Windows app list. This means you’ll be able to do basic management of those apps from the Windows Settings menu including uninstalling them from the system.
Update 3/11: While we first covered this upcoming functionality back in December of 2020, Google has only just now gotten around to actually rolling it out. The folks over at Android Police spotted the feature live on Chrome for Windows v99, with Progressive Web Apps showing up in the system’s uninstall menu alongside native applications.
There is one thing to note, however. While it’s far from a big deal, this new feature only works for PWAs installed after installing Chrome 99.
In Chromium, this change was noted for the Edge browser, with a Microsoft engineer explaining the feature in a commit.
> PWA on Desktop Windows: Implement uninstallation via OS settings.
> When user uninstall a PWA from Windows Settings or Control, it also uninstall PWA from browser registrar.
Unfortunately, the feature isn’t readily available just yet. Instead, Windows users will have to add a command line flag to the Chrome shortcut in order for web apps to show up in Settings and, in turn, be able to uninstall them. Adding “–enable-features=EnableWebAppUninstallFromOsSettings” to the target in a Chrome Canary or Dev shortcut should do the trick.
More on Chrome:
- Chrome Dev Summit: Google recaps 2020 work on browser privacy, richer web apps, and performance
- Google extending Chrome support for Windows 7 due to 2020 stalling IT migration plans
- Chrome for Android rolling out helpful icons to the overflow menu
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