So you have just encountered a web page that turned out to be a virus scam or other tech support scam and you immediately forced Microsoft Edge to close as a precaution. Other browsers ask you if you want to restore your previous tabs after a crash. Edge follows the Open Microsoft Edge with setting. If you have set this to Previous pages, you're stuck in an endless loop of "You've got a virus!" > Task Manager > End task > Restart Edge > "You've got a virus!" because you can't get to Edge's settings to change how Edge starts.


Here's the trick, which we found on a Microsoft Community forum: After you force Edge to quit, disconnect from the Internet.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open the Windows Task Manager, right-click Microsoft Edge, and select End task.
  2. Turn off your wireless network or unplug your Ethernet cable.
  3. Restart Edge. The scam tab won't be able to connect, giving you a little time.
  4. Close the tab.
  5. Open Edge's settings and change Open Microsoft Edge with to New tab page.


If that doesn't work, here's a different solution from the same forum: Open Edge again and clear the stored data. Why? If the scammers are sophisticated, you may need to do more than disconnect from the Internet. They may store the virus script in your browsing data, so that it constantly reopens the tab even without Internet access.

  1. Right-click the Edge icon on the task bar and open a second instance of Edge. (This assumes you have the Edge icon pinned to the task bar.)
  2. Open Edge's settings.
  3. Change Open Microsoft Edge with to New tab page.
  4. Under Clear browsing data, click Choose what to clear.

  5. Select Browsing history and Cached data and files.
  6. Change Open Microsoft Edge with to New tab page.
  7. Force-close Edge using the Task Manager as above.


What if that doesn't work either? You'll need to tweak the Windows Registry a bit.

Warning: Always create a restore point or back up the Windows Registry before changing anything in the Registry!


Here's an illustrated guide from Laptopmag.com with instructions for forcing Microsoft Edge to start with just one tab, regardless of how the browser is configured to start in Settings. 


Do you prefer to force Microsoft Edge to start the way you specified in Settings? According to this post on the Malwarebytes Labs blog, you'll need to set the value of AutoRecover to 0 instead of 2. The post also recommends that you clear the browser cache after you get Microsoft Edge working properly again.