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Delivering the Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime to Windows 10 Consumers

Written By published June 27, 2022

Microsoft Edge WebView2 is a developer control for embedding web content in applications. It allows developers to leverage the best of what Microsoft Edge Chromium platform can offer and build seamless experiences for their users that incorporate web-based content.

WebView2 powers thousands of applications today, including products from Microsoft Office and Cerner.

Starting today, we are beginning to roll out the WebView2 Runtime to Windows 10 Consumer devices.

Room Finder in Outlook
Web-based Room Finder embedded in Microsoft Outlook via WebView2

Reducing developer load

The WebView2 Runtime provides the underlying web platform for WebView2 applications. Most end users will likely never hear about or interact with the runtime directly, but through the applications it enables.

Starting with Windows 11, the WebView2 Runtime is included as part of the operating system. For Windows 10, we have recommended developers to distribute and install the runtime with their applications. In the past two years, more than 400 million of these devices now have the WebView2 runtime thanks to developers building and distributing WebView2 applications.

Redistributable runtime deployment allows developers to use WebView2 on devices that didn’t yet have the runtime, but comes with increased development cost and has been a pain point for WebView2 developers. Once we complete the WebView2 Runtime rollout started today, developers can more reliably depend on the presence of WebView2 on Windows 10 or later consumer devices, in addition to all Windows 11 devices, making WebView2 app deployment much more straightforward.

With the rollout, we plan to cover Consumer devices with Windows 10 April 2018 or later update for Home and Pro OS editions. Managed devices are not included in the rollout.

To ensure availability of WebView2 under all conditions, developers should refer to the WebView2 Runtime distribution documentation.

Minimal disk space impact on end users

As an end user, the WebView2 Runtime rollout will have minimal disk space impact on your device. The WebView2 Runtime and Microsoft Edge browser are “hard-linked” together, which means they only occupy the disk space of one product when they are on the same version.  This ensures that the WebView2 Runtime installation has minimal impact to your device. The rollout will also be conducted in progressively larger waves as we monitor data and feedback to ensure users are having the best experience.

Enterprise rollout

This phase of our rollout is limited to Consumer devices. We are evaluating similar rollouts for managed/domain-joined Enterprise devices in the future, we will communicate more details on those plans here and in WebView2 documentation.

Closing thoughts

We are excited to get the rollout started to make distributing WebView2 apps easier for developers and help end users get better app experiences on Windows 10 and above. We will be closely monitoring data and feedback to ensure that the rollout is healthy, and you can also reach out to us on WebView2 Feedback GitHub repo or connect with us on Twitter (@MSEdgeDev).

– Limin Zhu, Senior PM Manager, Microsoft Edge