How to run windows 10/11 with internet, but WITHOUT a browser at all?

So, I have an odd issue. I have an old windows 10 laptop that I use primarily as a super powered word processor. I used to have it without a browser, to help with focus, and I really liked it. It had internet (I synced Dropbox over it), but no broswer at all. I had install it one point for various reasons, but now it won’t let me remove it. Tried the normal method. No go. I’ve followed some tutorials using Powershell, etc and it’s a no go there too.

Is there any way to do this anymore? I kinda p*sses me off that MS is requiring Edge. What if I had a kid using the device for some reason and I didn’t want a browser? There are a variety of legit reasons. It seems like this must be acheivable.

Any advice?


I’ve got some experience with brain-surgery on Win 10.

There’s a very easy half-fix for those really stubborn processes and programs which just won’t go away…

Use “perfmon.exe” (a Windows tool built into the OS.) I was using it to hunt down CPU hogs.

It will allow you to “Suspend” any given process. -While you can’t actually terminate those zombie processes which just re-start themselves in spite of any HKEY hackery you perform, suspending a process halts whatever it’s doing and can be left that way indefinitely and it won’t come back to life. You can even shut down perfmon and the process will remain in a suspended state. It’s a good way to win back CPU cycles. (Windows has a little security daemon which looks for programs on the naughty list and alerts the user to their presence, and takes up to 30% of the CPU to do it. It auto-restarts and won’t let you kill it and was running every few minutes for long stretches, and this caused problems with programs like OBS where it would introduce video recording stutters. It had to go.)

You do have to repeat the steps of suspending after a cold restart, but if you just leave the machine hibernated, it’ll be fine. (I tend to leave my machine running for weeks at a time. I just have a little notepad document on the desktop with a short list of the processes to kill on a fresh startup. Adobe Cloud is among them.)

Beyond that, if you want to get fancy, you can find the relevant guts of Edge and go through the complicated process of taking ownership of a file and then telling it to go sit in the corner forever. If you go nuclear on it, you won’t be able to recover it without re-installing Windows. I can direct you to the steps necessary to do this if you are brave enough. You run the risk of truly messing up your system, as some of the processes are interdependent with other things you actually need. (I earned myself an “Activate Windows” badge permanently stuck in the corner of my screen in my campaign to prevent Windows ever calling home again. I’m okay with that and have learned to live with it. Out here in my cabin in the woods.)

That all sounds bit extreme. It was just a few months ago that I was allowed to delete. It was no big deal. No???

I wonder if I can run an older version of windows on this old laptop of mine? Or maybe Ubuntu would work? I’ve never run Linux before.

I actually had this device working just the way I wanted a few months ago, which was-

  1. has Dropbox so I can sync files across computers
  2. has no browser, so it is a 100% focused machine without obvious distractions
  3. has Word, which I like working with

If I can’t do this on Windows, how much of this could I do on another platform? Like Linux or Android?

Possibly try GP (Group policy).