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3 Reasons Why You Should Switch to the Microsoft Edge Browser

by on June 15, 2020
in Internet & Networking, News, Computers and Software, Software & Games, Productivity, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Blog, Privacy :: 27 comments

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Microsoft Edge isn’t a brand new browser, but many Windows users are only just noticing the latest version of Edge, which recently rolled out to everyone in a recent Windows Update. You may be inclined to write off Microsoft’s latest web browser, but the Edge has some surprisingly smart features that should put it in contention for your default web browser.

Built on Chromium, the same system that powers Google Chrome, Edge is feels like Chrome in a good way. It even supports all of your favorite Chrome browser extensions. This speedy modern browser makes it easier to organize information, keep your personal information private, and stay safe from hackers.

In fact, Edge is so good that it may be time to think about ditching Chrome or Firefox. These three key features are why we think you should give Microsoft Edge a try.

Edge has the best browser privacy you can get

Though you can use Chrome extensions to add more privacy settings to the browser, Edge prevents advertisers from tracking you across the internet by default. Three simple settings — Basic, Balanced, and Strict — let you easily set how strong you want those privacy settings to be, all without the bother of complicated software settings.

You can also block what Edge considers “potentially unwanted apps,” which includes adware and other nuisances that you may install unintentionally. All major browsers make efforts to block dangerous downloads, but Edge takes it a step further to block annoyances, too. This setting isn’t enabled by default: you’ll have to turn it on under Settings > Privacy and Services > Block potentially unwanted apps.

The browser’s InPrivate mode — similar to Chrome’s Incognito mode — also does a better-than-average job of keeping your browser activity private. When you close Edge after browsing with InPrivate mode, it automatically deletes history, cookies and site data, which is the norm for such privacy modes because it severely limits tracking. Again, Edge takes your privacy a bit further: InPrivate mode also causes Microsoft Bing to clear data on your searches. This won't do much for you if you use Google search, but it's a serious privacy feature that you won't find on other major browsers.

There's one more key component to Edge's privacy protection: it will tell you when one of your passwords has been compromised by a data breach. While you will find this feature on other browsers and many password managers, it's an absolute must for anyone concerned about their privacy, so it’s an important part of Edge’s security package.

All combined, Edge offers better out-of-the-box privacy tools than the competition — something that’s crucial for modern web browsing.

Distraction-free reading with Immersive Reader

Sometimes websites are difficult to read for one reason or another, but Edge makes it easy to focus on the text with Immersive Reader mode. With it, Edge strips out distractions and lets you control the formatting, like font, font size and colors. It can even highlight sections as you scroll, helping you focus on one block of text at a time.That can make it a lot easier for kids who are learning to read or people with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

Edge can also read webpages aloud with pretty good accuracy. It’s another excellent feature for anyone with visual impairments — or for just when you have tired eyes from staring at a screen all day.

Apple’s Safari browser has a similar Reader feature, but it doesn’t offer this level of customization, nor will it read websites for you. For anyone with vision problems, Edge is almost certainly your best browser choice.

It's extra easy to organize your browsing

Admit it: you probably have a dozen different browser tabs open right now. That kind of clutter tends to slow down your browser (and even your computer) and make it hard to find what you’re looking for. But Edge has a couple of powerful features to help keep those browser tabs in line.

First is Collections, a feature that’s similar to Evernote or OneNote — except Collections is built right into the browser, while other tools require extensions to work with your browser. With Collections, you can easily grab information from different websites to store for later. You can simply use it as reference in your browser — like if you’re researching vacation options and need an easy reference of everything you’ve found — or export it to Word, Excel, or send it by email to get your research where you need it. It’s straightforward and easy to use, plus you can access your Collections from anywhere, whether you’re browsing on PC, Android, iOS, or Mac.

Another simple — but incredibly handy — feature is vertical tabs. This is ideal for those times when you have dozens of tabs open. Using the vacation research as an example, you could drag and drop your vacation-related tabs to create a single list of tabs about vacation topics. You might have one tab for your vacation research, another tab for recipes you've looked up, and another tab for some shopping you're doing — and you would just mouse over each to see everything you have open under that single tab. It makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything you've been working on so you can always find what you need. It’s simple, intuitive and uncluttered — and it really helps you keep track of your information.

Should I use Chrome or Edge?

We think Edge currently has the strongest features of these two browsers, and you can move most of your bookmarks and settings over with a single click, so it's simple to switch. But there are still some reasons you might want to stick with your current browser.

Chrome is heavily integrated with Google products, with everything tied to your Google login. Edge is heavily integrated with Microsoft products, with everything tied to your Microsoft login. Safari is heavily integrated with Apple products, with everything tied to your iCloud login. If you favor one particular platform, it's usually easier to use the associated browser.

And while Edge has a strong feature set — particularly where privacy is concerned — it’s still lagging in some areas. Syncing data across platforms is a notable loss, because while most things — like bookmarks and passwords — are synced, some things — like browsing history and open tabs — aren’t. If you use multiple platforms, quick access to the things you were browsing is a huge convenience, and it’s a convenience that Chrome has but Edge doesn't. Depending on your browsing habits, you may find Edge is lacking a few of your must-have features.

But with the strength of its features, Edge is at least worth a try. If you aren’t quite satisfied with your current browser, Edge may be just what you’re looking for. 

While Windows users should already have the latest version of Microsoft Edge, MacOS users can download Edge now. And if you'd like to use Edge on your mobile device, you can get it for both Android and iOS.

[Image credit: woman using laptop at home via BigStockPhoto, screenshots via Techlicious]



Discussion loading

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Chrome or Edge

From Laurie on June 16, 2020 :: 9:55 am

The Edge browser has proven time and time again it is painfully slow.

Chrome is definitely the way to go and perfectly safe

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In the past, I also

From Suzanne Kantra on June 16, 2020 :: 12:34 pm

In the past, I also found Edge to be slow. However, this last big upgrade to the Chromium platform for Edge has changed things. I’ve been using the two browsers side by side since the beta came out and I’ve found Edge to be just as fast as Chrome.

I use both browsers and have come to love the Collections feature for my research. It’s enough to make switching an attractive choice, especially now that Edge supports Chrome browser extensions.

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new tabs givew me bing bar not google search

From Jason Hendry on December 02, 2020 :: 12:23 pm

until new tabs alows me to use the google searsh where bing bar is i cant and wont use bing

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Easy to change

From Josh Kirschner on December 03, 2020 :: 9:40 am

You can easily change your default search engine in Bing settings. Go to edge://settings/search and change to Google, if you like. Then set “Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar” to address bar and it will use Google, too, for new tabs.

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I do not find Edge

From Norman Rosen on June 16, 2020 :: 10:05 am

I do not find Edge to be slower than Chrome and there are pages that Chrome does not operate properly. Edge is definitely much improved. My only complaint is that it insists on reading PDF’s in Edge and not Adobe Reader or some other program.

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If you don't want to

From Suzanne Kantra on June 16, 2020 :: 12:48 pm

If you don’t want to preview your PDF files in Edge, you can choose to have PDF documents download to your computer and you can open them in Adobe Reader or whatever application you have set up as your default PDF viewer.  To change this Edge setting go to Settings > Site permissions > PDF documents and toggle on “Always open PDF files externally.”

If you want to choose the location of where the documents are downloaded, go to Settings > Downloads. There you can set a default download location and toggle on “Ask where to save each file before downloading.”

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Thank You!

From Norman C Rosen on June 17, 2020 :: 9:51 am

Thank you for telling me how to do this! I’ve been trying to go through settings for some time and never found it.

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oopppps!

From ncrgeo@gmail.com on June 17, 2020 :: 10:02 am

I wen to setting, found site settings but not site permissions; still can’t find anything on PDF

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Here is the direct link

From Josh Kirschner on June 17, 2020 :: 10:13 am

If you’re having trouble finding it, here is the direct link to pdf settings in Edge: edge://settings/content/pdfDocuments

Edge

From Alice Christy Williams on June 16, 2020 :: 4:54 pm

Since Microsoft edge was added to my computer, I can no longer get sound or watch videos when I am on Facebook.  Please let me know what I can do about that.

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Alice-

From MURRAY ISRAEL on June 16, 2020 :: 6:22 pm

That has nothing to do with the edge browser rather a change to your audio settings. Simple fix to change it back.

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3 reasons to use Edge?

From Don Luther on June 16, 2020 :: 7:01 pm

I’d consider those 3 reasons if you could give me ONE reason to use Windows. My Windows laptop spends half a day choking itself on lame updates if I even boot it up anymore. I have a Chromebook that is alive and well in 15 seconds EVERY time and I can’t be bothered with what feels like Win95 by comparison. Chromebooks don’t support Edge and I’m fine with that.

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That isn't normal operation

From Josh Kirschner on June 17, 2020 :: 9:43 am

Windows updates are pretty infrequent and shouldn’t lock up your laptop for long during an update unless it is a really old, under-powered device. The biggest bottlenecks with updates (and performance in general) are your RAM and hard drive. Upgrading your RAM or swapping out your hard drive for an SSD (which is what your Chromebook uses) will make a world of difference, especially for an old laptop. We have an article that walks you through the process of upgrading your HDD to an SSD, if that’s of interest.

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If privacy is a concern, you shouldn't use Edge

From Edgard Morales on June 17, 2020 :: 1:02 am

This new Edge Chromium sends every single url you type in to Microsoft servers, it has more telemetry services than any other browser.

Source: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/research-finds-microsoft-edge-has-privacy-invading-telemetry/

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I don't see that as a concern for most users

From Josh Kirschner on June 17, 2020 :: 9:53 am

This needs to be understood in the context of how and why that data is being sent. For example, the article calls out use of the data for Microsoft’s SmartScreen, which protects users from phishing and malware sites. However, if users don’t want this or other services to run which may need to send data to Microsoft’s servers, this can easily be managed in the Edge privacy settings: edge://settings/privacy.

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Then, this whole article is pointless

From Edgard Morales on June 17, 2020 :: 11:20 am

As I see it, this is basically “we’ll protect you from being tracked by others, except for us”. Yes, you can tell me it is for security reasons, but the thing is the user has absolutely no control over what is being done with their information. This kind of “feature” shouldn’t come activated by default, it’s invasive and the only reason it is opt out, instead of opt in, is because most people won’t even realize they’re being tracked by Microsoft.
This article shouldn’t be advertising Edge as a privacy focused browser when all of the user data is being collected by Microsoft.

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Let me join in...

From Dustin Orion 266 on June 17, 2020 :: 5:04 pm

Can I join the circlejerk? I really enjoy Microsoft™ Edge™. Rebuilt From The Ground Up To Bring You World-Class Compatibility And Performance! Browse Anywhere. Available Now.

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wow

From Norman C Rosen on June 17, 2020 :: 6:31 pm

I never knew browsers were that controversial. I have read elsewhere that Edge is more secure than Chrome, so this article was no surprise. But don’t tell me tha Google, Alphabet, etc. is really concerned about data privacy. I don’t believe it. If you are really concerned, stick with the TOR browser and Duckduckgo search engine.

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Adobe invented the PDF format

From Ian Robson on July 04, 2020 :: 12:48 am

I always wonder why Microsoft insists on making Edge the default for viewing PDF files.
After all Adobe Systems created the Portable Document Format in the early 1990s, introduced at the Windows and OS|2 Conference in January 1993 and remained a proprietary format until it was released as an open standard in 2008.
Microsoft Edge has nowhere near the functionality of Adobe Reader.

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Us Edge more secure than Brave?

From Doug Smith on July 09, 2020 :: 9:03 am

I have been using Brave for several months based on being told it is the most secure browser.  How does Brave compare to Edge?

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Favorites list flaw

From David Martin on July 10, 2020 :: 1:17 am

The new Edge is much-improved over the previous version. The showstopper for me (and many others apparently) is a tiny detail - the Favorites list is double-spaced.  It is inefficient and time-wasting.  After many complaints, I am told that MS are actually investigating the issue with a view to fixing it.

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Memory Leak

From James Harris on July 10, 2020 :: 7:04 am

I have found that Edge has a memory leak.  If I leave my computer on and Edge running my computer is slow at responding and takes me a long time to do anything until I force stop Edge.  When I pull up the task manager Edge has a lot of memory being used.  I do the same thing with Chrome and I don’t have a problem.  So, until the memory leak is fixed I won’t be using Edge.

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NOPE

From Mark Nicholson on July 11, 2020 :: 11:18 am

The way that Microsoft tried to cram the new Edge down my throat upon restarting after an update, they can stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Restarted to an Edge propaganda screen that left no option to back out of. Had to do the old Ctrl/Alt/Delete, sign out and sign in again to lose the forced browser takeover. MY computer, MY choice. Microsoft, knock that s**t off!

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History

From Linda Robertson on July 20, 2020 :: 4:39 pm

Edge took over my computer this morning and when we tried to shut it down, my history for the last six months was deleted. This is my office computer and it makes me NEVER, EVER want anything Microsoft. Effectively shut down my work for at least today.

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Let me choose - Don't force it on me

From Thomas Turkington on October 19, 2020 :: 1:33 pm

I don’t want to spend time comparing browsers and if Edge has better features, ‘great’, but I’ve been using Chrome for years and so far I’ve been totally satisfied with Chrome and don’t want to change.  What bothers me is Microsoft constantly either redirecting me to Edge or asking me to switch to Edge.  If Edge is so wonderful then I imagine over time it will gain a reputation as being ‘wonderful’ and everyone will use it, but the fact that Microsoft appears to want to force it on me indicates to me that having a good reputation isn’t the aim, rather they just want the market share.  The ‘forcing’ of the product on me actually makes me adverse to it, regardless of the benefits it might have.

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Windows 7

From Kitty on November 04, 2020 :: 2:04 pm

Does Edge work with Windows 7. I don’t like the new windows where everything is on the other side. to me it’s messed up.

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Yes, but please upgrade to Windows 10

From Josh Kirschner on November 04, 2020 :: 2:20 pm

You can use Edge with Windows 7 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4567409/update-for-the-new-microsoft-edge). However, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend you upgrade to Windows 10. You can set up Windows 10 to look very similar to Windows 7, if that’s your big concern. And Windows 7 is no longer being supported by Microsoft for security updates or fixes, leaving you exposed to potential risks.

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