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Microsoft Edge for Computer: Overview and Features!

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser which now comes pre-installed on Windows 10 has plenty of features. It fully supports the Microsoft account and deeply integrated will all its products and services. The Edge Chromium has great privacy and security settings, and it also trimmed out all the unnecessary tracking snippets within the source code.

Microsoft Internet Explorer was Windows’ browser as default. However, even then, it didn’t do any good to its fate. There was always a saying that the best use of Internet Explorer was to download Google Chrome. No matter how sarcastic it may sound yet, it was the harsh truth.

However, it seems that all these are now a thing of the past. Beginning with Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a new browser to the masses. Dubbed Microsoft Edge, Microsoft seems to have rekindled the browser war. But what are the reasons for its change of fate? Well, there are plenty of them that lead to its spike in usage.

The new Microsoft Edge browser is based on the Chromium source code. To the unawares, Microsoft Internet Explorer used to work on an old JavaScript engine, however, in 2018, they made this big jump over to the Chromium source code, and then there was no looking back.

Yesterday, my friend asked my perspective on the new Microsoft Explorer and its latest features. So, I decided to research the same.

The Chromium source code will let you enjoy all the goodies that the chrome browser has to offer. So the browser, apart from its own set of features, incorporates all the useful Chrome features. On top of that, Chromium is an open-source code project, meaning its entire underlying code is available for everyone to see and act upon.

Well, these are just some of the useful features why this is becoming everyone’s favorite, especially among Windows PC users. Let’s check out some of the other features that have made it a big hit among the users!

Import Data

Switching over from one browser to another is a time-consuming task. All the files, data, and bookmarks have to be re-added. You can’t simply sync these settings with your account ID and bring back all the settings. This is possible for the same browser across different platforms but not across cross-browsers.

Until now, Microsoft Edge allows you to import data from three of the most used browsers, i.e., Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The first time you install and run it, it will give you the import dialog box.

Edge Computer Import Data and Settings from Chrome

Just select your previous default browser and the type of data that needs to be imported. However, if you wish to skip this and try it at a later stage initially, the feature could be accessed anytime from Settings > Profiles > Import Data.

Tracking Prevention

Strengthening online privacy is the need of the hour. With cases of a data breach at an all-time, users look for methods to get a safe and secure browsing experience. The tracking prevention feature of Microsoft Edge will go a great length in this aspect. All this is possible due to the use of Microsoft Edge chromium source code.

Trackers, as the name suggests, track your online activities and collect information about your browsing behavior. What’s even worse is some trackers can collect and send your information even to sites you haven’t even visited.

Microsoft Edge Tracking Prevention and Settings Options Window

As explained by various browsers, the reason for all these tracking activities is that they wish to know your interests and your likings, and therefore will send you personalized and curated content.

While all these sound good on paper, there are some security risks involved. It is because of this reason that people wish to block these trackers from keeping a check on their daily activities.

If you wish to do so as well, then Microsoft provides three different levels of tracking protection:

  1. Basic: It offers the minimum level of protection, only blocking some of the known harmful trackers, rest all the trackers will work across all the sites. This will give you more personalized and curated content but will take a toll on your privacy as well.
  2. Balanced: This is the one set by default and what Microsoft recommends as well. It maintains a decent level of tracking blocking and proper functioning of the websites. If you block all the trackers, then some important scripts needed for the proper running of the websites also get blocked. As a result, websites won’t be able to function properly. This is why Microsoft suggests using this mode, and it manages to maintain an equilibrium between both. In short, it blocks trackers from sites that you haven’t yet visited and other harmful trackers. However, you are likely to have a little less personalized content and ad, but I guess that will be a handy trade-off.
  3. Strict: The highest level of protection; Strict all the trackers, whether harmful or not. Since these trackers won’t send information about your online activities, third-party services won’t have much clue about your likes and dislikes. Hence, you will be getting ads and content with minimal personalization. While this is fine with most of you, the real problem arises when some sites begin to behave in a rather unexpected manner. In Strict mode, sites cannot access some of the needed components like Javascript and hence could throw up an error or two. If that happens, consider switching back to the Balanced level.

So these were the different levels of Microsoft Edge tracking protection offered by the browser. You could also create exceptions and add some sites to the whitelist. The option to do so is present just beneath the Strict mode.

Reading Mode

Reading content on any website is becoming a challenging task as of late. With unnecessary content creeping up on every corner, unsuitable ad placements, and the notifications covering up half of the screen, sometimes it’s better to let go of that article.

Well, this browser has it under control as well. Edge offers a Reading Mode that minimizes all the distractions and gives you an immersive reading experience.

Immersive Reader Toolbar and Options in Microsoft Edge

There’s also a text reference box that allows you to set the desired font text and style and even adjust the page’s colors. With the feature that lets you change the font style for reading view in chromium, the reading experience becomes far better.  Or take it a step further and let the browser read out the content for you. For that, click on the three horizontal dots and select the Read Aloud option. You could also use the Ctrl+Shift+U shortcut key combinations to use it.

Edge Read Aloud Controls and Voice Options

Tab Management

Everyone has a habit of keeping a lot of tabs open. While it’s great from the usability experience, sometimes it does lead to confusion. Fortunately, the browser had some impressive tab management tips lined up its sleeves.

For example, you could close all the other tabs, close tabs to the right, mute all tabs or even create duplicate tabs, which would save you from the effort of copying and pasting the URL in a new tab.

Or you could even create a favorite and add all your tabs over there. This favorite collection could be on all your devices, giving you easy access to all such tabs.

Edge Chromium Computer Tab Management options

The best part? All the options are present under a single roof; right-click on any of the opened tabs, and you’ll get all the aforementioned options. All this is possible due to the Microsft Edge chromium source code.

UI Tweaks and Appearance

If the bright lights protrude out of your PC, causing unnecessary strain, you could easily switch to the dark mode. While some of the other browsers allow dark mode via third-party extensions or experimental features (as in Chrome), Microsoft Edge has this feature baked into its browser.

Edge Chromium Theme Color and Appearance

Apart from this, other customization options include the ability to show or hide feedback, favorite collections, and Show buttons, different types of font sizes and styles, etc. To try out these changes, head over to Settings and click on the Appearance tab from the left-hand side menu bar.

Cross Sync Support

Microsoft Edge is available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Just log in with a Microsoft account, and all the data, including favorites, passwords, bookmarks, history, etc., will be accessible across all the devices.

Head over to the Settings tab and then click on Phone and Other Devices. There you could also find the QR code, scan it, and the browser will be downloaded on your device. Login with the same ID that you have used on your PC and make full use of the sync functionality. All due to Microsft Edge chromium source code.

Built-in Virtual Assistance

This is one section where Edge beats the Chrome and Firefox browser. The integrated virtual assistance makes our work a lot easier and minimizes the manual typing efforts up to a great extent. Well, there shouldn’t be any brownie points on guessing which virtual assistance the browser is using (try spelling Cortana).

In its stand-alone sense, Cortana has some way to go before it matches up with Google Assistant, Siri, or even Alexa for that matter; however, its integration into the Edge browser is an interesting addition.

Apart from that, you might be aware that the Cortana search bar is integrated into the Windows Taskbar. So whatever query you type into the Cortana’s search bar, it will automatically take you to the Microsoft Edge browser to continue with your search results.


Another pretty useful addition to the browser due to Microsft Edge chromium source code is the Collection feature. You could create a collection of articles and websites that will remain on the right-hand side of the menu. You could also add a note to the Collection. Apart from that, importing to Excel and Word is also possible. So if you wish to create a new collection, click on the plus icon next to the address bar.

Edge Android Collections Tab

You could also add the current page to this collection by just clicking on the Add Current Page option. There’s no limitation as to how many items you could add to the collection or how many collections you could create in the first place.

Bottom Line: Microsoft Edge Features

These are some of the pretty useful features that the browser has incorporated after the Microsft Edge chromium source code. Do note that there are three builds of the browser, apart from the Stable build: Beta, Dev, and Canary.

If you wish to try out new and cutting-edge features, you should look at these builds, wherein Beta gets updates every 6 weeks, Dev is updated weekly, whereas Canary is updated daily. However, Canary is the most unstable among the three, followed by Dev and then Beta.

Microsoft Edge Insider Channels

On that note, the best part about Microsoft Edge is that even after taking so much from Google Chrome, it still manages to throw in lag-free and stable performance. For example, Chrome is notorious that if you have opened around 10 or more tabs, then lagging is bound to happen. Furthermore, we all know how much of a memory hogger Chrome is.

However, Microsoft Edge doesn’t suffer from these drawbacks. One major reason why people were reluctant to try out this browser is the lack of extension support. However, with time, we have seen nearly all the extensions being compatible with it.

So it is due to all these reasons that we see an unprecedented rise in the usage of this browser and are likely to see more people jump to this Chromium-based browser. After briefing my friend on Microsoft Edge’s features, he was easily convinced to switch to this Microsft Edge chromium source code-based browser.

Download Edge Chromium

Which is your favorite and least favorite feature of the Microsoft Edge Browser? Do you use Microsoft Edge Chromium at work?

Frequently Asked Questions

These are a few frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Edge browser for computer, especially Windows OS.

Is Edge better than Chrome?

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are built over the Chromium project. The major difference is support for the browsers. Chrome is fully integrated and supported by Google, whereas Edge is developed and maintained by Microsoft.

If privacy is primary, then Edge is better than Chrome. The rest is the same between Chrome and Edge.

What is different between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer?

Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are both web browsers developed by Microsoft for Windows. However, the Internet Explorer is the oldest browser built on Javascript Engine, whereas the Edge is upgraded with the latest and best technology stack built over the Chromium project. Edge is a cross-platform browser, that supports almost every device and operating system.

The Internet Explorer is going to be deprecated soon and Microsoft Edge has added an IE Mode feature to support legacy web apps running on Internet Explorer.

Is Microsoft Edge being discontinued?

Between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge Chromium, Windows 10 was launched with Microsoft Edge (now Legacy) in 2015. But, the latest Edge Chromium is going to replace the Edge Legacy, and it’s being discontinued.

In fact, the 20H1 Windows update has already replaced the Legacy browser with the New Chromium-based Edge browser.

Lastly, here are the recommended web browsers for computer and mobile phone that you should give a try.

Chrome WindowsChrome MacChrome iOSChrome AndroidFirefox Linux
Firefox WindowsSafari MacSafari iOSEdge AndroidChrome Linux
Edge WindowsFirefox MacEdge iOSSamsung InternetEdge Linux

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