What Is Microsoft Edge?

Everything you need to know about the Edge web browser

Microsoft released the Edge browser as the default browser for Windows 10 in 2015 and released the Microsoft Edge Chromium-based browser in early 2020. Edge supports Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7, Android, iOS, and Mac platforms.

Downloading the updated version of Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 computers replaces the default—now legacy—version of Edge.

Download the most current version of the Edge browser from the Microsoft website.

New Microsoft Edge browser logo

Why Use Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft Edge communicates and integrates well with Windows, unlike other options such as Firefox or Chrome. Edge is secure and can be updated easily by Microsoft. When a safety issue arises, Microsoft updates the browser through Windows Update.

Recent Updates to Microsoft Edge

With the release of the Edge Chromium-based browser, Microsoft added and upgraded features and capabilities to an already feature-packed Edge.

  • Tracking prevention enabled by default.
  • Dark mode.
  • Kids Mode.
  • Block third-party ads.
  • Built-in Bing search capabilities with other search engine options.
  • Support for extensions from Chrome Web Store.
  • The return of the address bar.
  • Clear and easy to manage privacy options.
  • Expanded personalization options.
  • Mac support added to Windows, Android, and iOS support.
  • Enterprise-grade security.
  • Sync history, bookmarks, and passwords across signed-in devices.
  • Sidebar search allows you to research while keeping your browser window active.
  • Use Outlook email from the new tab page.

What's Missing From Edge?

The new Chromium-based Edge browser doesn't interact with Cortana, and the Web Notes feature is missing. Microsoft says note-taking will return in a future release.

Familiar Features of Edge

The original Edge Browser (now the legacy version of Edge) offered unique features not available in previous internet browsers for Windows:

  • Cast audio, video, and images to some televisions and other devices on a wireless network with a couple of mouse clicks. 
  • When streaming HD video, the computer battery lasts up to 77 percent longer than when using Firefox and 35 percent longer than Chrome.
  • Preview, group, and save web page tabs to quickly find sites you've been to or want to visit.

Edge offers additional features:

  • It offers Reading View, which displays articles without ads and other distractions. This view also makes it easier to print web pages.
  • It can import favorites from other web browsers to make the switch easier.
  • You can opt to show the Favorites bar.
  • It offers InPrivate Browsing to search the web safely and without leaving traces of where you've been.

Like Chrome, Edge offers some additional security features:

  • Password generator for creating more secure passwords.
  • Password Monitor safeguards passwords used on third-party accounts.

Some users think that Edge for Windows is the latest version of Internet Explorer. That's not the case. The Chromium-based Edge browser was built from the ground up and is a true cross-platform browser.

New Edge Addresses Legacy Edge Concerns

When Edge was initially released as the default browser on Windows 10, there were a few reasons users were hesitant to switch:

These concerns were addressed in the updated Edge release. Extensions are supported now, and the number of ways you can personalize the Edge interface has expanded, all while maintaining a sleek and minimal interface.

The Chromium Edge brings back the familiar Address Bar. That's the bar that runs across the top of the other web browsers. It's where you type the URL of a web page and might be where you type a search for something.

Anyone who has used the legacy version of Edge can make a seamless transition to the updated, Chromium-based Edge browser. There's no steep learning curve to complicate matters.

Microsoft Edge Kids Mode

Microsoft Edge Kids Mode prevents children from accessing adult content on the web. The Kids Mode home screen features popular Disney characters and recommends kid-friendly content from sources like Animal Planet and Time for Kids.

You can switch to Kids Mode from the profile menu in the upper-right corner of Edge. To exit Kids Mode, you must enter your device's password.

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