What Is Microsoft Edge?

Everything you need to know about the new Edge web browser

Microsoft first released the Edge browser as the default browser for Windows 10 in 2015. By early 2020, when Microsoft released the new Microsoft Edge Chromium-based browser, Edge supported Windows 7, 8, and 10, Android, iOS, and Mac platforms.

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

Download the most current version of the new Edge browser directly from Microsoft.

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, and Edge is secure and can be updated easily by Microsoft. When a safety issue arises, Microsoft can update the browser right away through Windows Update.

What's New in New Microsoft Edge

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

  • Tracking prevention enabled by default
  • Dark mode
  • Block third-party ads
  • Internet Explorer mode for viewing older web pages
  • Built-in Bing search capabilities with other search engine options
  • Support for extensions from Chrome Web Store
  • The return of the address bar
  • Clear 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

What's Missing From New Edge?

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

Familiar Features of Edge

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

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

Like Internet Explorer and some other web browsers, Edge offers additional features:

  • It offers Reading View, which lets you read articles without ads and other distractions. This makes it easier to print web pages as well.
  • It lets you 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.

Some users think that Edge for Windows is the latest version of Internet Explorer. That's not the case. The new 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:

All these concerns were addressed in the new 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 new Edge welcomes 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 new Chromium-based Edge browser, so there is no steep learning curve to complicate matters.