Why Chrome Users Should Try Microsoft Edge

A way to save resources

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft Edge’s jump to the Chromium platform has turned it into one of the most popular browsers available.
  • Edge offers similar features to Chrome without bogging down your system’s resources.
  • A new performance mode could make Edge use even less resources, making it an ideal pick for users tired of Chrome taking up so much RAM.
Microsoft Edge as it once looked in beta

Microsoft

Performance mode could make Microsoft Edge even more appealing to Chrome users tired of Google’s resource hungry browser.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a new version of Edge built on Chromium—the same platform Google Chrome and other browsers use. Edge quickly gained popularity among internet users, and now Microsoft is looking to sweeten the deal with a new performance mode. Experts say it could be enticing for users tired of Chrome using so much of their computer’s resources.

"Performance mode is simply the cherry on top in helping Edge get the upper hand and streamline their RAM and CPU usage," Eric Florence, a cybersecurity analyst at SecurityTech, told Lifewire in an email.

Resource Hog

Your browser is your window to the internet, and as such, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time with the application open. With performance mode, Microsoft is honing in on one of the biggest issues plaguing browser users over the past few years: resource usage.

Because you spend so much time with your browser open, it’s expected that it will take up a good chunk of the resources available to your system. However, the amount of resources a browser takes up can become a problem, especially when users start to multitask. 

"Performance mode is simply the cherry on top in helping Edge get the upper hand and streamline their RAM and CPU usage."

One of the most important resources when browsing the web is memory (RAM). If a browser takes up too much RAM, it can bog down your entire PC, causing other applications to struggle to load or perform as well. Finding a great performing browser that didn’t slow your computer down used to be more of an issue. But then Google released Chrome.

While Chrome used to be one of the best performing browsers—especially well known for how little RAM it used—it has become bloated over the past few years. Recent tests comparing Chrome to the new Chromium-based Edge showed that Chrome used 1.4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM when loading six pages, versus the 665 megabytes (MB) of RAM Edge used. Edge using less than half of the resources Chrome did is a huge difference, especially for those with less RAM in their system, or users running slower RAM.

Microsoft Edge performance mode option highlighted

Microsoft

One way performance mode is looking to further tweak how Edge handles system resources is through what it calls Sleeping Tabs. Basically, when a tab has been unused for five minutes, it will freeze. This frees up system resources—like memory—which were being used to keep the tab updated. Once you open the tab again, it will unfreeze, allowing you to continue your work without any issues.

This could help reduce the amount of memory Edge uses even more, further increasing the gap between it and Chrome’s current resource usage.

Gaining an Edge

Despite starting off as one of the most unpopular browsers available, Microsoft Edge has made quite a turnaround, becoming the fourth most popular browser in the world. The jump to Chromium has no doubt helped, and the myriad of options Microsoft provides will help most users feel right at home.

Like any other Chromium-based browser, Edge can make use of various extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Alternatively, you can also install some add-ons from the Windows Store. Those add-ons are a bit more limited, but it’s nice to have access to two different storefronts with a variety of extensions waiting to make your browsing easier.

Edge also has additional features like Collections, which lets you group certain web pages together to create easy access to the sites you need for different projects. Internet users who like organizing their content to easily jump between different workspaces could find this feature useful.

Julia Newman, a desktop technical support specialist, says that she has found Edge useful because of the additional functionality it has compared to other browsers. 

"I have been using Edge for the last six months albeit, occasionally, I switch to Chrome in special cases," she explained in an email. "Edge has been equipped with some good features and there’s every reason for users to give Edge a try."

Ultimately, only you can decide if Edge is the right fit for you. But, if performance mode proves to be as good as Microsoft says it will be, expect more Chrome users to make the switch.

Was this page helpful?