Microsoft Edge achieved 7.6% market share and surpassed Firefox as the second most used browser in the world. The Microsoft program is second only to Chrome, which accounts for more than 68% of use on the planet. The news comes shortly after the software was relaunched based on Chromium, the open source version of Google’s solution.
The change makes the Windows 10 browser compatible with several famous features of the rival, while maintaining exclusive functions that are only available to those who choose the PC’s native browser. Here are eight tips to get more out of Microsoft Edge for surfing the web.
1. Accepts Chrome apps and extensions
One of the main benefits of the new Edge is the possibility of using Chrome extensions. The user can obtain the plugins through the Windows 10 store or directly from the Chrome Web Store, as long as the feature is enabled in the Microsoft browser. It is possible, for example, to install the Google Docs extension to edit Drive files offline on the computer, a possibility that did not previously exist in Edge.
In addition, you can create applications by clicking the button in the address bar on compatible websites to speed up opening. The feature allows you to open web pages in independent windows.
2. Importing passwords from Chrome
You can import all settings from Chrome to Edge, including passwords saved on the web. The procedure can be done when opening the new Edge for the first time, or through the settings at any time: just go to “Your profile”, click on “Import browser data”, select Chrome and make sure that the option “Saved passwords” is checked. If Edge already has some passwords saved, the browser will automatically replace them with credentials saved in Chrome at the time of import.
3. Integrated Cortana
Voice searches with Cortana use Edge to display results by default. Usage is simpler compared to Chrome, which requires the installation of a plugin to divert the commands from the virtual assistant to the Google browser. In practice, this means that the new Edge allows you to use the same browser for everything, whether it’s manual browsing or to see search results.
4. Reading mode
Edge has a Reading Mode that removes distractions and makes reading an article from the Internet more enjoyable. When opening any page, just click on the button with the book icon that appears in the address bar. It is possible to edit the page theme by changing colors and text font, as well as activating a grammar analysis mode that separates words by syllables and paints verbs, nouns and adjectives in different colors to facilitate learning.
5. Read texts aloud
Edge also lets you read any website out loud using Cortana. On any page, the user can access the settings to start automatic audio or click on the corresponding button within Reading Mode. You can also choose different speech styles and control the speech rate
6. Native tracker blocker
Edge features a native tracking blocking system that helps protect privacy. The feature is enabled by default and has three levels of intensity: Basic, Balanced and Strict. Each of them applies a different type of permission for web crawlers and prevents the identification of the computer for personalizing ads, preventing leakage of personal data without the user’s consent. The feature can be adjusted in the “Privacy and services” option in the settings.
7. Customize home page
The user can customize the browser home screen without having to install extensions. By clicking on the button with the gear icon in a new tab, it is possible to choose between “In focus”, which brings a cleaner look, “Inspiring”, which has background landscapes, “Informative”, with news website feeds , and “Custom”, which allows you to choose elements from the last three layouts to create a personal entry screen option.
8. Use flags to experiment with features
Like Chrome, Edge has an advanced menu that lets you try out functions that are not available by default. Type “edge: // flags /” (without quotes) in the address bar to explore options like the “Tab freeze”, which suspends unused tabs for a certain time to avoid overloading the computer, similar to The Great Suspender extension . But be careful: changing unknown settings can damage the browser.