Best Microsoft Edge (Chromium) Tricks that You Didn’t Try

Microsoft recently unveiled its modern browser – Microsoft Edge. No, it’s not the same old sluggish browser, but a new version of it that is based on the Chromium engine. And with it, comes a lot of new things you can try to improve productivity and workflow on the browser. You can Download Microsoft Edge – Chromium Edition from here.

With each new browser, there comes new tips and tricks to polish it up. I am using Microsoft Edge for blogging purposes on my Macbook Air for the past two months. After a lot of nitpicking, I have collected some of the exciting tricks for the new Microsoft Edge Chromium browser.

In today’s post, we are going to look at these tips and tricks, which will improve your Microsoft Edge experience:

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Change your Default Search Engine:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Default Search Engine

The first thing you probably want to do after installing Microsoft Edge is not to install Chrome, rather change the search engine to Google. You can do this by clicking on the three dots on the right, near the address bar. Now click on Settings and go to “Privacy and services” on the left-hand side. Scroll down and click on “Address bar” and change the “Search engine used in the address bar” option to the search engine of choice.

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Install Chrome Extensions on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Extensions

Installing extensions on the new Microsoft Edge is super easy. Just click on the three dots again, click on ‘Extensions”, and click on “Get Extensions from Microsoft Store.” If you are coming from Chrome, you can use all of those extensions on the new Edge as well. Just go to the Chrome Web Store and install your favorite extension just like you would on Chrome. As Edge is now based on Chromium, it supports all those extensions as well.

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Customize Home Page and New Tabs on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Customize Home Page

Just like the previous version of Edge, the new one also loads daily Bing background. The browser comes with three modes of customization – Focused, Inspirational, and Informational. In Focused, you get a search bar with Microsoft (Bing) search and new sites while the address bar has the search engine you’ve set. In Inspirational mode, you get a unique daily background with new websites stacked up below. In the Informational manner, you get a dose of MSN news as well, which is useful if you’re looking for casual browsing and reading some story. You can set any of these modes by clicking on the settings menu on the top right corner when you’re on your home page or when you open a new tab.

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Install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - PWA

Perhaps the best feature of Microsoft Edge, which even Google Chrome doesn’t have, is the ability to install websites as web apps. To create a web app, first, open the website you want to create the app for. Then click on the three dots and click on “Apps” and then click on “Install this site as an app.” This now works as a standalone app, which you can pin on your taskbar as well, without the need to open Microsoft Edge again.

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Import Previous Browser Data from other Browsers onto Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Import Browser Data

When you start Edge for the first time, it will prompt you to import your default browser’s data. But if you’ve skipped that part for some reason, you can still import data such as favorites, passwords, history. To do this, go to Settings > Profile > Import Browser Data. A menu will open. Select the things you want to open and hit “Import.” If you’re importing from Chrome, you will find Edge to provide a similar, slightly faster browsing experience with the same amount of data.

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Enable the Favorites Bar on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Favourites Bar

Just like most browsers, Microsoft Edge also has a favorites bar. You can enable it and pin some websites for quick access. To do this, click on the three dots, click on Favorites > Show Favorite Bar or use the Ctrl + Shift + B keyboard shortcut.

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Set Dark Theme on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Dark Theme

It’s 2020, and almost every app is getting a dark theme option, and our new Edge has it as well. If you want Dark Mode on Microsoft Edge, click on the three dots, go to Settings > Appearance > Theme. Now select Dark from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can also set the theme to System Default. This will turn on Dark Theme automatically when you’re using the same on Windows 10.

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Using the Flags on Microsoft Edge:

Microsoft Edge Chromium - Flags

Just like Google Chrome, you can also use flags on Edge as it is Chromium-based. For starters, flags are some experimental and preview features that may not have been added to the main browser just yet. Also, using them could sometimes lose browser data, so you should use it carefully. To use flags, just type Edge://flags/ into the address bar.

Here are some of the best flags for Microsoft Edge –

  1. Smooth Scrolling – To enable smooth scrolling, type smooth scrolling on the flags page search bar. Now, click on enable and relaunch the browser for a smoother experience. Tag – #smooth-scrolling
  2. Show Autofill Predictions – This annotates web forms with Autofill field type predictions as placeholder text. Tag – #show-autofill-type-predictions
  3. Force Dark Mode for Web Contents – As the name suggests, this one automatically renders all web contents using a dark theme. Tag – #enable-force-dark
  4. Tab Groups – This allows users to organize tabs into visually distinct groups, e.g., to separate tabs associated with different tasks. Tag – #tab-groups
  5. Accelerated 2D canvas – This enables the use of the GPU to perform 2d canvas rendering instead of using software rendering. Tag – #disable-accelerated-2d-canvas
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Final Words:

Microsoft is finally serious about establishing its brand when it comes to browsers. And with the new Microsoft Edge, we think it has done a pretty great job in doing that. From the user interface to the actual usability and also being faster than Chrome, I think Edge is going to be my new default browsers for a while.

Did you find these tricks helpful in increasing your productivity? Let us know about that in the comments section below. Also, please share the skills you think we’ve missed out as well. I will add them out.

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That’s all about Microsoft Edge Tricks. I will be back soon with another exciting update fast enough. Till then, stay tuned!

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Karthik is a BCA student who loves to write about science and technology. He also loves reading encyclopaedia when he's not writing.

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