Microsoft Edge is a very good web browser, very complete. But its basic configuration, by default, may leave something to be desired. Here are some settings to change.
Modern web browsers love to hide their best settings and features under piles of menus, Microsoft Edge is no exception. This is not a very bad thing, since Edge is a very successful and interesting browser in its default configuration, but we can do much better with the available settings. Here are eight to significantly improve your browsing experience.
Change the default search engine
Bing isn’t the best search engine out there, but it’s Edge’s default option. To opt for Google or DuckDuckGo, click on the icon with the three small dots in the upper right corner, then go to Settings > Privacy, search and services > Address bar and search. Click in the drop-down list next to Search engine used in the address bar and change to the one you want.
Customizing the toolbar keeps only the functions you use frequently. For example, Edge has a handy Share button to send links to other apps very easily. You can add the latter to the toolbar and remove what you don’t use regularly.
Go to Settings > Appearance and scroll down to Select which buttons to display in the toolbar. It’s up to you to organize as you want.
Enable vertical tabs
Most default browsers offer a horizontal tab view. It’s fine if you have a very wide screen, but on a laptop screen it’s something else. Vertical tabs, on the other hand, maximize the display area.
In Settings > Appearance, scroll down to Customize Toolbar. Click Enable on the Show vertical tabs for all current browser windows line.
Enable quick screenshots
Microsoft Edge has a very successful native screenshot tool. It allows you to capture specific areas of a page or capture a long vertical page on a site. To use it, press Ctrl + Shift + S on your keyboard. The tool will appear. Follow the on-screen prompts to take your capture and edit it.
Optimize new tab page
The Microsoft Edge new tab page is heavily cluttered by default. You can fix this by opening a new tab and clicking the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the page. See what suits you best.
If you feel like Edge is slowing down your computer, you can enable its Performance mode. Go to Settings > System and performance and enable Enable efficiency mode when. Choose the option that suits you.
Reduce tracking by Microsoft
Microsoft uses a lot of your data, officially, to improve your experience with Edge. If you value your privacy, you can disable this data collection.
In Settings > Privacy, research & services, scroll down to Optional diagnostic data. This collection concerns data on browser usage, the websites you visit and crash reports. You can disable everything.
You can scroll down to the Services section at the bottom and disable the following options:
- Suggest similar sites when a website cannot be found.
- Save time and money with Purchases in Microsoft Edge.
- Receive notifications about related items you can explore with Discover.
Other useful privacy settings
Once all this is done, look at the permissions you have given to the websites. In Settings > Cookies and site permissions. Remove any permissions that you don’t think are necessary.
Then go to options under All Permissions and carefully select what you want. You should, ideally, completely block access to your location, motion or light sensors, notifications, background sync, and USB devices.