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How to sync favorites between Microsoft Edge and IE on Windows 10

Although Microsoft Edge is the new default web browser on Windows 10, Internet Explorer continues to be available to offer compatibility support. This comes handy in those scenarios when loading websites using old web technologies, or if you're running web apps that depend on ActiveX controls, which is no longer supported in the Edge browser.

However, using two different browsers will result in two sets of favorites, which is not convenient or easy to manage. Alongside all the new features and improvements included in the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft Edge introduces a new policy that allows you (or employees in an organization) to maintain favorites in sync between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

Using this new browser synchronization policy, web pages you save in Internet Explorer will automatically appear on Microsoft Edge and vice-versa. In addition, it'll replicate any deletions, changes, and reposition of favorites between browsers.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to configure Microsoft Edge to keep your favorites synced with Internet Explorer using Group Policy and the Registry.

How to keep favorites synced between Edge and IE using Group Policy

If you're running Windows 10 Pro, you can use the Local Group Policy to keep favorites synced between the IE11 and Microsoft Edge.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Edge

  1. On the right, double-click the Keep favorites in sync between Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge policy.
  2. Select Enabled.

  1. Click OK.

Once you've completed the steps, you can test the changes by opening Internet Explorer and adding some new favorites, and then open Microsoft Edge, verify that your favorites are syncing in the Favorites section inside of Hub.

Initially, it might take a few minutes for this to work, but if it's not working, restart your computer, and double-check that bookmarks are syncing.

At any time, you can revert the changes by using the same steps, but on step No. 5 make sure to select the Not Configured option.

How to keep favorites synced between Edge and IE using Registry

In the case, you don't have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, you can still get your favorites to sync by modifying the Registry.

Windows 10 Home users usually can use the Registry to customize certain aspect of the OS, but according to Microsoft, this policy is only supported on Windows 10 Pro.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder to let you know that editing the registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It's recommended to make a full backup of your computer before proceeding.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type regedit and click OK to open the Registry.
  3. Browse the following path:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\MicrosoftEdge\Main\If the MicrosoftEdge (folder) key isn't present, under Microsoft, then you'll need to create the keys manually.
    1. Right-click the Microsoft (folder) key, select New, and click on Key.
    2. Name the key MicrosoftEdge and press Enter.
    3. Right-click the newly created MicrosoftEdge (folder) key, select New, and click on Key.
    4. Name the key Main and press Enter.

  1. Right-click the newly created Main (folder) key, select New, and click DWORD (32-bit) Value.

  1. Name the key SyncFavoritesBetweenIEAndMicrosoftEdge and click OK.
  2. Double-click the newly created key, and set its value from 0 to 1.

  1. Restart your computer.

After completing the steps, you can test the changes by opening Internet Explorer and adding some new favorites and then open Microsoft Edge, verify that your bookmarks are syncing in the Favorites section inside of Hub.

If you no longer want to sync favorites between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, follow the same instructions, but on step No. 6 change the value of SyncFavoritesBetweenIEAndMicrosoftEdge from 1 to 0.

Note that syncing favorites between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer doesn't require an internet connection because the synchronization happens locally. Also, it should be noted that if you enable this option Edge will stop syncing favorites between connected Windows 10 devices.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

22 Comments
  • Awesome! This is one of the best features from Creator's Update! I've been asking for this in the feedback hub forever. While I prsonally have no issues with using Group Policy to enable this, I still thing that it would have been better if Edge simply used .url files located in the favourites folder. It would have been so much simpler and more covenient.
  • This is truly brilliant - thank you so much!
  • Is this really the only way to enable this setting? Curious to know if there's a more "user facing" setting for your typical home user to accomplish the same functionality? Seriously, a feature like this should have been available when the RTM released.
  • Correction: Your text says HKEY_LOCAL_USER, which is incorrect. Your screen image shows HKEY_CURRENT_USER, which is the right value. Please fix it so others don't waste time like I did.
  • Any tool to then sync IE with chrome for when I make the leap from w10m?
  • http://www.xmarks.com/
  • Xmarks has also promised a version for Edge, now that Edge supports extensions. However, at least as of the Creators Update release, they still didn't have a specific release date, which means it's probably still a ways off. This news is great, because it means we can now sync from Edge <-> IE <-> all other browsers using the existing Xmarks tool. Now if only Microsoft would fix the defects in Edge with nested folders in the Favorites Bar...
  • Yeah I hate not being able to open subfolders in Edge's favourites bar. I wish Xmarks supported Opera. That's my favourite browser at the moment, after Edge and IE.
  • @Sargon Aelther, you can run Xmarks with Opera. Works perfectly. Here's how: 1. Add the "Download Chrome Extension" extension to Opera (https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/download-chrome-extension-9/) 2. Go to the Chrome Extension store to select and install Xmarks (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/xmarks-bookmark-sync/ajpgkpeck... for Xmarks or https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions for any Chrome extension) That's it! Opera can pretty much use any Chrome extension with the add-on from #1 above, is based on the same underlying rendering engine as Chrome, but doesn't give Google your data. Great browser.
  • Uhhh. Awesome! Thanks.
  • I am waiting for the day Xmarks comes to edge!! I use multiple browsers and Xmarks is key for me
  • huh, had forgotten about xmarks! Probably needs me to open IE to sync though. Finally gave up and jumped to Android, so would like to have one set of bookmarks
  • Sweet! I can finally sync my favorites between my Win 7 workplace PC with my Win 10 home one!
  • One very important thing to note - if you enable this you will no longer be able to sync favorites between Win 10 connected devices. https://msdn.microsoft.com/windows/hardware/commercialize/customize/mdm/... This is something I am hopeful to implement in my enterprise, too bad I have a way to old version of Symantec that won't run on 1703, though it runs on 1607.
  • @JasCola, you could use Xmarks to sync between devices (and across all other browsers -- Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari...). They don't offer an Edge extension yet (though they told me on multiple occasions that they are working on one), but they do for IE, so by using the approach from this article plus Xmarks, you could sync across everything except a Windows 10 phone (there is Xmarks for Windows phone, but w/no extension support on the mobile browser, it's a standalone app, not integrated with your phone's bookmarks/favorites).
  • Anyone know how to sync favorites from chrome to edge?
  • Xmarks to keep sync between Chrome and IE, then use the approach from this article to sync between IE and Edge. Should all happen automatically in the background once set up, so a change in any browser will auto-update in the others. Also supports Opera, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Two questions: 1) Does the GP edit method prevent syncing across Win10 devices, or is that just for regedit? (Answered in JasCola's link - Yes, both methods prevent syncing. Thanks Jas!) 2) When syncing, will favorites be merged or do we lose favorites currently stored on one or the other?
  • This is GREAT news. From IE, we can sync to all other browsers via Xmarks, which works with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. This means that it's now possible to sync bookmarks/favorites between Edge an all of those browsers! Unfortunately, since the Creators Update, bookmark/favorite usage has actually gotten worse if you want to use the Favorites Bar. Previously, if you had nested folders in the Favorites Bar, when you clicked on the subfolder, it would annoyingly bounce you to the Favorite Hub, but at least it would open the same folder you had selected, effectively positioning you to continue selecting your Favorite in the Hub. Following the Creators Update, this sometimes still occurs, but often does not. It still pops you to the Hub, but no longer always opens the folder you had selected from the Favorites Bar. As a frequent user of MANY bookmarks/favorites, this is the most painful gap with Edge for me, and especially so because it worked better in prior versions.
  • For anyone using Xmarks and this process to include Edge in your cross-device bookmark syncing, while I haven't done it yet, I suspect it's important to only have both this link to IE and the Edge-Edge Favorites syncing active together on one system, or your Edge and Xmarks syncing will fight with or multiply each other yielding weird results, end effectively garbling your bookmarks data (fortunately, Xmarks makes it wonderfully easy to reset your bookmarks to any previous state going back a long time, so if the worst happens, just revent to a prior set of bookmarks). For all your other systems, pick either the Edge-Edge syncing or the Edge-IE syncing, but not both. EDIT: just realized that at the end of the article, Mauro pointed out that turning on Edge-IE syncing will stop Edge-Edge cloud syncing, so this may be a moot point. That would mean you should turn on Edge-IE on all systems and let Xmarks handle your inter-machine syncing (sadly, this will leave out your Windows 10 phone, but you could still manually sync it from time to time by turning off the Edge-IE sync, turning on Edge-Edge sync, letting it sync, then turning back on the Edge-IE sync).
  • Group Policy Objects adding a graphical element to registry entries for decades.. ;)
  • "Also, it should be noted that if you enable this option Edge will stop syncing favorites between connected Windows 10 devices." This makes this awesome feature not so awesome for multi device users. Anyway, I have learned to live without favorites sync between the browsers and I will continue to live without it and not loose the syncing between devices. Syncing between devices is more important to me.