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Best new Edge browser features in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft Edge has come a long way since its debut in 2015, and with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft added a couple new features and several under-the-0hood improvements that in our opinion begin to position Edge as a real contender to Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

We thought it'd be a good idea to showcase all of the most noteworthy new features coming in the Creators Update for Microsoft Edge. Here you'll find an overview of everything introduced with build 15063.

Set tabs aside

With the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge gains a new tabs feature that allows you to save your browsing sessions for later, freeing up tab space and keeping Edge lightweight and powerful. The new "Set tabs aside" feature allows you to do just that, set tabs aside, in an area that's hidden off screen and that can be accessed at any time if you need to jump back into a single tab or restore an entire browsing session.

The feature is easy to use, and up in the far left of the window are two new buttons. The button on the right is where all your saved tabs go, and the button on the left is the button that allows you to set the tabs you currently have open aside for later. So, for example, if you have seven tabs open and you select the Set tabs aside button, those seven tabs will be placed into the saved tabs area and your current active Edge window will see all your open tabs disappear, allowing you to start a new browsing session with ease.

In the saved tabs area, you'll find all the tabs you set aside, organized by date. You have the option to close individual tabs within a saved session, restore an individual tab or restore an entire saved session, which will reopen all the saved tabs in your current browsing session. You also have the option to share the tabs saved in a single session, and add those tabs to your favorites.

This feature will be great for students, who may find themselves doing research for a report, with several tabs open at one time. If you decide to switch over to something else, like procrastinating or starting another essay for a different subject, you can set your currently open tabs aside for later instead of having to save each tab into your favorites. Then once you're done doing whatever the other thing was, you can restore back to what you were doing with your research.

It's worth noting that this feature cannot be turned off currently. If you're a Microsoft Edge user and don't plan to use the Set tabs aside feature, you'll be stuck with the two buttons being present constantly at the top left of the window.

Tab previews

Microsoft also improved tab previews with the Creators Update within Edge, with a new drop down button that gives you an overview of all your tab previews at once. So instead of hovering over each individual tab to see its web page preview, you can see all of them together with the new preview drop down button.

This button is located on the right of all your open tabs and also cannot be turned off.

Books

Starting with the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge can now read and store books purchased from the Windows Store or downloaded from the web. The new Books section, located in the Edge Hub (U.S. only), is where all your books are stored, with cover previews and quick access to the Windows Store so you can buy more books.

Edge's new Book reading mode includes features such as read-aloud mode, which does exactly what it says on the tin. When in a book, selecting the read-aloud mode will see Edge begin reading the book to you. You can also customize the reading experience to your liking, with three separate themes to choose from: light, sepia and dark.

You can change the font and size of text, and you can leave bookmarks as you're reading your book, which allows you to quickly jump between pages with ease. What's more, you can move through the book via its table of contents or the seek bar that's available at the bottom of Edge's reading mode.

Jump lists

Another addition to Edge with the Creators Update is the inclusion of jump lists. Much like Internet Explorer, Edge now has the ability to launch a new window or new InPrivate window directly from the icon on the taskbar by right-clicking it. It's not as feature-filled as the older jump-list feature found in Internet Explorer, but it's a start.

Flash click-to-run

Starting with the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge will automatically block all Flash content from running unless you explicitly say it can. When a web page has Flash content that wants to play, Edge will provide a popup from the address bar that will allow you to turn it on if needed. If not, the web page will continue to load without the Flash component. This is to help keep you protected when browsing the web.

Web payments

Another big addition to Edge with the Creators Update is the new web payments API that developers can now tap into. What this means for consumers is websites now have the ability to tap into your Microsoft Wallet when buying things online, similar to how Apple Pay works on the Mac. If you have payment info saved in your Microsoft Account, you can use that to pay for things on the web.

If a website supports Edge's Web Payments, you'll see an option to pay with Microsoft Wallet. The popup will give you the option to choose your payment method, shipping address, shipping options and an email in which to send a receipt.

Under the hood improvements

Microsoft also made several under-the-hood improvements to Microsoft Edge with the Creators Update. If you're interested in more details on what's new, check out Microsoft's Developer Blog (opens in new tab) for Edge.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

39 Comments
  • Zac how's the synching between mobile and Pc? If I set aside tabs on pc can I open them on mobile? Is it the same as 'pick up where I left off'?
  • After all this time, still not good enough
  • All this time?  The browser is not even 2 years old yet.  I think it's come a long way from the beginning where alot of websites didn't work well.  Edge has become my primary browser now.
  • Come a long way?  It was released to production in only what could be described as an Alpha state.  As Edge currently stands on the Anniversary update build, it's in a completely inexcusable state.  It's a pathetic replacement for Internet Explorer, particularly in the Enterprise. The new improvements to Edge in the Creators Update are simply not enough!  Is this really the result of 2+ years work?  Microsoft have effectively given Edge such a bad name that it's pretty much dead in most people's eyes.  Only the most ardant Microsoft enthusiast will recommend it to anyone and will simply not admit the truth - that it's utter crap.
  • I don't have any problems with Edge and I'll use it on my GS7 instead of chrome in a heart beat -if it was available that is- :)
  • Mobile Web Payments and Microsoft Wallet only available in US and UK. What about the other 98% of the world that would actually use the feature like Canada, India, China, etc??
  • Wallet works in UK?how?
  • Will 1password ever work?
  • To MS, opening up extensions is like trying to put a man on the moon
  • 1. I've never needed or wanted to save browsing sessions for later. I search, I find, I move on. Not a feature I'm excited about. 2. I rarely, if ever, have more than two browse windows open.  Again, not a feature I'm excited about. 3.  I don't read electronic books, I much prefer audio books. 4.  I wish all websites would completely abandon Flash. That said, I would rather just leave Flash on all the time. It is extremely annoying to have to click to run Flash. 5.  If I actually thought anyone was going to support Microsoft Wallet, I might find this exciting. Microsoft doesn't even support Microsoft Wallet, really. 6.  I've not really seen any under-the-hood improvements that make a difference in my browsing experience. In fact, I always have to switch to IE11 if I want to post on the Windows Central site because it is absolutely BROKEN while using Edge.  I've tried several different devices, including mobile.
  • 5 . LOL, so true!
  • you do know there are one or two Win10 users out there other than you?
  • 1. I like lots of tabs open so this is useful to me.
    2. Again, when I have lots of tabs open I need a preview to remember what I was doing.
    3. I'm not a book person but when it comes to long haul flight this will be useful for me.
    4. Flash needs to die so good, the option to still run it is welcome.
    5. Wallet support would be awesome. I use Paypal where I can but if paypal isn't an option and I don't have to pop in card details then great!
    6. Performance remains to be seen and no doubt depends on hardware, choice of anti-virus (Kaspersky is a dog) and add-ins which cream resources like ad-blockers.
  • You do know you are not the only Windows 10 user out there. Just because a feature or improvment doesn't fit your style of work, that others do look forward to these enhancments?
  • So don't use it. Not everything is about you.
  • And yet another useless comment by scubadog. They added features that you will not use, and that turns into a huge tragedy that you need to complain about.
  • I thought it was me. Half the time now edge can't even load a web page. Had to switch to chrome until they fix this
  • Do the books have DRM?
  • Every time I try using it as my main browser I always quit and go back to Firefox. I just don't like it. Love Windows 10 though. Best OS I've ever used.
  • A lot of people agree with you. I'm in the other category. I have always been okay with Edge and IE before it mainly for simplicity. Edge came along and was even more light weight and simplistic. After the anniversary update I've used it exclusively on all of my personal PC's. As a contrast, I use chrome at work and to be honest, chrome and Firefox (to me) have a tone of features that I'll never use, and complicate the basic experience.
  • Different strokes for different folks for sure. I prefer firefox for many reasons. One being the ability to sync bookmarks across all my devices.
  • At least you're willing to give it a try rather than bash it without even trying it out.  The browser is still pretty new with features being introduced with each Windows update.  There may be a time when you feel that it does everything you need better.  That's been my experience.
  • One day maybe. I'm not a fanboy or hater. I use whatever works best for my needs. My house is home to Windows, iOS and Android devices. All have their strengths and prefernces for me. Like I said, every time I try and use it I always go back to Firefox. Firefox is just the best tool for my life right now.
  • US Only *sigh* Tho I'll say this: the stability has improved by giant leaps.  And the set aside func is actually useful.  I tried to pin airhorner.com to my Start Menu and put the PC in Airplane mode to see if PWA were already in Edge.  It doesn't work.
  • do the books reading feature works on Mobile?
  • Why is it so hard for them to implement a proper Jump List for Edge like they have in IE? The Book reading mode in Edge needs inking support.
  • Flash still seems to run in some fashion on all my devices.  I still manually turn it off in the Edge settings because I never use any websites that need it.  Try speedtest.net, for example, in the newest Edge.  It will still run even though Flash is blocked.  If you turn Flash off in the Edge advanced settings, speedtest.net will say you don't have Flash and automatically take you to their non-Flash beta page.
  • Biggest question about the hide tab option is does it just hide the tab and still use system resources to maintain the session or does it just save the URL in the tab and pull it back up when you resume it? Because if it does the first one then its going to eat system resources and offers no benefit but if it does the second option then it is awesome because you're not maintaining that connection like an open tab would.
  • For anyone who already has the new browser, does it do any of these things that are my biggest complaints in the AU version: 1. Support drag-and-drop of icons in the Favorites bar 2. Support folders and nested folder in the Favorites bar where you can actually click through them directly without being popped over to the Hub 3. Save printer settings between prints 4. Allow printing background images 5. Let you view closed tabs based on closed time (rather than open time) 6. Work with Windows Central to post comments, where enter doesn't bounce the cursor back to the top of the comment view (I'm writing this in Firefox, because ironically Edge and WC are incompatible) I'm probably forgetting something, but those are certainly among my main issues. Edge is still my primary browser in spite of those, but I need to go to Firefox and Opera for stuff more frequently than I'd like.
  • Oh yeah, if Edge is going to be a PDF reader, instead of launching Adobe Reader, then it needs to be able to rotate PDFs, so we can read landscape-oriented documents. Is that capability added/fixed?
  • Finally jump lists are back.
    But pinning a site to taskbar is still missing, and tab previews in the task bar are too. I don't give an f*** about tab previews when the app is already open. I don't give a f*** about most of the features.
    Although web payment could be cool if any websites actually support it.
  • Biggest lack of feature is still extensions/add-ons in W10M.  But Hey!  All deves gotta do basically is re-compile their program and it should run anywhere, right?  That's what MS keeps saying they did with edge, right?  It's the same app?  All MS has to do is re-compile the latest edge for W10M........ *sigh* If MS won't develop their basic software for W10M, why the heck would anyone else?
  • You forgot the biggest new Edge feature and the only one I personally care about. The ability to run a file without saving and then opening it. Goodbye 100's of files in my downloads folder.
  • Its also useful for us if Microsoft release its Edge browser in Android devices. M$ is providing good apps in playstore than in windows store... only thing lacking is MS Edge...
  • Why to have an ebook reader integrated in Edge? It would make more sense to release a seperate app. It is probably a way to increase number of people using Edge, I guess.
  • I use Edge for YouTube as it only uses one half the CPU cycles Chrome does to render videos. I find it all around just faster and cleaner.
  • I'm Livin' on The Edge 
  • And Fullscreen is still missing :-D :-D fail...
  • Session Manager, finally I just with FVD Speed Dial would be ported to Edge then I could use Edge as my regular browsing and drop Chrome Clone.