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Microsoft Edge ultimate guide

After two decades of Internet Explorer, it was time for a change. Microsoft's replacement on Windows 10 is Edge, a next-generation web browser built from the ground-up with new features and modern web support.

Edge was revealed to the public way back in early 2015. While it was lacking in features during its early days, it has come pretty far and is now a contender in the arena of major browsers. It comes built-in on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, and Windows Holographic.

Why use Edge over other, more established browsers? Full Cortana integration makes browsing a snap, there is an ever-growing library of extensions, it has a useful set of tools — including caret browsing, annotations, reading view, and a reading list — to make browsing easier, and it has a relatively lightweight footprint.

This ultimate guide was designed to answer any questions you have about Microsoft Edge. Need a hand with some other aspects of Windows 10? Check out our collection of Windows 10 Help articles, or visit our forums where a community of Windows fanatics is waiting to offer advice.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

  • So, my Cortana opens IE. How do I get her to open Edge instead?
  • Reading mode and black theme is the reason I use Edge.  I just had a recent issue with adding favorites bar into Edge, and I found that your Favorites need to be added to Favorites Bar, I don't know why Microsoft doesn't set this by default when you press Ctrl+D to add a link to your Favorites.  I have seen many people in forums stop using Edge because they think they favorites bar doesn't work.
  • Nice collection of articles and a smart idea!  Well done.
  • Edge browser is unusable at this time.. I and my wife use multiple machines; desktop PC and Surface tablets. Edge synchronisation does NOT work. IE11, Google Chrome ands Safari can all be synchronized across all our hardware. After a dozen days work during the last 18 months I have been forced to abandon the transfer to Edge. This has also resulted in my decision to abandon the hardware upgrade to Windows Mobile 10 smartphones at a potential purchase of $1000 because we cannot sync Edge!!! We will be switching to Android hardware as Microsoft have made no effort in one and a half years to deal with the Edge sync problems.
  • You must use witchcraft to sync it. For the longest time, Edge was talking fine to my 950XL and SP4, but refused to sync with Penumbra, my desktop. One day it fully synced everything across all devices. Go figure.
  • Worthless browser on my Surface Book. Load times are extremely slow. Chrome works for me just fine and will load webpages five times faster. Sometimes the pages never load. The Edge Browser is not ready for prime time.
  • Chrome MAKES Edge look like worse! Chrome does something in your register and give itself priority. Try to remove chrome and try Edge now, you notice that Edge runs faster :)
  • while its better than it was in the beginning, I still have to use IE for some site applications in my business.
  • After being a long time supporter of edge, i have switched to a combination of Firefox and IE. The lack of being able to update edge on a regular basis is hurting it. After all this time, the favorites management just isn't there. If you want give any browser a workout, try load some charts on, edge is noticeably slower than Firefox when manipulating charts. When it comes to managing enterprise grade management software like HP oneview, single sign in just simply does not work, IE doesn't either, yet Firefox does. Apparently, one browser simply can't do it all it seems.
  • Whats wrong with Edge? Do you tried ONLY Edge or also other browser at the same time? Do you have AV running?
  • Hangs a fair bit. This on an ENVY running a 7th gen i7 with 8 gigs RAM, 2 gig 940 vid card, and an EVO 850 SSD on a 60Mbs broadband service. So, I dunno
  • If only the inspector was as good as Chrome's. I'd have no reason to use Chrome at all.
  • Still the problem,of Edge is extensions. I feel that Microsoft doesnt let developers to publish their extensions! Or they dont wanna develop for edge. By the way, i use edge in my daily web browsing
  • I've stopped using Edge or rather have been forced to stop using it, most of the time when I try to use it, it just sits there with a white screen and goes no-where. The url appears at the top, but no page content comes up, this happens most of the time i.e. probably around 9 out of 10 times. This is however on the fast-ring desktop build, so maybe that has something to do with it. Opera is fine, though Firefox seems to chew its way through up to around 1GB RAM for some reason then stops functioning properly as well. The only way to sort out Firefox is to end the process and start Firefox again.
  • Tried the slow ring build for about 5 minutes last week. Ran into exactly that problem, so I went back immediately. Bugs, even serious ones may be expected in a beta build, but a browser that can not brows? Thats a bit much even for insider.
  • Switched to Android but still cannot forget Windows
  • What - like a bad dream ?
  • "How to do everything on Edge" Quick answer: you don't. Edge is a nice browser but it has some serious issues, most importantly (and illogically) its performance with many of microsofts own services is abyssmal. Try using office365 with it (especially the admin interface). If you are not crying for mercy after half an hour you must have a real fetish for pain ... Youtube-videos regularly fall apart at 760p(60) or 1080p (and above). It can't store http-basic auth credentials. On many sites it runs into scripting issues freezing the page and reloading it frequently.   No, you definitely can't do everything with Edge, I use it as my main browser on my home pc because I am a bit of a freak but I had to switch back to Firefox on my work-laptop, I just lost too much time and productivity with Edge when working.
  • It's strange but for me edge works like a charm on a cheap 2 in 1 machine on tablet mode. There's really no reason to install chrome there because edge is fast, fluid, perfect pinch to zoom function (very useful for a tablet) and no freezes at all. But on desktop and laptop things change. Edge is laggy and freeze prone and unfortunately I have to use chrome on these PCs. Anyway I think they're going to release a new update and due to my good experience of "tablet edge" I have a feeling that many bugs will be fixed (and hopefully syncing between mobile and desktop versions also!)
  •   I would like to try Edge as my primary browser (I'm tired of FireFox and re Chrome want a I want to lead a Google-free life). Until it is caable of handling Web sites that insist on playing auto-start videos or ads, by feature or by an extension, Edge is a no-go. - Flash blockers are not an option because too many things require it and fail. A several click process to turn flash on and off in Edge is not a good solution. - Ad-blockers​ are not an option either. Too many sites check for them and ask that I help support their free site by allowing ads. Until someone figures out that people ignore ads and they don't work, we can continue to allow a lot of ad-subsidized Web browsing. - Chrome has an extension called Silent Site Sound Blocker that works really well. Ads and videos can play and I can ignore them because the extension automatically mutes sound from the page unless I allow it. If Edge had that it would solve the problem. I added the Silent Sound Blocker function suggestion in the Feedback hub > Edge > Extensions but it hasn't gathered many upvotes.  
  • Edge is not fully ready, transferring bookmarks, or the favorites bar does not always work, you have to import from html file, and even then, there are isssues.
    Bookmarks/favourites should not be an issue, in any way shape or form. We are in the 21st century, after all!
  • Well I'm on the Slow Release Preview ring (which should have less issues) but months later it's still not possible to play YouTube videos on normal addition to crashes every 1-2 days, so very annoying.