You can navigate Edge with keyboard shortcuts and touch, but thanks to an extension, you can navigate it with mouse shortcuts.
The extension is called Mile Wide Back and it's available for free on Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Mile Wide Back creates an infinitely long bar on the side of your web browser. By pulling your mouse over into this bar you can navigate the web using a number of shortcuts. You can left and right click to navigate forward and back, middle click to close your current tab, and scroll your mouse wheel to look through your different tabs.
When I first saw this app, I wondered who it could be for. It's not exactly difficult to move forward and back on webpages after all. But after giving it a try, I'm convinced that some people will love navigating the web this way. Having all of the navigation features added to a bar off your screen means you can throw your mouse to the side and click and scroll to jump around websites. Scrolling the mouse wheel to jump between tabs is the most useful feature in my opinion because if you have a lot of tabs open it can become difficult to jump to a specific one.
I wouldn't say that Mile Way Back is ground breaking. For people who only open a few tabs it won't offer much. But if you regularly open a load of tabs and want to scroll through them by flicking your finger, Mile Way Back is a great way to do it quickly.
While I like what you can do with Mile Wide Back, it's limited in terms of functionality. For example, there's no way to open a new tab using a mouse shortcut. While there's a finite number of mouse buttons and gestures you can perform, the app lacks the ability to customize shortcuts. Mile Wide Back would become much more useful if you could create custom shortcuts to perform tasks or even combine multiple gestures or clicks to perform specific tasks.
I'd love to be able to click to buttons at once on my mouse to open up Tweetdeck, or use a different combination to go to another favorite. These tasks could be done using other parts of your browsers UI, but that's the case for everything about this app. If you're going to have an app dedicated to controlling a browser with mouse shortcuts, you might as well go all out.
Should you use it?
Mile Wide Back is a utility that doesn't create any new functions, but it changes the way you interact with your browser. I don't know if everyone will want to use mouse shortcuts to navigate the web, but once you get used to it, it's a novel concept that can save time and effort for people who jump between a lot of tabs.
I'd like to see some more customization options and the ability to combine multiple button inputs into a single shortcut, but I like what Mile Wide Back can do.
- Creates a new way to navigate the web
- Limited number of shortcuts
- Not customizable
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.