Scrolling in Microsoft Edge could get even smoother for those with the best PC monitors
A refresh rate boost could improve the scrolling experience within Microsoft Edge.
What you need to know
- Microsoft is testing a feature for Edge that boosts a PC's refresh rate when scrolling on the web.
- The feature requires a display that supports Variable Refresh Rate, which is available on many gaming monitors.
- When enabled, the feature should smooth the scrolling experience within the browser.
Microsoft has a feature in testing that allows the Edge browser to boost the refresh rate of a PC's display. The option improves the smoothness of scrolling within the browser. To use the feature, a PC needs to have a display that supports Variable Refresh Rate, which is available on many of the best gaming monitors.
First spotted by Leo Varela, the choice to "boost screen refresh rate when scrolling" is currently available in Edge Canary through a flag.
The description for the option reads:
In addition to improving how scrolling appears within the browser, the feature could reduce how much energy Edge needs. The description doesn't specifically mention battery life but keeping a PC's refresh rate down when inactive and then boosting it when needed would use power more efficiently than locking a computer's refresh rate.
A related feature for Windows 11 called Dynamic Refresh Rate lets supported PCs jump between 60 and 120Hz automatically. Dynamic Refresh Rate is only available on a short list of PCs, including the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio.
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That's interesting. In the prior version of Edge (Legacy Edge), scrolling felt much smoother, because it wasn't stepped when using a mouse wheel. You could scroll a pixel at a time and at any speed when using a free-rolling mouse wheel. The new Chromium Edge only supports pixel-level scrolling for touch, not when using the mouse wheel, where it instead moves the same as hitting the up and down arrows on the scroll bar. While any improvements to scrolling are great and most welcome, personally, I would be more interested in seeing that kind of smooth scrolling we had with the original Edge, which affected all monitors, than making the existing Chromium Edge's stepped scrolling just animate more smoothly on the relatively small number of high-refresh rate displays that can support it.
I wonder if the VRR support will trigger the Dynamic refresh rate on Surfaces. Currently Edge stays locked at 60 fps when I'm using Dynamic mode on my Pro 8, which leads to the bottom half of the page not rendering fast enough to keep up with scrolling.