Edge extension support on Android will give you a genuine reason to switch from Chrome, as long as Microsoft doesn't mess it up

Microsoft Edge Canary on Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Extension support is now in testing on Microsoft Edge Canary for Android. (Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is working on extension support for Microsoft Edge on Android.
  • You can already test a small set of extensions within Microsoft Edge Canary.
  • Extensions are popular on desktop browsers but only a handful of popular mobile browsers support them, including Firefox and Samsung Internet.
  • Notably, Google Chrome for Android does not support extensions.

Microsoft Edge on Android should soon get a major boost in the form of extension support. Edge Canary for Android now has a flag that allows you to enable extensions within the mobile browser. Well-known Edge expert Leo Varela shared the news on X (formerly Twitter) and showed off some of the extensions that are already supported.

Extensions are incredibly popular on desktop browsers, but surprisingly few popular mobile browsers support them. Firefox and Samsung Internet work with extensions but Google Chrome for Android does not. And of course, Edge did not support extensions until Microsoft began testing the functionality in Edge Canary.

Now, if you like Microsoft Edge and extensions, you don't have to pick between the two, at least if you're an Edge Canary user.

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Saving Microsoft Edge

Adding extension support to Microsoft Edge for Android could help the browser compete with Google Chrome. Edge is barely a footnote when it comes to mobile usage, holding just a 0.24 market share, according to Statcounter in December 2023. Microsoft Edge as a whole didn't even register as "dominant enough" to warrant being under European Commission Digital Markets Act regulations.

I use Edge on a regular basis, but a large part of that is due to my job. I have to keep up to date on the latest Edge features and bugs to cover the browser. I like several elements of it, including its layout and general design, but it's nothing special when it comes to browsing.

While not unique to Edge on Android, extension support could go a long way in differentiating Edge from other browsers. I doubt many will convert from Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge due to Microsoft renaming its browser, but the addition of extensions could move the needle.

At this point, it's not clear how many extensions will be supported. Will Microsoft allow a vast library of extensions like it does on Edge for computers or will it be a small, curated list?

How to use extensions on Microsoft Edge for Android

The number of extensions you can use right now within Microsoft Edge Canary on Android is quite limited. At the time of publication, only three extensions can be installed: Dark Reader, uBlock Origin, and Global Speed. You can install or uninstall those three and in my testing, they work well, but that's it for now.

I hopped over to the Microsoft Edge Add-on store but the option to get any of the extensions is grayed out.

That being said, you can use extensions within the mobile browser, and I assume the general process will remain the same, so here's how to do it:

  1. Install Microsoft Edge Canary from the Google Play Store.
  2. Go to Edge://flags in the address bar.
  3. Search for "Android Extension."
  4. Toggled Android Extension to "Enabled."
  5. While on any webpage, tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the lower-right-hand corner of Edge.
  6. Scroll down and select "Extensions," which appears next to a puzzle piece icon.
  7. Select "Manage Extensions."
  8. Choose which extensions you'd like installed on Microsoft Edge.
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

  • GraniteStateColin
    Excellent: Dark Reader and uBlock Origin are two of my main extensions. I also use Feeder to provide a dropdown list of the last 50 Windows Central articles. :)

    Getting rid of glaring white screens (Dark Reader) and ads on mobile (uBlock Origin) is HUGE. I realize not all users will jump to Edge for this, but this seems like just about the biggest feature MS could offer to help pull users from Chrome.

    The only other extension I use regularly doesn't matter on mobile: RoboForm, because password managers already have their own apps and work OK (not as well as on PC) on mobile.
    Reply
  • xenred
    Extensions would be great addition, but nothing new really considering Firefox on mobile does the same thing. But still useful addition.

    They seriously needs to polish the app though especially UI department which is still feels beta. Switchinng tabs don't have animations, opening things like Collection feels out of place (likely web based), no bottom address bar option, using Edge spit with other apps on foldables or tablets are cramped, generally the UX just doesn't feel that enjoyable and fluid to use.
    Reply
  • Sean Endicott
    xenred said:
    Extensions would be great addition, but nothing new really considering Firefox on mobile does the same thing. But still useful addition.

    They seriously needs to polish the app though especially UI department which is still feels beta. Switchinng tabs don't have animations, opening things like Collection feels out of place (likely web based), no bottom address bar option, using Edge spit with other apps on foldables or tablets are cramped, generally the UX just doesn't feel that enjoyable and fluid to use.
    I know this is rich coming from someone who uses Edge mobile, but it seems like some people will just never use Firefox. I'm not sure why tbh as it's a good browser with plenty of features. I would guess that if Microsoft added full extension support, or even just a large library of nice approved extensions, that many would assume it was the first mobile browser to do so. A lot of people only know Chrome.
    Reply