Microsoft Edge adds new efficiency mode features to save battery life

Microsoft Edge on Start menu
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is adding more power-saving options to its Edge browser.
  • Edge will be able to detect when a device is on battery and adjust its performance accordingly.
  • The newly updated efficiency mode is available in Microsoft Edge version 106, but it is rolling out gradually.

Microsoft first introduced efficiency mode for Edge with version 101 of its browser. The feature is designed to reduce energy consumption by lowering resource usage. Now, Edge has an improved version of efficiency mode that takes things one step further.

The updated efficiency mode can detect when a laptop is running on battery and adjust performance accordingly. There are a couple of different modes and several options for the tool.

Microsoft breaks down the different modes in a Tech Community post (opens in new tab).

Balanced Savings

  • When your device is unplugged but not low on battery -> Efficiency mode will take moderate steps to save your battery. Changes made to the browser will have little to no impact on your browsing experience.  
  • When your device is unplugged and low on battery (on Windows, device enters battery saver mode, on Mac, device reaches 20%) -> Efficiency mode will take additional steps to save battery. The increased changes being made to your browser may have a visible impact on your browsing experience, for example, it may cause videos to be less smooth.  You will know when efficiency mode is taking these additional steps when the filled “heart pulse” icon appears in your toolbar. 

Maximum Savings

  • When your device is unplugged and at any battery level -> Efficiency mode will take additional steps to save battery for the entire time that your device is unplugged. The changes being made to your browser will be the same as when additional steps are taken in ‘Balanced Savings’. The changes to your browser may have a visible impact on your browsing experience, for example, it may cause videos to be less smooth. 

Turn on efficiency mode when connected to power

  • When your device is connected to power -> Efficiency mode will take moderate steps to save power if ‘Balanced Savings’ is selected and will take additional steps to save power if ‘Maximum Savings’ is selected.

Running efficiency mode can negatively impact the browsing experience, so it's not the best choice for all situations. Users can block the feature on specific websites through Edge's settings while still using efficiency mode on other sites.

The updated efficiency mode is rolling out gradually, so you may not see it yet, even if you've updated to Edge 106.

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 (opens in new tab).