What you need to know
- Many Microsoft Edge users have run into issues when trying to use the browser with touch rather than a mouse and keyboard.
- Issues range from menus not opening on websites to navigation not working when people attempt to swipe between pages.
- We have experienced some of these problems ourselves, but some of them appear to be isolated to specific users.
Microsoft Edge swapped over to a Chromium browser a few years ago. The move improved the browser in many ways, including adding support for Chrome extensions and ensuring site compatibility with more of the web. But some features were lost when the switch occurred, and other aspects of the browser got worse.
Edge getting worse in a select area is the focus of a Reddit post that's gained a bit of traction. Reddit user NIVEA_GeForce shared a lengthy list of bugs, issues, and missing features related to touch on Edge.
The list includes a wide range of problems, such as swipe navigation not working correctly to bugs preventing menus from being opened on certain websites. It also lists several missing features, including the inability to select multiple tabs with touch and there not being an option to reorder toolbar and extension icons with touch.
Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden has been able to replicate some of these issues, but other items on the list work fine in his testing. The main takeaway is that there appears to be a lot of work to do when it comes to delivering a solid touch experience within Edge on Windows.
Here's the complete list from NIVEA_GeForce on Reddit:
- Touch is broken on many websites now in every Edge channel. Dropdown and hamburger menus don't respond with touch on many websites. Even on the Bing and Google homepage, top buttons, hamburger menu and dropdowns don't respond with touch. Also on Wikipedia, hamburger menus, language and profile dropdown don't respond with touch. This bug has been in Edge Canary and Dev channel since a few months ago, and has now been pushed to Beta and Stable.
- Swiping to navigate forward and back will occasionally just stop working completely, especially in PWAs.
- The context menu doesn't appear in Bing search results when you select text with touch. You can highlight text but that's it, no way to interact with it. Long pressing after selection just selects whatever word you long pressed on.
- Back/Forward (swipe left/right) touch gestures don't work on the right side of the new Split screen view.
- Workspaces can't be reordered with touch.
- When creating or renaming a tab group close to the bottom when using vertical tabs, its input box gets obscured by the touch keyboard.
- Long press with touch on horizontal tabs to bring up the context menu often doesn't work, but shows a stuck long press square.
- Long press with touch on vertical tabs doesn't work at all unless they are pinned, and also shows a stuck long press square.
- Long press with touch anywhere on the toolbar shows a stuck long press square.
- Title bar buttons (Minimize/Maximize/Restore/Close) stop working with touch when you use "Open all in new Window" on a Favorites folder with many tabs, or when certain extensions create a new window with many tabs, such as tabXpert. This was also an issue with the old Edge Workspaces feature.
- We can't drag tabs from single tabbed windows out of the window (It just fails to move) to another window with touch.
- Grabbing the window divider of the new split-screen feature to resize the splits, almost never works with touch.
- The 3 dots "..." in the toolbar at the top-right sometimes stops responding to touch, until I restart Edge.
- Scrolling favorites/collections pages with touch, often inadvertently moves the items around, since it doesn't adhere to Windows conventions.
- Often, when immediately typing on the touch keyboard after it shows up, it will inadvertently retract while you're typing.
- Tapping the address bar of a maximized Edge window with touch, often inadvertently restores the size of the window.
- Sometimes tapping the toolbar of a maximized Edge window inadvertently restores the size of the window.
- Sometimes in a maximized Edge window, when a context menu extends towards the top of the screen, tapping a context menu item with touch near the top, inadvertently restores the size of the window.
- Sometimes restoring the Edge window with touch, doesn't allow you to maximize it again, until you restart Edge.
- Edge windows don't properly retain their snaps when rotating the device from landscape to portrait orientation and back again, like in this video. https://youtu.be/S8vO1inHBb8?t=63
- The Downloads dialog (CTRL+J) is not touch friendly. The actions such as Pause/Cancel/Delete Files/etc don't show up until you tap it, making it easy to inadvertently do the wrong action.
- Text selection is unreliable and doesn't adhere to Windows conventions.
- In PWAs, the zoom buttons in "... -> More Tools -> Zoom -> +/-" don't work with touch.
- Swiping down from the top during full-screen is unreliable and inadvertently scrolls the page.
- CTRL+C/X/V/A etc, in the address bar inadvertently writes out the C/X/V/A characters.
- Vertical tabs bar often inadvertently expands when it shouldn't, if you're using touch.
- The Bing sidebar bar often inadvertently expands when it shouldn't, if you're using touch.
- Snapping Edge windows with touch sometimes doesn't properly line up, until you restart Edge.
- We can't rename "New Tab Page" items with touch, the touch keyboard dismisses before you can type.
- Find on Page, up and down buttons are too small and too close to the close button for touch.
- Touch keyboard obscures the input field while renaming vertical tab groups near the bottom.
- Touch keyboard obscures the input field while adding or editing favorite folders near the bottom, in the add favorites dialog.
- We can't easily copy the title of a selected link/url with touch, unlike Legacy Edge. There is Web Select now, but it's not as easy.
- We can't reorder toolbar/extension icons with touch.
- We can't select multiple tabs with touch.
- The "Details" and "Remove" links on the edge://extensions/ page don't respond to touch, as does the "View in Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store" on the details page of a particular extension.
- The "Details", "Pin to taskbar", "Pin to Start" links on the edge://apps/ page don't respond to touch.
- The 3 dots "..." on the edge://apps/ don't respond to single tap.
- When opening certain PDFs, the "This file has limited permissions. You may not have access to some features." bar can't be interacted with touch. You can't tap "View permissions" nor the X button to close the bar.
- Consider the option to hide the close buttons for non-active tabs, like it used to be in Legacy Edge. This prevents accidental closing of tabs with touchscreens, especially on small tablets.
- Consider adding touch gestures to switch between tabs, like on iPadOS. I'm currently using GestureSign as a workaround to switch between tabs and close and reopen closed tabs.
- Consider adding a site preview when long pressing a link, like Safari on iOS and iPadOS.
- Inking latency is way higher than it was in Legacy Edge.
Windows Central take
Microsoft has done some work in recent years to improve the touch experience on Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge, but I still think browsing on Windows is geared toward a mouse and keyboard. Issues like those shared by NIVEA_GeForce and bugs affect how well devices like the Surface Pro 9 can compete with the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9.
The browser is arguably the most important application on any device. While hundreds of millions of people will likely never touch the screen of their PC, those who use 2-in-1s and other computers with a touchscreen will run get frustrated by the touch experience in Edge.
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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 email@example.com.
wondering if Panos feels pumped to his these new "amazing" first party apps on a SurfaceReply
yawn. Pen input has sucked forever. It is nice to see somebody making a big deal out of this, but I have no confidence that Microsoft cares. Like somebody else said recently, MS should do a month-long "no keyboards or mice" period for its employees and see how they like it, and if any priorities would change afterwards.Reply