What you need to know
- An update that just shipped to Microsoft Edge adds two significant features.
- The browser now supports Microsoft Edge for Business, which is a designated mode aimed at professional use.
- The option to detach the Edge Sidebar and have it live on the Windows desktop also rolls out with the recent update.
Microsoft just released an update for Edge that brings the app to version 116.0.1938.54. The update is significant, as it adds support for Microsoft Edge for Business and the option to detach the Sidebar from the browser. Both these additions have been in testing for quite some time and enhance the capabilities of Edge.
Rather than being a different version of the browser, Microsoft Edge for Business is a mode within Edge. Microsoft highlights that Edge for Business has "enterprise grade security, productivity, manageability, and AI built in." It allows people to keep personal and professional browsing separate without having to use two browsers or multiple personal accounts.
Anyone signed in with an Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) will have Edge for Business available automatically.
The Edge Sidebar has been around since last year, and Microsoft has improved the tool steadily. Now, it's possible to detach the Sidebar from the browser and have it sit on the desktop, giving you quicker access to sites and tools.
Here are the feature highlights listed by Microsoft for the latest version of Edge:
- Microsoft Edge for Business. With native enterprise grade security, productivity, manageability, and AI built in, Edge for Business enables organizations to maximize productivity and security, and offers the ability to create separation between work and personal browsing with automatic switching between the lightly managed personal browser window (MSA profile) and the work browser window (Microsoft Entra ID). All users signing in with their Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) will automatically receive Edge for Business and see an updated Edge icon with a briefcase to designate they're in the work browser window. For more information, read our FAQ.
- Option to attach the Edge sidebar to the Windows desktop. Users of the Microsoft Edge sidebar will be able to access their apps and sites directly from their Windows 10 desktop. As an opt-in experience in Windows 10, users can attach the sidebar to their Windows desktop by clicking a "popout" icon near the base of the sidebar in the browser. This enables a side-by-side experience that works with any Windows app — including Microsoft Edge itself. Users enjoy streamlined access to the same set of powerful AI tools and web-based services, including Bing Chat, without launching a browser window, enhancing productivity regardless of where they are in Windows. Additional features and options are planned in future versions of Microsoft Edge. Administrators can control the availability of this feature using the StandaloneHubsSidebarEnabled policy.
Microsoft Edge's best feature
Despite Edge being up to date on my PC, I don't see the option to detach the Sidebar yet. I'm not sure if the feature is rolling out gradually or if there's an issue with my browser. I imagine I'll have access in the near future and that everyone else will as well.
I called Edge's Sidebar the "best browser feature you've never heard of" shortly after Microsoft began testing the feature. I quickly asked Microsoft to bring the Sidebar to Windows 11. My request must have been a common one among Edge users, because Microsoft added the option to detach the Sidebar in preview versions of Edge in April of this year.
While Microsoft has added several features to the Sidebar since my early coverage of the feature, my initial piece on how to use the tool is still accurate. It breaks down how to manage Sidebar features, how to add specific sites to the Sidebar, and how to summon the Sidebar with a keyboard shortcut.
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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.