Microsoft Edge's Sidebar is about to become even more awesome with extension support

Microsoft Edge Sidebar on Windows 11 desktop
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Extension developers can now make extensions for the Microsoft Edge Sidebar.
  • It will allow for a default Sidebar on specific sites.
  • Developers can also make it so an extension opens in the Sidebar when a user opens a specific website.

Microsoft Edge keeps getting new features. Now it is opening up its Sidebar to extension developers, allowing them to create extensions with the Sidebar in mind. The Microsoft Edge Sidebar has seen some solid changes since it was introduced, including the impressive Bing Chat AI addition at the top of the Sidebar allowing you to quickly interface with Bing AI and to add it to your workflow easily.

With Microsoft opening up the Edge Sidebar to extension developers it will allow for some rather useful functionality over the typical extension set up. Here's what developers will be able to do with your favorite extensions:

  • Default Sidebar on every site: Set a default Sidebar to display consistent content or extensions across all opened tabs. Default values persist across sessions providing a seamless experience.
  • Sidebar enablement on specific sites: Make it so your extension opens in the sidebar when on a specific site using sidepanel.setOptions(). Customize the experience for your users based on their preferred websites.
  • Switching to a different sidebar: Welcome your users with a dedicated sidebar using runtime.onInstalled(). Seamlessly transition to the main side panel when they navigate to a different tab. It's all about providing a personalized touch.

Edge Sidebar showing that extensions will soon be available

Microsoft will allow developers to make extensions with the Edge Sidebar in mind. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft also notes that your Sidebar page offers the same level of flexibility as other extension pages. You can load scripts, call APIs from your Sidebar page and unleash the full potential of your creativity.

The blog post goes into more detail on the tools available to extension developers. It's good to see that the Edge Sidebar is going be utilized in a more productive way. It will of course take some time for developers to get their extensions updated, but Microsoft do say that they intend to alert users of the extensions as users go to different websites. 

Dan Rice

Dan is a tech contributor on Windows Central. A long time Xbox gamer and former partner on Microsoft's retired streaming platform Mixer, he can often be found crying into a cup of tea whilst thinking about Windows Phone. You can follow Dan on Twitter where you will find him talking about tech, Formula 1 and his latest victories in Battle Royale games.