Vertical tabs arrive in Edge Canary for some users

Microsoft Edge Vertical Tabs
Microsoft Edge Vertical Tabs (Image credit: Microsoft)

Update, August 10 (3:00 pm ET): Vertical tabs appear to be rolling out to even more Edge Canary channel testers now. If you haven't seen the feature yet, check for the latest update and restart your browser.

What you need to know

  • Edge's new vertical tabs are now in testing with some Canary channel users.
  • The feature moves tabs from a horizontal layout above your content to a vertical view on the side.
  • This appears to be part of an A/B test, so it's not available for everyone to try yet.

Microsoft announced it was working on a vertical tabs UI for Edge earlier this year, and now it's ready for (limited) testing. Edge Insiders using the Canary channel are starting to see the feature roll out. However, it appears to be part of an A/B test or slow rollout, so it's not available for all Canary testers just yet.

Initially posted by Aggiornamenti Lumia, the vertical tabs UI is accessible via a small icon to the left of your normal tabs. Hovering over the icon reveals "switch to vertical tabs" text. When you click the button, all of your tabs will then shift to a sidebar to the left of your content that can be collapsed and opened at any time.

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The point behind the vertical tabs UI is to give people who have lots of tabs open a more usable experience. The traditional horizontal layout can be tough to navigate if you have more tabs open than your screen can accommodate. With vertical tabs open, you'll always be able to see the title of the pages you have open in a scrollable interface.

It's unclear how widespread this test is yet, but it should gradually make its way to more Edge Insiders as Microsoft iterates upon it. For now, if you have Edge Canary version 86.0.597.0 installed, you'll know whether you can access vertical tabs right away if you have the "switch to vertical tabs" button available upon launch.

If you have yet to give any Edge Insider channels a try, you can download the Beta, Dev, and Canary channels at the Edge Insider site.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • It's weird seeing this and thinking how could we live without this the last twenty years or so? Why was this not the default when tabs became a thing? The world could be a totally different place right now.
  • Haha! But it's only because now people are opening 20+ tabs routinely in their browsers. If you only have about 6-8 tabs opened, the horizontal top tabs are still better I think, easier to see immediately what pages are opened.
  • I think it also makes more sense on the wider monitors we have now. Taking up room on the side doesn't cut into the page like it would on a square(ish) monitor.
  • We can thank 16:9 for this innovation I think, but I wonder how the experience feels on a 3:2 screen.
  • In general computer screens are just bigger than they used to be, both on laptops and desktops. But yeah 16:9 or ultrawide monitors make this very useful
  • My Surface Book oddly got the Vertical Tab than my desktop PC that has 16:9 screen. I would say not much useful and you loose more of the width which 3:2 already is narrow to begin width. Though not bad either since most web pages are suited for vertical viewing even its narrow. Vertical Tabs are really for those who deal with so many tabs, the benefit for 16:9 is a secondary thing. It make most sense for wide and ultrawide, but the primary thing for it is for users who have 10 or 20+ more tabs.
  • Could be useful on Dell UltraSharp 49 with 5120 x 1440.
  • Opera Neon did this and I thought it worked really well
  • I have this on the dev channel
  • This is a genius idea. Most webpages are just flanked by white space (or adverts...) anyway. Giving the user more vertical space is a winner.
  • There's no point of moving the tabs to the left if the space for title bar is still there. It'd waste even more space.