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What's new with Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 Anniversary Update

On the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, Microsoft is investing a lot of work to make the operating system more usable and secure. You'll find some of these changes on the new Start menu, Taskbar, Settings app, and around the new pen experience, which now we know as Windows Ink. In addition, the company is shipping a vastly improved version of the new default web browser, Microsoft Edge.

The new version of Microsoft Edge that ships with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update finally brings support for extensions. The company also focuses on making the browser more power efficient on mobile devices. There are new changes to improve web standards to make web application more accessible to users with disabilities. And users will see a big number of tweaks and other small features that makes the browser experience faster, compatible, and more secure on PC and Mobile devices.

Here we're taking a look at everything you need to know about the new Microsoft Edge for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Microsoft Edge extensions

Similar to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, starting with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge finally includes support for extensions.

Extensions are small programs that easily plug into the web browser to add more functionality, and are usually created to do one task.

These new extensions are acquirable through the Windows Store, and they're as easy to install as the new modern apps. Just open the Windows Store, go to the Apps section, look for Extensions for Microsoft Edge, pick one, and click Install.

Quick Tip: You can quickly view and install all the available extensions by clicking the Microsoft Edge menu "..." button, selecting Extensions, and clicking Get extensions from the Store.

Once the extension installs, open Microsoft Edge will show a notification to turn the extension on or leave it off.

Some of the new extensions for Microsoft Edge include:

  • Adblock
  • Adblock Plus
  • Amazon Assistant
  • Evernote Web Clipper
  • LastPass: Free Password Manager
  • Mouse Gestures
  • Office Online
  • OneNote Web Clipper
  • Page Analyzer
  • Pin It Button
  • Reddit Enhancement Suite
  • Save to Pocket
  • Translator For Microsoft Edge

All the extensions you install on Edge can always be found on menu "..." > Extensions.

You can also click or tap an extension to access its settings. Inside the settings, you can view the version number, and a toggle button to disable the extension. Some extensions may also include the option to show a button next to the address bar, and you can click Uninstall to remove an extension from the browser. (Keep in mind that extensions are currently only available for the PC version of Windows 10.)

Microsoft Edge power efficiency

As part of an effort to make Microsoft Edge the browser of choice for mobile devices, on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the software giant is adding power-saving improvements.

While the first version of the browser was already more power efficient than its competitors, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, Microsoft is adding more improvements.

In the new update, Microsoft Edge will use fewer processor cycles and reduce memory usage, which will help to minimize the impact of background activity and elements that are not part of the main web page content, such as Flash advertisements.

These improvements aim to help your device to stay running longer while getting your work done on a single charge.

Microsoft Edge accessibility improvements

On the Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge is improving support for modern web standards, such as HTML5, CSS3, and ARIA to make web application more accessible to users with disabilities.

Some of these changes you'll find it when viewing web pages using high contrast modes where the browser provides improved visual context, and when filling out a form using keyboard navigation and screen readers.

For more information on building a more accessible internet, you can read this article at the Windows Blog.

New Microsoft Edge settings

On the new version of the web browser, you'll find a number of settings improvements, including new options and tweaks.

In the main Edge menu, you'll now find two additional entries, including Extensions, which we looked at the beginning of the article, and there is a "What's new and tips" link that opens a Microsoft support page highlighting the best new features on the browser.

You'll also notice that extensions you don't show in the address bar will be accessible through this menu as well.

Inside settings, the "Open with" option has been renamed to "Open Microsoft Edge with", and now features a drop-down menu, which includes all the same options as the previous version.

The Favorites settings remains the same, but now you can have the option to show only icons on the address bar from the favorites bar settings, or right-clicking the bar and selecting Show icons only. In addition, from the favorite bar, you can now right-click and create new folders.

Also organizing your favorites is much easier using the new "tree view", and having the ability to right-click the Favorite bar folder and sorting items by name.

Inside the Clear browsing data, you also now have the "Always clear this when I close the browser" option that allows you to clear sensitive data from your browser every time you close the app.

The basic settings page for the default browser now shows which Microsoft Account you're using, and you can click the email address to access Your info in the Settings app.

While the Sync your favorites and reading list option is already part of Edge, in the new version you can click the Device sync settings link to open the Settings app to customize your syncing options.

Advanced settings

On the Advanced settings there are new improvements as well, including a new drop-down menu under the Show the home button that let you quickly change the behavior of the home button to a particular page, new tab, or start page.

Additionally, there is a new Downloads section that let you quickly set a new default location to save downloaded files.

The new section has a "Ask me what to do with each download", which will let you decide whether to save or cancel the download, as well as the option to save the file to an alternate location.

The new version of Microsoft Edge also brings web notifications. This means that starting with the Anniversary Update certain websites will be able to push notifications to the desktop, which then will also appear in Action Center.

If you want to stop web notifications for specific sites, you can use the new Notifications option in the Advanced settings for Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge new changes on "about:flags"

On the new version of the web browser, Microsoft is adding some changes to the Developer Settings page, which many users simply know as the "about:flags" page. In this page, web developers and advanced users can enable or disable experimental features that may or may not become permanent features of the browser, and on the Anniversary Update, there are a few new additions.

By default Microsoft Edge no longer shows the options on the right-click context menu to "View source" and "Inspect element". If you're a developer, you'll now need to open the about:flags page and check the option to view these items.

Under Developers settings, you'll also find these new options:

  • Allow Adobe Flash Player localhost loopback (this might put your device at risk)
  • Enable extension developer features (this might put your device at risk)
  • Allow unrestricted memory consumption for web pages (this might impact the overall performance of your device)

In the Experimental features section you'll find the following new items and some new changes:

Composition (new)

  • Use Windows.UI.Composition
  • Compose scrollbar thumbs independently
  • Decode images with their rendering size

Styling

  • Enable @-ms-viewpoint rules
  • Enable experimental select control

Scrolling

  • Enable responsive scrollbar scrolling

Mouse event for touch

  • Disable Pointer event interface

JavaScript

  • Only execute timers once per second in non-visible tabs to improve battery life
  • Use legacy set interval behavior

Media Source Extensions (new)

  • Enable Opus audio format
  • Enable VP9 video format

WebRTC

  • Enable experimental H.264/AVC support

Fetch API (new)

  • Enable Fetch JavaScript API

Web Payments (new)

  • Enable experimental Web Payment API

Networking (new)

Fullscreen (new)

  • Enable Standard Fullscreen API

It's worth pointing out that regular users are not recommended to change any of these settings. These settings are available to help developers to build apps and services, and for Microsoft to test new functionalities. The about:flags page is always being updated, and settings can disappear at any time without notice.

Microsoft Edge other improvements and tweaks

Alongside the new settings and changes, Microsoft Edge also includes a number of other improvements that makes the web browser more usable and practical.

  • Swipe navigation gestures: On touch-enabled devices, you can now swipe back or forward with your fingers to navigate between pages. The new swipe gestures are available on PCs, tablets, and phones.
  • Improved copy/paste: Now it's much easier to copy and paste URLs and search queries on the address bar. In the new version of Edge, you can copy a URL or search query. Then on the address bar, you can right-click and select Paste and go, instead of pasting the content and then hitting the Enter key.On Windows 10 Mobile, there are a couple of improvements for copy/paste. When typing into an edit box you can now use the paste button above the keyboard, and when selecting text, the button to copy content to the clipboard will appear immediately.
  • Drag and drop folders: On Microsoft Edge, you now have the ability to upload folders to different services, such as OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox by dragging and dropping.
  • Improved favorite importing: You can now quickly bring your bookmarks from Firefox, in addition to Internet Explorer and Chrome. Additionally, imported favorites from another browser will also save into a separate folder, instead of combining them with your existing favorites.
  • Download reminders: When you're downloading files, you'll now get an alert of in-progress download. The new change will give you a chance to complete the download before closing the browser.

  • Pin tabs: While this is a common feature on most web browsers, the first version of Microsoft Edge didn't include the ability to pin tabs, but starting with the Anniversary Update, you can quickly pin any tab.

  • Improved Tab Center on Mobile: On the mobile version of Windows 10, Microsoft Edge now includes a new button to create an InPrivate tab from the Tab Center.
  • Improved tab behavior on mobile: Tapping a link within an app will open a new Microsoft Edge tab, which will automatically close when clicking the back button without disrupting the tabs you may already have open on the browser.
  • Apps for websites: Similar to phones, on the desktop version of Windows 10, the web browser can now open the app for some websites, instead of loading the page.If you want sites to load normally on the web browser, you can go to Settings > System > Apps for websites and disable the apps you want to open on Microsoft Edge.

  • Windows Hello for websites: On this new version, Microsoft Edge adds Windows Hello biometric authentication support. Through the new method of authentication users can sign-in to websites quickly and securely without the need to type a password.

Wrapping things up

While the next time you open Microsoft Edge may look very similar to the previous version, on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the browser is bringing a lot of new changes and improvements to make your web experience faster, compatible, and more secure no matter in which device you use the browser.

Please note that both the PC and Mobile version of Microsoft Edge are nearly identical, with the exception of some features (e.g., extensions) and some specific settings, the new changes are available for both PC and Mobile.

Do you like the new changes for Microsoft Edge on the Anniversary Update? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

96 Comments
  • Why is Edge part of the OS and not standalone app like the other apps that were moved from the OS to being standalone going from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile?
  • Take a look of Android phones, they use browsers integrated on their phone using Chrome or based on Chromium. Or, take a look at the iPhones and (i)Macs, they use Safari as their default (and integrated) browser.
  • Yes, but at least on Android Chrome gets updated through the Play Store. I never used an iPhone regularly. I have never seen Microsoft Edge getting an update on its own. Do you think the capability is there, but it was just never done?
  • Ms Edge do get update every months along with Windows cumulative update, of course most probably security update. As for new feature, some of them might depends on OS, since Edge as UWP app not that new as Win32 App, sort of lack in API.
  • That's the difference between Chrome and Edge (and Safari). Edge relies on Windows Update to update itself (in terms of security, of course, for monthly basis), while Chrome's update is available at Play Store. The good thing of getting updates via Windows Update, is that you can receive the security benefits in a whole OS, not just the Edge itself. And that's why they are more secure than Firefox, Chrome, and even Safari.
  • Maybe because integrated browsers have better battery life. Look at battery benchmarks for Edge on W10 and Safari on Mac OS vs others.
  • I did searching and this is what I got:
    http://notebooks.com/2016/03/11/best-mac-browser-safari-vs-chrome/ Actually, the culprit is Chrome itself, but I think they should have side-by-side comparison to make it fair... (no signature)
  • What makes you think Edge is part of the OS and how exactly do you define "part of the OS?" I believe Edge can be updated independently of Windows and this release is just scheduled to coincide with the anniversary release to aggregate the big changes together.
  • Correct you are.   While Edge and everything else now days is independent and can be upgraded at will, some of the stuff actually requires back-end support from the OS that needs to be updated.   So even if Edge or Cortana features can be added at any time, some things do need to wait for an OS update
  • Agreed, especially when relating to security updates, which involves the OS itself. When it happens, they have to rely on Windows Update.
  • I could be wrong, but here is why I think it's part of the OS: It only gets updated when the OS is updated; I don't think I've ever seen an update for it in the store. Have you? You cannot uninstall it; It shows a weird page when you search for it in the Store where it says it's already installed. No ratings. No reviews. Nothing. By part of the OS, I mean it gets deployed or updated when the OS is deployed or updated.  
  • Speaking of 'it only gets updated when the OS is updated', at least they update it once in a month with fixes and security updates, right? The same goes for Firefox (they release updates every 6 weeks), Chrome and Safari (I don't know how often they update their browser). Just to compare them, Edge is roughly 2 weeks faster than them both. When you say 'you cannot uninstall it', try to uninstall Safari from their MacOS and iOS. They also have no ratings, no reviews, nothing. But I agree with you in terms of having Edge published at Windows Store to be updated regularly instead of getting updates via Windows Update (except for its security updates).
  • Maybe they want to promote the Windows update as having more features therefore Edge update included in RS1
  • Edge is not, Edge can and actually sometimes is updated by the store. But there's only so much you can do when the underlying framework doesn't support the things you want to do so sometimes Edge updates are pushed via Windows Update as they also touch other parts of the OS. Furthermore EdgeHTML and the Chakra engine are part of the OS as they are also the same engines used to power the Westminster web apps as well as other web views throughout the OS. These two engines are the ones that require(d) updating to support extensions, and other features such as TCP Quick Open, while an option in Edge, has to be support in the TCP stack of windows and an Edge update can not touch anything outside of the Edge Appx. Does that make sense, Edge as an app is independant and store updateable BUT for new features they usually require a change to the underlying OS code which are pushed via windows update. In the future we might actually start seeing EdgeHTML and Chakra getting updated via the store as well as they are seperate libraries like .NET that is updated in the store already.
  • Is the "Always clear this when I close the browser" option available on mobile too?
  • No unfortunately, not that I need it
  • I need it really. After upgrading to W10M Edge was just 23mb on mobile and now it's storage monster 200mb! Can't even clean space with built-in clean options :/
  • Try to clean the history from Edge settings.
  • I tried to clean history, cached files and cookies/saved data but it didn't help
  • Sounds like I can finally get rid of my Chrome browser ;) This does everything I need from a browser and more! And Edge is just so snappy and quick to launch sites. Thank you, Microsoft! Can't wait for August 2!
  • Pretty neat browser, I'm using Insider Slow ring to follow the latest updates, and this Edge is much better than the older Edge. Seems Edgier. (no signature)
  • Now that's what I call Edgy Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • SO glad to read this. I LOVE the look of edge browser but as of right now, it's horrible use. I had to install Chtome/Firefox.... if they make it smooth and reliable i will use Edge exclusively.
  • Come the Anniversary Update (AU) it _should_ be snappy. I haven't personally experienced it slow. I have however experienced it laggy, but that should be fixed with the extention support coming in AU :)
  • Somewhat relieving if the extension support is coming to Edge, right?
  • I'm guessing this person doesn't have AU by the sound of it :)
  • Indeed I have (currently on build 14393), and having extension support makes me relieved, too, and I'm relying on ad-blocking on Firefox to browse some sites that has annoying (pop-up) ads.
  • A lot of great features; I wish they'd come to Mobile as well. Especially add-ons.
  • I just want to prevent audio and video from automatically playing when I enter a web site
  • And I'd like an extension that allows me to download streaming media from any site, in a format / quality of my chosing. The Video DownloadHelper and YouTube Video and Audio Downloader are the only reasons I stick with FireFox. Having an adblocking extinsion on Edge is a step in the right direction.
  • I haven't used Google in about 4 years. There is way to many adverts on google and the first 5 or so in the search are nothing to do with my search. Bing is much cleaner. And produces results which apply to my search.
  • I use bing too, but some searches in my native language are awful at bing. Then i have to use Google.
  • Nice. About time Microsoft. Goodbye chrome.
  • about:time
  • LOL
  • Nice features. I just want to be able to sign into Edge on the desktop without having to actually use a Microsoft account to sign into my desktop.
  • I wish extensions should come to mobiles but yeah due to UI issues it would be difficult to bring it in small screens.. And Microsoft edge would be better if it was a Windows Store App so that we could get the updated fast rather then waiting for a long time of 4-5 months to get major new feature..
  • They even removed extensions for mobile from the roadmap.:(
  • It still sucks in many areas. Dragging tabs around is laggy and buggy as hell. Often I accidentally pull out a tab and create a new edge window. Tabs don't close, and sometimes it's impossible to close Edge at all.
  • Agree with you. Chrome opens slower than edge but moving tabs and closing them more reliable than Edge.
  • I hope update fixes All this. Same problems here. everything you said. if update fixes. I'll use it as default browser again.
  • Does it at least not randomly forget what tabs I had open? I get that routinely with TH2, infuriating show-stopper;  Have to remember to bookmark tabs (or use RL) just in case it forgets, & don't get me started on how horridly bookmarking works.
  • One thing the AU is making WORSE on Edge Mobile: Text scaling. Many, many sites have their formatting totally break when any level of text scaling is on. Take a look at any Wikipedia page for a great example. Many of us have reported this on the feedback hub but have heard only crickets. I can accept this accessibility unfriendliness from the fast ring, but it needs to be fixed by August 2nd.
  • What device do you have???
  • Lumia 640, single SIM, T-Mo. Based on anecdotes and the latest AdDuplex numbers, it's a popular one.
  • Yes, yes it is. I use 640 xl ds with the same problem. I just wanted to know if this issue you're referring to is a phablet only .
  • How about stop freezing on any second page?!
  • In the later fast ring builds, Edge actually gets worse and worse. Sites completely fail to load, other browsers including IE 11, no problem, site loads normal. Facebook is pure and total hell with Edge in those builds. It consumes HUGE amounts of memory, it's unresponsive, hangs, freezes regularly. Password administration.... never heard of that in Edge. Oow you have changed your password? Here's your old one. Nope, not changing it to the new one, no no no. Also, offering to save credentials is hit and miss, some sites it happens, some sites not. Lastpass extension... present but absent minded it seems, never does ANYTHING when you enter passwords or something it SHOULD be triggered by.
  • Agree with your asssessment of Edge and later fast ring builds. Works OK without any extensions turned on and flash off. Sort of defeats the purpose of having extensions. xyz.com failed please reload page occurs frequently.
  • They really need to add "search Bing/Google" to the right click menu. "Ask Cortana" does nothing because 99% of the time I want to do a simple web search. This way just adds an extra step.
  • So AdBlock has been develoed for Edge, we just have to wait for the anniversary update?
  • AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. uBlock is also in development.
  • That's great! For mobile Edge too?
  • Extensions aren't available on Mobile for the time being.
  • You'll have to use your router or get iOS/Android to block ads.
  • Still no offline viewing
  • I feel you :'(
  • Yeah, still waiting for that feature and also saving pages as mhtml
  • Is it less buggy than the current, stable version? Browsing experience is atm worse than the app gap imo.
  • Nice, Getting back to some of the features we used to have with IE and IE mobile.  Looking forward to the upgrade (don't use Insider builds on my main PC)
  • Will there be Microsoft's own Silverlight plug-in?
  • No. Silverlight is dead.
  • May give it, another twirl.
  • Any news on bookmarklet support? I don't so much mind lack of extensions, but when I tried to add a bookmarklet to Edge, it worked once, then disappeared. You can't seem to drag and drop them. You can't edit the URL to be the javascript code. With a lot of sites offering this along with or instead of extensions, supporting bookmarklets seems somewhat important.
  • They need to add history syncing and the ability to open tabs from other PCs. I remember on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 I could click open tab from other PC and open a web page that I had open on another device. It was slow to sync but at least it was available.
  • Hope the ctrl+enter shortcut is fixed... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Cant wait to ditch Chrome, detest Google products!
  • What's new in edge for windows10 mobile?
  • This very well may mark the end of Chrome for me on a desktop. It's become very bloated and does not match up speed wise with Edge. Was just waiting for Ad Block Plus
  • Overwhelmingly awaited!
  • Does it let you open a recently closed tab?
  • I am on the last fast ring update, 14393.  Edge will crash every time, and I do mean EVERY time I go to facebook to play Words With friends.  Not just some times, not just now and then, but everytime.  I have to go to IE11 to play, and that is ok, I guess.  I thought that Edge was going to be better.  Not yet any way.  Hopefully it will be fixed by August 2nd.
  • Glad to hear of the efficiency improvements. I hope it applies to desktop as well.
  • Still no save page function? I despise having to go back to IE 11 just to do that. And how about the long-awaited F11 function?
  • What's the word on an Enpass extension? I've made the switch!
  • Can we have EDGE for Win 7/Win 8.1? Our office PCs are stuck on WIn 7, and there seems no plan to upgrade to Win 10.
  • ... Hopefully stability.
  • Great article. I learned a few things I didn't know of before :D
  • Daniel, any improvements for pop up blocker? its not as geeat in edge as it was in ie. i still get pop ups even when its on  
  • Edge is no use... Takes too much time to process and not friendly to use... On daily basis.
  • Lolwut? It's the fastest browser on the market.
  • I keep hearing this....but as of now, my Surface 3 performs better with Chrome than Edge (by a good margin!). The only area where Edge has a lead is in video playback.
  • Nice job Mauro, as usual.  But you forgot to mention this. http://forums.windowscentral.com/windows-10-insider-preview/432049-micro...
  • That's really nifty, I MUST remember to actually use it when I finally upgrade to AU! Getting real impatient for it now, but I don't want to jump into WI!  Have another partition that's using Fast, but I don't use it for serious work & rarely boot into it.
  • I didn't forget, right now translation is only possible through the Translator For Microsoft Edge extension, which I have listed on the article. Thanks, Mauro
  • Will Norton now be good with Edge?
  • Wow bunch of new features. After this update, i will not use chrome no more. Bye bye chrome.
  • I feel the same way about Firefox. The adblock is the clincher, but I have long longed for all the features already in Edge, but these additional ones will mean I will give firefox the boot.  
  • Another upcoming feature people often misses (including me until a couple days): Finally in Edge "Pin to Start" puts Tiles with website's Favicons, and not the sad "e" of Edge. Things that were a given in Metro IE are coming back, guys! ^^
  • The two things I want most are to be able to save credentials on pop-up login boxes and to be able to scroll through Autocomplete entries and remove them individually by hitting the delete button. I really hope that both are in the Anniversary Update but I don't think they will be.
  • I assume the news app uses Edge as its "renderer"? If so, I wonder if all the annoying apps in the news app will also be blocked with ABP? Also, I wonder if it's too much to hope for that the extensions will also be available for Edge on mobile?    
  • I wonder if it's too much to hope for that the extensions will also be available for Edge on mobile?
      Certainly not for RS1, but it's a possibility for RS2 or RS3... As your 1st question, I don't believe it works quite as simply as that. They're not that bad anyway, certainly compared to ads in other apps.
  • Here's hoping the anniversary update also fixes the stupidly buggy file explorer process. All Windows Store apps, including Edge, tend to rely on it and it freezes way too often, 'causing edge to freeze. Posted from my OnePlus One.
  • It's certainly good to see these changes coming.  Accessibility options are essential, to help others who are less fortunate than many.   The movement/copy and pasting of urls looks to be a good improvement and it would be hoped that the browser can recognise any url from within a displayed page, as I currently can't get Win10 mobile to recognise many that I view. And copying and pasting seems harder than it used to be, so the changes are a welcome improvement.
  • This update sounds really good, but also necessary.  Currently it's really bare bones.
  • One thing Edge has been better at than most other browsers is text scaling, but it seemed slightly worse in my anniversary update preview (or whatever you want to call it). One extension I would really like is the relevant coupon code finder Honey..