If you haven’t tried Microsoft Edge recently, you should. I know that most of you probably use Chrome or Safari, but the Edge team has been hard at work to make it stand out from the competition.
Here are ten Microsoft Edge features that help make this plucky upstart one of the most unique web browsers you can use today.
1. Bing AI
Let’s just get this one out of the way. AI is everywhere, and Microsoft is pushing it harder than most because of its multi-billion dollar investment in the world’s leading artificial intelligence company, OpenAI.
So, you won’t be surprised to hear that Microsoft has integrated that technology into Edge. When you click the Bing icon in the top right corner of the browser, you will have access to Bing AI. It’s powered by ChatGPT-4, and works as an advanced chatbot and content creator.
Microsoft is pitching it as your AI-powered co-pilot. It can do everything from answering simple questions to writing blog posts and essays, but to get the best out of it, you need to know how to ask it for what you want.
That means learning some prompts, but once you have the basics under your belt, the sky is the limit, and this technology will only continue to improve. Having it built-in to your web browser is very convenient.
2. Shopping Tools
Microsoft Edge includes a variety of shopping tools that can help users save money while shopping online. Two of these key features are Coupons and Price Comparisons.
With Coupons, Edge users can quickly and easily find and apply discounts for online purchases. When shopping on a supported site, Edge will automatically notify users of available coupons, and users can apply them with just a click of a button.
The Price Comparisons feature, allows users to compare prices for a specific product across multiple retailers. When viewing a product on a supported site, Edge will show users a list of prices for the same product from other retailers, making it easier to find the best deal.
Although there are extensions for these like Honey or the Amazon Shopping Assistant, it’s convenient to have them built-in to the browser you are already using.
3. Vertical Tabs
Microsoft’s vertical tabs are designed to make browsing more efficient and productive for users.
With vertical tabs, you can move your browser tabs from the traditional horizontal position to a vertical sidebar on the left side of the screen. This allows you to see more tabs at once and quickly switch between them without having to scroll horizontally.
Additionally, you can group your tabs by topic or project, making it easier to stay organized and quickly find the information they need. By using vertical tabs, you can reduce clutter in your browser window and focus more on the task at hand.
Vertical tabs are not unique to Edge, but once you adjust to having your tabs on a different side of your browser, many people find it hard to go back to horizontal tabs.
4. Image Creator
The AI image generator in Microsoft Edge is a powerful tool that uses machine learning algorithms to automatically generate high-quality images from simple text descriptions.
Image Creator uses the power of DALL-E right to do this from the sidebar in Microsoft Edge. With this feature, you can quickly and easily create images for a variety of purposes, including social media, graphic design, and more. Just type what you want a picture of, and click “Create”.
This new Edge feature is currently only available on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices, and only with English language descriptions, but Microsoft hopes to expand this in the near future.
5. Drop for File Sharing
The “Drop” feature in Microsoft Edge is a handy tool that allows users to quickly and easily share web content with others.
With the Drop, users can simply drag and drop web content such as links, images, or text into a small icon located in the top-right corner of the Edge browser window. This will create a shareable link that users can then send to others via email or social media.
Drop also allows users to easily save content to their OneDrive or SharePoint account. This feature makes it much easier and more efficient to share and save web content, and can be especially useful for those who frequently collaborate with others or need to share web content as part of their work.
6. Accessibility Tools
Microsoft Edge includes a range of accessibility features to make browsing the web easier for everyone, including those with visual or cognitive impairments. Two key features are Immersive Reader and Read Aloud.
Immersive Reader allows users to customize the appearance of web content to make it easier to read, with options such as adjusting the text size and font style, changing the background color, and line spacing.
Additionally, Immersive Reader can remove distractions such as images or ads, making it easier to focus on the text, (see image below).
Read Aloud, on the other hand, reads web content out loud to users, which can be particularly helpful for those who have difficulty reading. You can choose from multiple languages and adjust the speed and voice of the reader to your liking.
These accessibility features can significantly improve the browsing experience for everyone, and can quickly make your online experience more enjoyable.
Collections is a feature in Microsoft Edge that allows you to collect and organize web content across devices.
With Collections, you can easily gather information from different web pages into one place, making it simple to keep track of research, plan a trip or organize a shopping list.
You can add text, links, images, and even entire web pages to a collection, and then access them from any device with Edge installed. Collections also makes it easy to export your content to other applications, such as Word or Excel, or share your collection with others via email or social media.
With Collections, you can streamline your research process and keep everything organized in one place. And, if you currently have 67 open browser tabs that you are afraid to close in case you lose something important, Collections could be just what you need!
8. Image Editor
This one is just kind of wild. If you hover your mouse over any picture on a website, you can click the three dots in the top-right corner and summon the Microsoft Image Editor.
It looks just like the image editing tools in the Photos app, and it allows you to crop, rotate, and flip and image. You can make color adjustments, add a filter, or mark it up with annotation tools.
When you are done, you can save the image to your computer or copy it to your clipboard. Just be wary of copyright implications if you decide to use this image elsewhere.
I have no idea what you would use this feature for, but I do think it’s incredible that it exists inside a web browser.
9. Sidebar Tools
At school, we learned how to convert units of measure, translate words, and calculate numbers. However, now that we are living and working in the digital age, we often turn to a computer to do those tasks for us.
That’s why the sidebar tools in Microsoft Edge are so handy. Simply click the red toolbox to reveal a plethora of handy utilities that are just waiting for your next request.
There is a calculator, a unit converter, a language translator, a dictionary, and a world clock tool. They live here, quietly, until called upon and are frequently quicker than Googling the answer to your question.
If you don’t see the red toolbox, click the plus sign on the sidebar and enable it by clicking the toggle next to “Tools”.
10. Password Manager
The new Microsoft Edge browser includes a variety of features designed to help users manage their passwords and keep their online accounts secure.
One of these key features is the built-in password manager, which allows users to securely store your passwords and login information. Edge can generate (and remember) strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts, which can help prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
Additionally, Edge includes a Password Monitor feature that will automatically alert you if any of your saved passwords are found in a known data breach. This feature helps users stay aware of potential security threats and take action to protect their accounts.
Personally, I think I will always use a third-party password manager like Bitwarden or 1Password, but if you don’t already have a password manager, this could be a decent option to get you started.
Bonus pick: Chrome Extensions
Because Microsoft Edge is built on the same technologies that Google uses for Chrome, you can install any extension from the Chrome Web Store.
You don’t need to enable anything in Settings, or install any additional software. Just head on over to the Chrome Web Store, and start installing some extensions!