Microsoft Edge — the better browser from Microsoft — is readily updated with new features and fixes to provide us with a better web experience. That is the same reason that it is quickly gaining an edge with its competitors while surprising us with exciting features like aside tabs, read aloud, etc.
Though some of these features are borrowed from other popular web browsers, so you may know about them, but it has a few unique features as well. That is why I am going to introduce you to the best yet less-known features of Microsoft Edge and also detail you the steps to use them effectively. Let’s get started.
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Clear browsing history on exit
Your browser tends to hold a lot of information about your online browsing, making it a huge treasure trove of your data. That is why it is suggested to clear your browsing history every time you close your browser if you are concerned about your online privacy.
Fortunately, you can clear your browsing history automatically in Microsoft Edge. You can schedule auto-clearing of the history by following these steps:
- Open Microsoft Edge > click on the options button > select Settings.
- Under “Clear browsing data“, click on “Choose what to clear“.
- Now select the items to clear and click on the Clear button.
- Finally, toggle on “Always clear this when I close the browser“.
Configure various start pages
If you browse certain web pages every time you launch the browser, you can configure them to open automatically for you. Microsoft Edge will launch with those pages every time you open it, making it quick for you to browse them.
If you are excited, let’s see how to set multiple start pages on MS Edge:
- Click the options button of the browser > choose Settings.
- Select “A specific page or pages” for the option named “Open Microsoft Edge with” and type an address in the textbox named “Enter a URL” and press the save button to set the given address as a startup page.
- Finally, click the “Add new page” button to add more links.
Choose the dark/black theme
You can switch to a darker theme on Microsoft Edge, allowing you to work easily in the dark. The dark theme causes less strain on the eyes, making it possible for you to work longer.
It limits the screen brightness and conserves the battery as well. You can tweak the browser to change to a dark theme by following these steps:
- Click the options button of the browser > select Settings.
- Select Dark for the option named “Choose a theme“.
Ask to read aloud a web page
When you are too busy or too tired to read a page by yourself, you can ask your browser to read aloud the contents of a web page while you sit back and enjoy listening to it. You can also adjust the reading speed or pause the reading by clicking the person icon shown in the browser’s read aloud bar.
You can activate its read-aloud feature by clicking the options button and choosing the option named “Read aloud“. Please note that you can also right-click on the page and select “Read aloud” from the options.
Add any page to Reading list
We often find articles and blog posts interesting enough to read but we may not have enough time to go through it at the moment. In such a situation, you can add the page to the Reading list and get back to it when you are free.
It is possible to create your reading list to save web pages for later in MS Edge. You can follow these steps to save a web page into your reading list:
- Open a page in MS Edge > click the star in the address bar.
- Click the “Reading list” button, then click the Add button.
Highlight web pages & PDFs
Did you ever think you could annotate, draw, or highlight a web page or a PDF? MS Edge is the only browser to offer de-facto markup tools. You can click the “Add notes” button beside the address bar to switch to the annotations mode.
Once you are in the annotations mode, you can select one of the tools from the annotation bar and add a note, highlight, or clip a part of the page. You can do these all directly in the browser. Finally, you can save and share it as well.
Set aside open tabs for later
We usually open a lot of tabs in a window while browsing the web. It is easy to open multiple tabs but hard to organize them per needs.
Fortunately, MS Edge provides a superb feature (named “Set tabs aside”) to help you organize those tabs and avoid tab overload while browsing the Internet.
You can click the “Set these tabs aside” button present in the left of the tabs bar to set aside all the opened tabs. When you press it, all your tabs get stored in a temporary location, and you can get them back using a few clicks.
When you need them, press the “Tabs you’ve set aside” button and click “Restore tabs“.
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Check tools in Reading View
Reading View is an interesting feature of MS Edge which simplifies a web page for reading. What is more interesting is, Microsoft added some elegant grammar tools that allows you to highlight parts of speech, see syllables, etc.
The grammar tools package in the reading view helps to aid in comprehension. That said, you can follow these steps to activate the grammar features:
- When you are in reading view, click on an empty space of the article.
- Click on the “Grammar tools” button in the toolbar at the top of the page.
- If you do not yet have the package installed, click on GET to download it.
- After you have installed the package, click on the “Grammar tools” button again, and then click toggle on any or all of the options per requirements.
Check out all tabs’ previews
Microsoft Edge’s tab preview feature allows you to see thumbnails of the opened tabs. I find this feature quite handy when you have opened multiple tabs of the same domain, but you need to select one of them based on the content.
You can activate the tab preview bar by clicking on the “Show tab preview” button, which is present right beside the “New tab” button.
Enable dark mode for pages
Turn off the lights is an extension for Microsoft Edge that enables you to read a web page or watch a video in dark mode. After you install and enable it, a lamp button appears beside the address bar.
You can press the button to enable or disable the dark mode. Follow these steps to install and enable it:
- Click on the options button > click on Extensions.
- Click “Explore more extensions“, and search and install the extension named “Turn off the lights” from the Microsoft Store.
- Click again on the options button > choose Extensions.
- Click the “Turn it on” button beside the extension to enable it.
Block all tracking elements
Ghostery is another handy extension that blocks tracking elements during your browsing sessions. Its enhanced anti-tracking features protect your online privacy like the tracking protection in Mozilla Firefox.
Ghostery also packs in an ad-blocker that removes intrusive advertisements from the web pages so that you can focus on the worthy content. You must follow these steps to install the extension and enable it:
- Click on the options button of MS Edge > click on Extensions.
- Click the link “Explore more extensions“, and search and install this extension (“Ghostery“) from the Microsoft Store.
- Now click the options button > choose the option Extensions.
- Click on the “Turn it on” button for Ghostery to enable the extension.
That is all about the less-known features of Microsoft Edge. I hope you will try out these features and improve your productivity while using the browser.