10 Tips to Take Control of Microsoft Edge10

It’s now official: Microsoft has released its new Edge browser, built using the open-source Chromium code base for its stable channel The new Microsoft Edge 10 browser is now available for all supported Windows versions (Windows 7 and later) as well as MacOS.

Note that on Windows 10, your old Edge browser will automatically be upgraded to the new Edge if you are using a commercial version of Windows – except for Enterprise and Server editions, or on systems where the user logged in using Active Directory or Azure Active Directory. In the latter cases, the update will not be done automatically.

So you can start using the new Edge! Nevertheless, it is recommended that you make a few adjustments before you begin. The tips provided generally work on all systems, but this guide is primarily intended for Windows 10 users. Most of the options described in this guide can be changed by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser window (or by pressing Alt+F) and then choosing Settings from the Edge menu.

Set your browser’s default settings

When you install the new Edge, you are prompted to make it your default browser. You may accept or decline this option, and you may change your mind at any time thereafter. To change this setting in Windows 10, go to Settings > Applications > Default Applications, , and then click the icon under web browser to change your default browser.

At the bottom of the Default Applications page, click Set Application Defaults, click your default browser name, and then click Manage. This option gives you more granular control over browser settings, such as the ability to specify that you want another application to open PDF files for example.

However, even after you set up your favorite application to open PDF files it may still open in Edge. Indeed, there is another parameter to change. Open the Edge application, go to Settings > Site Permissions > PDF Documents (edge://settings/content/pdfDocuments) and enable the option Always open PDF files externally.

Synchronize browser data between different devices

If you use Edge on several devices, you can synchronise the navigation data between these devices. The synchronization feature requires you to log in with a Microsoft account or an Azure Active Directory account. You will then have access to the synchronization parameters.

In the initial version of the Stable channel (released in January 2020), you can already customize synchronization to include favorites, navigation settings, form-filling data (such as addresses and contact information), and passwords. Future versions will add options (already available in the Dev channel) such as browsing history, open tabs and extensions.

To change the synchronization settings, click on the profile picture in the upper right corner of the browser window and then click Manage Profile Settings > Synchronize (edge://settings/profiles/sync). Pro Tip: If you are using a third-party password manager, disable the password synchronization setting.

Add profiles

If you prefer to keep some browsing activities separate from others, set up multiple profiles. You can add as many as you like, and you can choose to connect each profile to an online account or use it without logging in.

To add a new profile, click on the photo in the upper right corner of the browser window (or go directly to: edge://settings/profiles/), and then click Add Profile. If you log in using a Microsoft account or Azure AD credentials, you can enable synchronization for the new profile.

Edge assigns a default profile name. To change the profile settings, open the Profile page, then click the three dots to the left of the Login (or Logout) button. You can customize the profile name and add a custom icon for profiles that are not associated with a Microsoft account. If you want to change the image of a profile associated with a Microsoft account, you have to go directly to the account settings.

Block third party trackers and ads

Probably the most important feature of Microsoft’s new browser is the Follow Prevent feature (not to be confused with the old ineffective Do Not Follow setting). In Normal Use mode – the default – the Tracking Prevention feature blocks most third-party trackers from sites you haven’t visited, as well as known malicious trackers.

In Settings > Privacy and Services, you can change this setting. By setting it to Strict you will block third-party trackers, even from sites you have visited. This option also works effectively as an advertising blocker.

Some sites may be blocked if you use the Strict level. The quickest way to solve this kind of problem is to click on the padlock icon in the address bar and then, under Tracker Protection, set the switch to Off. This automatically adds an entry for this site under the Tracking Prevention Exceptions. Turn the switch back on to remove the exception from the list.

Installing extensions

Since the new Edge is based on the open-source Chromium project, it supports extensions written for other Chromium-based browsers. This includes the Chrome Web Store, which means that if you have a favorite Chrome extension, you can install it in Edge.

Before you can install extensions from other sources, you must configure Edge to allow this option. You can do this by going to Settings > Extensions (or edge://extensions) and enabling the Allow extensions from other stores button in the lower left corner. If you have not enabled this option and you go directly to the Chrome Web Store, for example, a banner will allow you to do so. You can then download, install and use the extensions of the chosen awning.

Customize new tab page

When you open a new tab (by pressing Ctrl+T or clicking the + sign to the right of the current tab group), Edge displays a default page related to Microsoft Services. You can customize this page by clicking on the cogwheel icon at the top of the New Tab page.

There are three default options:

  • Minimalist: a nearly blank page with a search bar and customizable quick links (shortcuts for example). As you scroll down the page, you will see the content of Microsoft News.
  • Artistic: In the background is the daily background image of Bing. The rest of the provision is identical to the minimalist version.
  • Informational: The artistic layout is condensed, and the Microsoft News content is displayed just below it, on the main page, without the need for scrolling.

There is a fourth option: Custom. You can remove everything except the search bar, which necessarily uses Microsoft Bing (see the next section on how to work around this setting). When you sign in to Edge using an AD Azure account associated with an Office 365 Business or Enterprise subscription, you can replace Microsoft News content with shortcuts to Office 365 documents and services, but the Custom option is not available.

Set your Search Engine settings

Not surprisingly, Microsoft’s new browser sets Bing, the American giant’s other baby, as the default Search Engine to handle search requests and suggestions when you enter a search term in the address bar.

If you prefer to use a different Search Engine for these requests, go to Settings > Privacy and Services. At the very bottom of the page, click on the arrow to the right of Address Bar. You can then choose one of the predefined search engines – from Qwant, Yahoo or Google – or click Manage search engines to add a custom search option.

This option does not apply to the search bar that appears in the middle of a new tab, only to the top search bar. If you want to change the mid-page search, you will need to use a third-party extension (such as Infinity New Tab or Infinite Dashboard).

Block notifications

Modern websites love browser notifications. The new Edge prompts you to allow or block these notifications the first time you visit one of these sites. Once you’ve made your choice, Edge adds this site to the list of blocked or allowed sites. But if you prefer not to see any notification, you can. To do this, go to Settings > Site Permissions (or edge://settings/content) and click Notifications.

Drag the Ask Me Before Sending button to the Off position and you no longer receive invitations from any site. Those that you have already allowed or blocked will remain on the respective lists. Tip: If you want to receive notifications from a site, you don’t need to add it manually; instead, temporarily re-enable the Ask Me Before Sending button, visit the site and click Allow when you see the notification prompt, then disable the button again.

Manage saved passwords

Like all modern browsers, the new Edge includes a powerful and secure password manager. If you are logged in with an online account, you can synchronize these passwords between different devices (including mobile devices). To configure it, go to Settings > Profiles > Passwords (or to edge://settings/passwords). You can enable or disable this feature using the Password Registration Offer button. You can also choose to log in automatically using saved passwords.

All of your currently saved login credentials are listed under Saved Passwords. Click on the eye icon to display the password for a specific site (you will need to enter the Windows password or use Windows Hello to confirm your identity). Click on the three dots to the right of an entry to view the details, reveal a password and copy it to the clipboard, or delete the entry.

If you disable the password manager, you will be able to continue using previously saved passwords. If you want to delete all the information stored on this profile, you will need to use the Clear Navigation Data option in Settings > Privacy and Services > Clear Navigation Data > Select the items to be deleted. You can then choose At any time in the Time Interval section, then select the Passwords box (uncheck the other boxes if you wish to keep the other navigation data). Click Clear Now to confirm the deletion.

After deleting saved passwords, be sure to confirm that the option to synchronize passwords with your user profile is also disabled. Finally, if you are using a third-party password manager, make sure that it has an option to take over the role of password manager. 1Password, for example, has a setting that makes it the default password manager, but you must enable this option manually after installing the 1Password extension.

Configuring Download Locations

By default, all files you download with the new Edge go into the Downloads folder in your session. To choose another default folder, go to Settings > Downloads (or edge://settings/downloads), click Edit, and choose the folder of your choice.

You can also activate the option Ask me where each file is saved before downloading if you prefer to choose each time you download a new file.

Source: ZDNet.com

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