Teetering on the Edge
Much to my surprise - and excitement - I'm moving to Microsoft Edge as my main browser.
I was intrigued after reading about Jason Lengstorf using Edge as his browser.
I tried Microsoft Edge out of desperation one day and it’s… great, actually?
Most of my experience with Microsoft browsing is rooted in the famously terrible Internet Explorer. I’m on MacOS and have been using Safari as often as practical, with Chrome only where Safari doesn’t shine.
Both are fine and carry their own pros and cons, but neither has surprised or delighted me in years. Chrome, in particular, feels bloated and eats up more memory than I like, especially when trying to tackle my rather substantial addiction to large numbers of tabs.
I recently gave Edge a go and ran it. I’m falling for it. It’s fast, renders things the way I expect, and vertical tabs are having the largest positive impact on my day-to-day computer use of any feature in quite some time. I love my tabs. By the dozen. Keep em forever. But sometimes they don’t love me back; when I get too many it’s hard to see everything. With vertical tabs, hello always seeing each page’s title, no matter how many I have running!
With vertical tabs the titles are always in play. Simple and powerful - the best sort of feature.
With the why out of the way, time to share the what, including my Edge pros/cons and how I configure things.
Pros and Cons
Edge is my new browser at the moment. It doesn’t come without its tradeoffs though.
- Vertical Tabs. Game changer. I have 20-75 tabs open at any given time (story for another day). With that many open, two things happen. First, memory usage in Chrome suffers, impacting performance in other apps. Second, it’s hard to see which tabs are for which sites. Vertical tabs allow room to see the title of each site, even when the list of tabs grows.
- Speed. It’s unscientific, but I notice fewer slowdowns in Edge than Chrome. It’s perhaps a bit slower than Safari but that difference seems more negligble.
- Rendering. Support for modern CSS is great - I haven’t noticed any issues (unlike Safari, which throws occassional problems/oddities).
- Tab group formatting. Most modern browsers support group tabs together for easier management. All are okay. The visual use of grouping in Edge is especially pleasing to me.
- Configuration. The only downside I’ve found. Thus far it hasn’t outweighed those glorious vertical tabs, so I’m dealing. Chrome and Safari tend to only require a change in starting page toggling to remember all tabs on relaunch (so I don’t lose everything during a reboot/issue). Edge requires a good deal more, though - noted below. For me, these are the minimum to get it to a nice, quiet state without too many requests, shopping notifications, annoying startup pages, etc.
I’m leaving my settings here to remember them the next time I install Edge. Perhaps they’ll be useful for you, too.
Open settings by pressing
,. Search for the keywords at the start of each item below in the
Search settings box and make the noted adjustments (this is much faster than trying to click through all the menu items).
- Vertical tabs. Click
Show vertical tabs for all current browser windows.
- Search engine. Click
Address bar and searchand set
Search engine used in address barto your preference.
- Open tabs. Under
When Edge starts, select
Open tabs from the previous session.
- Default browser. Click
Make Defaultnext to
Make Microsoft Edge your default browser.
- New tab page. Click
Customize your new tab page layout and content. This opens up a new tab start page with more options. For the most vanilla page possible, I set
Recent Bing Searches,
Office sidebar, and
New tab tipsare all
- Shop. Scroll the list and ensure everyone shopping option/sub option is disabled/off.