Let’s face it: Internet Explorer has always been the butt of jokes when surfing the web. It’s slow, clunky and full of security holes and has since the beginning.
While Microsoft has invested over the last few years in IE to make it better, it just seemed they couldn’t get away from the stigma associated with their flagship browser. That’s where Microsoft Edge comes in.
Edge is Microsoft’s new flagship browser. Let’s take a look at how to get started with Edge, what you can do with it and why you should give it a shot.
What You Need to Know About Edge
It should come as no surprise that Edge comes as the default browser in Windows 10. In fact, regardless of what browser was default before you upgrade, you’ll find that it’s automatically switched to Edge in Windows 10. You can easily switch it back with our guide here.
Edge originally went by the codename Project Spartan before the Windows 10 release. Edge is leaps and bounds above Internet Explorer in just about every way and on a clean install in Windows 10 can even outperform Chrome and Firefox out of the box.
It’s still missing some key feature, like add-on support which Microsoft claims is “coming soon.” (sometime during 1st half of 2016). There’s still render issues with certain websites and flash support, but more and more websites are getting used to coding to include Edge, too.
Getting Started with Edge
You’ll find the Edge icon in the Start Menu after installing or upgrading to Windows 10. Simply click on it to get started.
When you open Edge for the first time, you’ll be greeted by and introduction to Microsoft’s new browser. From there, you’ll notice Edge takes on the appearance of a Windows 10 universal app with clean lines, colors and a Start Screen-esque layout. It takes some time to get used to but if you used Windows 8 and 8.1, it’ll be a quick adaptation.
If you’re logged into a Microsoft Account, you’ll notice you’re automatically logged into it in Edge, too.
In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll find access to settings, Cortana note taking, sharing, along with bookmarks and favorites. These are in the toolbar and easy to access, making Edge more intuitive to work with than IE ever was.
By clicking on the “Settings” icon, you’ll have access to even more in Edge, including InPrivate browsing, a holdout from IE which works just the same for users looking to go undercover on the web.
You’ll be able to pin websites to the Start Menu from here, along with accessing search, print and developer tools. You can also open IE directly from Edge, which allows you to open the same page you’ve navigated to in Microsoft’s old browser.
You can also Send feedback form the Edge settings menu, something I recommend you take advantage of whenever you have issues or want to see features added to Edge.
Now, click on “Settings” from the settings menu.
Edge has simplified settings for the browser, making it easier to customize and change key ways the browser works. We recommend taking a walk-through the settings, tweaking what you want and getting to know Edge as a browser in Windows 10.
For now, Edge only works in Windows 10. There’s no telling whether Microsoft will make it available for other versions of Windows in the future.
IE, for the time being, will still be included, updated and part of the Windows OS.
Turning Off Flash in Edge
Flash has become a growing concern among web users over the last few years due to security flaws and just the overall outdated system of using flash online.
Here’s the steps you need to take to turn off Flash in Edge.
Open “Settings” in Edge.
Scroll to the bottom and click on “View advanced settings.”
Click the slider to turn off Flash under “Use Adobe Flash Player.”
Restart the browser and Flash will be disabled until you turn it back on yourself.
There’s still room for improvement in Edge but it runs better and smoother than IE ever did. If you’re looking to give Edge a chance, do so and keep an open mind. It took Microsoft a lot to give up the “Internet Explorer” name in Windows 10.
It’s clear Microsoft gets they can’t keep letting consumers utilize a browser that’s stuck in the 1990s. Edge is a leap forward, and while there’s room for more key changes, it looks like Microsoft is taking a step in the right direction. Give Edge a try, you might be surprised by the results.