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How to use Microsoft Edge, Windows 10's new browser

Mark Hachman | July 28, 2015
Microsoft's Edge aspires to be your browser for the modern Web, the board on which you surf the Internet within Windows 10. It's certainly functional. But how do you use it effectively? We can show you.

microsoft edge

Microsoft's Edge aspires to be your browser for the modern Web, the board on which you surf the Internet within Windows 10. It's certainly functional. But how do you use it effectively? We can show you.

Like Windows 10, Edge aims to make life simple. The interface is basic, urging you to pay more attention to the Web content it displays than the user interface itself. And the settings provide a number of simple toggles to turn features on and off.

Edge also hides a number of its best features. Our favorite is Cortana, who steps in and provides additional context when you ask. But other aspects--Reading View, for example--also can enhance your experience as you browse the Web, and you can save articles to a Reading List for later.

Believe it or not, you have a choice of two browsers inside Windows 10: the legacy Internet Explorer 11 as well as Microsoft Edge. Given that you're probably familiar with IE11, we've chosen to focus on the new, more modern browser.

First steps

First, you'll need to launch Edge. Some of you may prefer to find the "edgy E" icon in the Start menu, others in the list of all apps. But if you look down at the bottom of the screen, chances are that you'll find the small "e" icon. Click it.

Once you launch Edge, you'll see a broad, gray window (above), most likely full of small snippets of content from Microsoft's topical content aggregators, the MSN apps. Microsoft makes an effort to make the homepage something like Cortana or your Start menu, with some rotating news pieces, the weather, and maybe even some sports scores. Note the small "Customize" link to the upper right. That opens up a really bare-bones page where you can highlight one or more of six topics to highlight on the homepage. If you were expecting subtopics or specialized interests, they weren't there at press time.

When you launch a new tab, you might also see some small, square icons containing frequently-visited sites. At top, you'll see the search box.

By default, Edge uses the Bing search engine to search, which we've found to be the equal to Google in most regards. Remember, you can either type a Web address directly into the search box, or else enter a search term or two that Bing can hunt down.

The bold decision that Edge made was to swap your home screen for its own; by default, Microsoft chooses what you look at. (There's not even a homepage icon unless you choose to add one.) You can choose your own home page, though--we'll get to that in just a bit.

 

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