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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.

While you probably know your way around a modern browser by now, here's the quick guide to navigating Edge: To the upper left are back- and forward-arrows, followed by the loop icon to reload a page. Once you add a home icon, it will appear next. The search/address bar is in the middle of the screen. And to the top right are the icons we'll be exploring in a bit: Reading View, Favorites, the Hub (Reading List), Web Notes, Share, and finally the Settings icon.

How do I...?

Navigating with the browser is pretty intuitive. Type a Web address into the search box, navigate forward and back with the arrows, and add favorites by clicking the Favorite (star) icon. If you want to open a new tab, click the + sign in the header bar or type Ctrl+T.

Surfing privately via an InPrivate window requires you to click the ellipsis menu in the upper right corner, then launch the InPrivate session via drop-down option. InPrivate won't hide your activity from your employer or your ISP, however, as they can track your activity at the network level. But your browsing won't leave a record on your PC.

The two things you'll probably want to do immediately are set up a homepage, and import any saved bookmarks.

Unfortunately, adding a homepage requires an unexpectedly deep dive into the Settings menu, of all places. See that ellipsis (...) menu to the upper right? Click it, scroll down to the Settings, and then all the way down, again, to the "View advanced settings" button. At the very top of that page, you'll see a toggle to "show the home button." Make sure that's enabled, and then add a homepage, such as (ahem)

In the Settings menu, you may have seen a toggle to switch between the "light" and "dark" theme. You may not be a fan of the light theme; I'm not. Swap it to the dark theme for a bit more panache.

Importing favorites requires you to enter the Settings menu yet again, but just the first page. You'll probably want the Favorites bar turned on, and then click "Import Favorites from another browser."

This is where it gets a bit tricky. If you're exporting favorites from Internet Explorer 11 from another PC, enter the Favorites tab, click the drop-down menu at the top, wade through the menus, and then export the file to C:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\bookmark.htm. Copy it to the Windows 10 PC and try importing the favorites file. If that doesn't work, import the favorites to IE11, then use Edge to copy the favorites over automatically from that browser. 

If you've traditionally worked in Chrome, it's much simpler. Download Chrome onto your PC, which will automatically sync your bookmarks. Then switch to Edge, and import the favorites from there. If you want to rearrange your Favorites, though, you'll have to keep reading.


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