Living on the (New) Edge: Extensions

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 7 Comments

Those moving to the new Edge will find new ways to obtain and manage extensions, no matter which browser they currently use.

If you’re familiar with classic Edge, you may know that extensions—which literally extend the functionality of your web browser beyond the capabilities provided by its maker—are managed through a uniquely Microsoft pane-based interface (accessed by navigating to Settings and more > Extensions).

Here, you can managed installed extensions, access a list of suggested extensions—and install them directly from the pane—and find a link that loads the Edge Extensions page in the Microsoft Store.

Most extensions place an icon in the classic Edge toolbar. Sometimes this is useful, but for those extensions that don’t need to be visible all the time, you can hide them in the Settings and more menu by right-clicking them and choosing de-selecting “Show next to address bar.”

In the new Edge, however, extensions work a bit differently. In some ways, this system is similar to classic Edge, but in others it is more like Google Chrome. And there are a few new twists as well.

As with classic Edge, you can access new Edge’s extensions by navigating to Settings and more > Extensions. In Chrome, this interface is more hidden, and is found under a More tools menu item. But the interface that appears in no longer a pane. Instead, it occupies the full browser window, as it does in Chrome. But because it is styled with Edge typography and iconography, it still seems familiar and natural.

As with the Extensions pane in classic Edge, this interface lists your installed extensions so that you can manage them, and it provides a link to find more extensions in the Microsoft Store. But there are some key differences, too. For example, for now, new Edge extensions are only available from the web version of the Microsoft Store. Which, frankly, provides a more attractive interface anyway.

You can also enable an option, “Allow extensions from other stores,” which lets you install any Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store. And if you do install Chrome Web Store-based extensions, those will be listed separately in your extensions list here.

Since you’re coming from another web browser, you’ll probably want to install the same extensions you’re already using and trust. My advice is to find them in the Microsoft Store first. And if they’re not present there, then use the Chrome Web Store to install from there.

(Note that extensions don’t currently sync between PCs, so you’ll need to manually install extensions on each PC for which you’re using the new Edge. That will obviously change over time.)

As with classic Edge, you can also hide extension toolbar icons if you don’t need them to be visible. This works as it does in Chrome: Right-click an extension item and choose “Move to menu” from the context menu that appears.

My experience with both new Edge and Chrome extensions has been mostly positive before. But I’ve had a few issues. For example, Grammarly doesn’t appear to be working, so I’ll soon experiment with using the Chrome Web Store version instead. I don’t see this as a major problem, as these kinds of things are to be expected during this early pre-release time period. Most people will likely be just testing the new Edge at this time, and testing extensions is a key part of that.

Elevate the Conversation!

Join Thurrott Premium to enjoy our Premium comments.

Premium member comments on news posts will feature an elevated status that increases their visibility. This tab would allow you to participate in Premium comments with other premium members. Register to join the other Premium members in elevating the conversation!

Register or Subscribe

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register