Living on the (New) Edge: Favorites

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 with 17 Comments

Those coming from classic Edge may find Favorites management in the new Edge a bit unfamiliar. But Chrome users will feel right at home.

When classic Microsoft Edge debuted in the original version of Windows 10 in mid-2015, it offered a unique interface for Favorites and other items called the Hub. This interface appeared as a pinnable pane that also included Reading list, History, and Downloads management. And when ebook support arrived in 2017, the Hub added Books management too.

That Hub interface is essentially still available in classic Edge today, but Microsoft no longer uses the Hub name, and a Favorites icon has replaced the old Hub icon in the classic Edge toolbar.

Which … doesn’t really matter because everything has changed in the new Edge. Unless, that is, you’re currently a Chrome user, in which case everything is the same: Favorites management in the new Edge works almost exactly like it does in Chrome. I happen to like this approach, but opinions will vary. And it is possible that Microsoft will change the interface to something more akin to classic Edge if enough testers complain.

We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s how Favorites management works in the new Edge today.

First, the new Edge displays the Favorites Bar by default for some reason. If you don’t want that, right-click it and choose Show favorites bar > Never from the context menu that appears.

To view your favorites list, navigate to Settings and more > Favorites. (The old keyboard shortcut, CTRL + I, does not currently work in the new Edge.) Your Favorites will appear in a menu.

This menu is OK for accessing individual favorites, and you can right-click favorites or folders to perform simple management tasks. But if you want to manage your favorites as a whole, you can access a new Favorites interface instead. To do so, navigate to Settings and more > Favorites > Manage favorites.

Here, you can perform all of the standard favorites management tasks, including the ability to drag and drop favorites to the positions you prefer. (This works in both the tree structure on the left and the main view.) You can also import your favorites (bookmarks) from other browsers and export favorites to an HTML file.

What’s missing, of course, is the ability to pin Favorites as a pane on the side of the browser window. Those who like that behavior can hope that Microsoft adds it later (and provide feedback to that effect). Or you can consider moving your frequently-needed favorites to the Favorites Bar and leaving that displayed instead.

One final note about Favorites: Today, they are the only user data that actually syncs via your Microsoft account between PCs. So if you install and manage your favorites in the new Edge on one PC, they will replicated when you install the new Edge on another PC. (Favorites do not currently sync between the new Edge and Edge Mobile, but that will change over time.)

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Living on the (New) Edge: Favorites”

  1. Rob_Wade

    I much prefer the favorites bar. I don't want another panel on the side of my browser.

    • silversee

      In reply to Rob_Wade:

      Preferences are valid. I'll just point out, however, that in the case of the Edge hub, the panel does not need to be pinned for quick access to favorites. A single click or tap will do it; also for History.

      A favorites bar is useless unless it is persistent, which takes away highly needed vertical space, especially on devices with 13" or smaller displays. I disable this on every browser I use.

      I strongly prefer the way Edge handles this vs. desktop browsers like Chrome or Firefox, which generally require more clicks to get to your favorites list which is less touch friendly.

      • Todd Northrop

        In reply to Silversee:

        Chrome has more than 1 billion users currently. Apparently, the majority of people using computers on planet Earth (and I) disagree with you. I think Edge currently has 3%-4% market share. Edge does a few things very well (such as performance), but favorites are not among them. And using favorites folders with a mouse on Edge is an utter disaster. Now that it's using Chrome-style folders, using a mouse is a joy again.

  2. gibber

    The new Edge doesn't seem to support "icon only" favorites on the favorites bar - at least I couldn't find a way. Hopefully that will be added at some point.

  3. edzucker

    This is way more usable than edge. The performance difference on my surface 3 is night and day. If it only had vertical tabs and the ability to open bookmarks in a new tab. That would dispalce firefox as my goto browser.

  4. Atoqir

    This is the first misstep for me.

    In chrome my bookmark list in the bookmark manager fits on half of my 4K screen. On Edge II I even need to scroll cause the list does not fit on my screen because everything is huge.

    Also the font on address bar is too BIG compared to other browsers

  5. Trickyd

    Does it allow you to paste links into the Address bar yet? That was the bit of Edge sheer stupidity that always stopped me using it before and that had nothing to do with the rendering engine.

  6. s0569k

    Was suprised that i was able to install the Edge Insider build on my Surface Go in S mode.

  7. Stooks

    "Those coming from classic Edge may find Favorites management in the new Edge a bit unfamiliar"

    The now OLD Edge basically had NO managment of Favorites. It was a disaster. Also you could not Sync favorites from a Domain Joined PC to a home PC not in a domain.

    This is just Chromium default Favorites management.

  8. Bats

    I find using (more like trying) the new Edge rather weird. It's hard to describe. I guess it's kinda like....when someone loses a sports bet, and the loser has to wear the winner's favorite teams' sports jersey for the rest of his life (lol). Here, in this case, it's as if Edge lost the browser "bet" and now it has to wear Chrome's jersey..........forever. Not just that, but play in THEIR stadium or "home turf" as well. 

    As much as this is a "survival" move for Microsoft and the Edge browser, it's also the right move for the company (not firm) from a business standpoint. Microsoft can name it all they want, but the bottom line's still Chrome. Can Microsoft steal Chromium away from Google (so to speak)? Taking into context all the plans Microsoft was rumored to do in their battles with Google, I can't help think that they gotta be up to something! Take for example Cyanogenmod. LOL...I remember reading one of the Cyanogenmod's people explicitly said that it's main goal was to take Android away from Google. LOL....then Microsoft went and made a huge investment with them. Well, in Microsoft fashion, that failed. I can't help think that's what Microsoft is trying to do again with Chromium, and that is to, "steal" Chrome away from Google.

    • Stooks

      In reply to Bats:

      They are using Chromium which is open sourced. Yes Google is a major contributor but as was posted yesterday Microsoft has already contributed changes to the source. Brave and Vivaldi also use the Chromium source and contribute back to it.

      Microsoft will not take away the Chromium project. They will probably get some % of users, especially on Windows to move to their version of Chromium, which will give Google way less data....which is alwasy a good thing.

    • MutualCore

      In reply to Bats:

      No. It's Microsoft's flavor of a Chromium browser. Chrome != Chromium. Check all the Google features that were not included in this, primarily the Google data sync. Meaning, no Google spyware.

  9. Chris_Kez

    Forgive the newb question, but what kind of review do extensions undergo before they're published? When we switched to G Suite we got a long note from IT about being careful with extensions.

  10. silversee

    Paul wrote, re. favorites: "I happen to like this approach, but opinions will vary."

    Well, that's probably an understatement for any serious Edge user. Favorites/History/Reading List management is one of my favorite things about Edge. It is super fast to get to your favorites when needed, without having to keep a panel open or use a dated looking bookmarks bar, which chews up necessary vertical space.

    Chrome requires a second click to get to bookmarks. And let's not even get started on how touch unfriendly the whole experience is.

    I do hope Microsoft at least provides an option in Edgium to change up the UI for those of us who actually, you know, actually use their fancy pants tablet PCs.


  11. bncz1

    Paul , many thanks for the numerous articles on the new Edge. I find them well written and very helpful

  12. jules_wombat

    This is seriously poor user interface. I have about 120 sites captured under favourites, and about 25 used frequently. Since IE 3 I have simply hit the favourites button to get to them .

    Too many to have in favourites bar or to auto open in tabs. Hiding favourites down in extended Settings is beyond stupid.