Microsoft Edge is powerful, fast and compatible, if lacking in a few basic features you may be used to with Internet Explorer or other browsers. That situation will improve over time, of course, but here’s what you can do now to configure Edge to work the way you want.
Most of these changes are found in Edge Settings, which can be accessed by selecting the More Actions (“…”) button in the upper right of the browser and then choosing Settings.
Edge isn’t extensible—yet—but Microsoft has at least built in two themes: the default theme, which many will find overly stark and a more contrasty Dark theme (which, frankly, many will find too dark). Choice is good.
Like IE before it, Edge supports a Favorites bar which you can use instead of—or in addition to—the menu-based favorites. I find this bar to be a bit big, but I do prefer it to using a menu. (And unlike with Chrome, you can’t give individual favorites no names and just use an icon, a limitation I’d like to see addressed.)
In a nod to evolving usage patterns, Edge doesn’t launch a home page (or pages) when you first run it. Instead, it displays its new Start page by default. But you can configure this as you wish, choosing a New Tab page, the pages that were previously loaded, or a specific home page or pages.
New tab pages
When you open a new tab, you can display the Top Sites view—the default—Top Sites with suggested content, or a blank page.
Like the similar feature in IE, Reading view is one of Edge’s best features. It’s also highly customizable, with Light, Medium, and Dark reading view styles and a variety of font size choices. So make it look the way you prefer.
Under Advanced Settings, you will find a number of other options.
Show the home button. Like other modern web browsers, Edge does not display a Home button by default. But you can enable one if you’d like.
Block pop-ups. Edge blocks pop-ups by default.
Use Adobe Flash Player. Edge provides Adobe Flash compatibility by default but you can disable this if you are worried about the security implications.
Always use caret browsing. Disabled by default, this feature is useful for those who need to navigate completely using a keyboard. (You can also enable caret browsing on the current tab by typing F7.)
Offer to save passwords. Like IE, Edge will prompt to save entered passwords by default. If you would rather not be prompted, you can disable this functionality.
Saved password management. Select “Manage my saved passwords” to access a list of your saved passwords in the settings pane. Here, you can delete passwords for individual sites.
Save form entries. Like other browsers, Edge will remember data you’ve entered in forms and then help you automatically reenter it if you revisit those sites. You can disable this feature if you’d like.
Send Do Not Track requests. After a brief foray trying to do the right thing in Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft no longer sends Do Not Track requests in Edge because so few web sites support this technology. You can enable it if you’d like.
Enable Cortana. Integration with Microsoft’s digital personal assistant is one of Edge’s best features and is enabled by default in supported locales. But you can disable this integration if you’d like.
Search engine configuration. You aren’t stuck with the Bing search engine. Instead, you can configure other search engines, including Google.
Search suggestions. Regardless of which search engine you’re using, Edge can show you search suggestions in a drop-down as you type. If you find this too useful, you can disable it.
Cookies. Edge doesn’t block cookies at all by default, which is a curious choice. You can change this to “Block only third party cookies” (which I recommend) or “Block all cookies.”