First Look: Extensions and Pinned Tabs for Edge

Posted on March 17, 2016 by Brad Sams in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Extension Hero

Today is the day many Windows 10 users have been waiting for, extensions for Edge are finally here; that is, if you are willing to live in the Fast ring. While I know not everyone wants to be in the Fast ring and I don’t blame you as it can be unstable for a daily driver, here is a closer look at the new feature for those who are still waiting for the update.

To get started, the first thing you will need to do, after updating to the new build, is to grab an extension. Right now, the selection is a bit limited but you can find all them here.

When the download prompt opens, click run and this will setup the files needed and save them to your downloads folder. Then you need to load the extension which you do by clicking the menu icon (three dots) in the top right corner of Edge, selecting extensions, and then loading the files you downloaded.

Screenshot (3)The process to load the extensions is quite easy for the average PC user but Microsoft will be streamlining this process in the future. This is the first release and is not expected to be the final representation of functionality; when shipped to the consumer, extensions will be installed through the Windows store.

Once an extension is loaded, you will be able to see it from the top of the settings drop-down menu and you also have the option to show them next to the address bar. To remove an extension, open up the extension section of the settings menu and then click the gear icon and then select remove.

Even though the initial list is limited (there are only three extensions available today), Microsoft has said that AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, Evernote are all working on bringing their extensions to Edge.

In practice, the extensions work as intended and finally give Insiders a feature they have been wanting for since last summer. Seeing how extensions require a minimal amount of work to port a Chrome extension to Edge, expect to see the figures climb quickly in the near future.

Another feature Microsoft is delivering with this update are pinned tabs too. This is an easy way to permanently place a website tab in your browser and is quite handy if you frequent any website at regular intervals.

To pin a tab, right click and hit ‘Pin Tab’ and it will then by placed on the left side of the browser window. While not a revolutionary feature, it’s one more item checked off the Edge list to bring its feature-parity closer to that of Chrome and Firefox.

Overall, the extensions and pinned tabs feature make for a decent update to the browser but the biggest issue right now is that these features won’t be available to non-insider for several more months.

 

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