Microsoft Edge includes several powerful features by default that let you get more out of the web. While Microsoft makes it easy to annotate webpages with Web Notes, search for information with Cortana and enjoy articles in Reading Mode, you can improve your Edge experience further by installing extensions.
Microsoft launched Edge’s extensions store with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update last summer. If you’re still using the 2015 November Update or the original version of Windows 10, you won’t be able to install any extensions.
To get started with extensions, you’ll first have to find them. Extensions are installed from the Windows Store but the Store app doesn’t include a tab to directly access them. Although there is a Microsoft Edge Extensions collection in the “Apps” category, the most reliable way of viewing the catalogue is to access it from within Edge itself.
Click the three dots in the top right corner to open Edge’s menu and then click “Extensions” to get to the extensions menu. From here, click “Get extensions from the Store” to switch to the Windows Store and find new extensions.
The Store page will display all the currently available extensions. The selection is still very limited but it is gradually growing. There are a few options from Microsoft, including OneNote Web Clipper and Bing Translator, and a handful of popular third-party offerings such as Adblock Plus, Ghostery and LastPass. Once you’ve found an extension you like, visit its store page and click the “Get” button to download it. It’ll install like any other app from the Store but you’ll need to restart Edge to enable it.
When the extension is downloaded and installed, it’ll be ready to use in Edge. If the extension has a navigation bar button, it will appear to the left of Edge’s menu icon. Other extensions might not offer a user interface, instead adjusting page elements to tweak the browsing experience.
To customise the operation of extensions, return to their dedicated Edge menu by clicking the “…” icon and then “Extensions” again. All of your installed extensions will now display in the list. If you click one, its settings page will appear. You can view a description of the extension, its current version and its granted permissions.
To disable an extension, click the toggle button underneath its name. Although it isn’t labelled well, this button controls whether the extension is loaded with Edge. You might need to disable an extension if you suspect it’s slowing your browser down or is causing problems on webpages. Alternatively, you can remove the extension entirely with the “Uninstall” button.
Depending on the extension, you might also see other toggles in its menu. The “Show button next to the address bar” option controls whether the extension’s icon should appear in Edge’s menu bar. If you turn this option off, the extension will instead appear at the top of the main Edge menu, accessed with the “…” icon. Finally, some extensions, like Translator, may display a link to a dedicated settings page. This lets you change more details than can fit within Edge’s own extension management pane.
Extensions for Microsoft Edge can make the browser simpler and more convenient to use. Although it doesn’t yet possess the thousands of extensions available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, the selection is steadily growing as developers port their products over. You can expect to see more extensions arrive in the near future, adding new integrations with third-party services and additional Edge functionality.Further reading: Microsoft Edge, Web browser, web browsing