This past weekend, I made the switch from Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge. It was a reluctant switch for me after using Chrome almost exclusively since 2012, but it was worth it. I noticed right away the major changes Microsoft made with Edge that I didn’t have with Chrome, and I want to showcase that.
My personal past grievances with Microsoft Internet Explorer were what made me reluctant to switch in the first place. They had started making the browser better since their Windows 10 launch in 2020 and it has (for better or worse) shaken off the past reputation IE has had. In fact, I have only used Internet Explorer to download Chrome. Well, not anymore
My switch to Edge happened because I knew a couple of people who had told me their CPUs were working too hard when using Chrome. After switching to Microsoft Edge, they noticed that their CPU wasn’t working as hard. That was a big change when I made the switch. I’ll get into that later, but here are other things I learned after making the switch
Switchover was easy
I’ll be honest — when I started using my current computer in October 2021, I used Microsoft Edge to download Google Chrome. I have used the browser a few times because my PDFs open there. However, the switchover was easy and painless because it copied what I had with Chrome. I’m talking about bookmarks, extensions, passwords, and even the current tabs I had opened on Chrome.
Another thing I noticed right away was the daily Microsoft Rewards tasks. I had been doing this every morning for the past week and in my opinion, it’s a great way to earn points by using Bing while learning about new things, even though I’m a Google person at heart. You can earn points by solving a puzzle, taking part in a daily poll, answering quick questions, searching certain items, and sometimes you get bonuses. You can even set a goal with those points. I set my goal of receiving a $10 Amazon Gift Card, which can be redeemed for 10,500 points (at the time I have 1050 points. That’s 10% for you math illiterates). Overall, I like this feature and I think you should give it a shot
Sleeping tabs save resources
This was a very noticeable thing for me, and this feature sets itself apart from Google Chrome. If enabled, Edge will put your tabs to sleep after a certain amount of time, from 30 seconds to 12 hours. I have mine set to 30 minutes. You can access it by going to Settings > System and Performance > Optimize Performance. From there, you can turn on “save resources with sleeping tabs” and you can then set a timer for when your tabs stay active. This has been a huge help as Chrome keeps your tabs awake throughout your time on the browser (and it will even reload after just 5 seconds of inactivity. I had to download an extension to stop it from happening)
I was reluctant about this feature at first because I’m so used to having tabs on the top of the browser. I gave it a try and it felt as if I had decluttered my browser. You can even pin it for easier access, which is up to the user in hand. I decided to switch to vertical tabs and even pin them because I like to easily switch between them and the constant hovering over them gets annoying for my day-to-day operations. This is entirely up to you, but I would recommend it
Easy on CPU
This was a major reason I switched over. If you have been noticing that your CPU has been working overtime to keep Chrome running, you will be very surprised when you switch over to Microsoft Edge. It’s less taxing on your CPU and your computer fan will be very happy. This was the case for my mom, who had to switch over because her computer fan was working overtime and it was making a lot of noise. I even noticed it with my CPU. If you’re looking to lower your CPU output, this is the browser to use
Websites as Apps
I’m not too keen on this one because I thought they were apps that you can pin to your sidebar so that you can open them with ease. It turns out that they actually pin to your taskbar. My taskbar is cluttered as it is, so that was a huge no from me. If you’re up for it, go ahead, but I wouldn’t use it if I were you
The one thing my Microsoft Edge account did not copy over from my Chrome account was the Chrome Bookmarks. The bookmarks were great, but they didn’t have a way of organizing them. I just started using the collections feature after reading about it and how it’s better than keeping your tabs open indefinitely. It works like Bookmarks, but you can make more than one. So far I made two collections — one was exclusively YouTube videos I have saved since Saturday. If you’re into organizing, this feature is for you.
Bing is King
As mentioned earlier, I am a Google person at heart. The vast majority of my searches over the years were on Google. However, going to a new tab and searching on the browser bar will take you to Bing’s search page (you can get 5 points per search up to 55 points). It’s a minor inconvenience but it is Microsoft after all, so they have to promote their products. Just like Chrome and the Google search engine
Math Solver, Citations, Web Capture
I actually found this feature while setting up Edge and it immediately caught my eye. I added the math solver (which is useful for a math person like me), a citations button (to help me cite sources for important pieces), and a web capture (to take a picture of my screen when needed). There are also buttons for sharing, performance, web select, history, downloads, and more. Those can be found by going to Settings > Appearance > Select which buttons to show on the toolbar.
Overall, I’m happy to make the switch to Edge because of lower CPU outputs, ways to earn points using Bing, and the number of features that Chrome just didn’t have. I hope this review finds its way to your decision to use Microsoft Edge