One of the new features of Windows 10's Anniversary Update is support for Microsoft Edge extensions.
Originally released in the Windows 10 Insider Build 14291, extension support is now available to all users who have updated the operating system to the Anniversary Update version.
Microsoft Edge extensions are similar in functionality to extensions for Google Chrome. The company stated earlier that it is easy to port Chrome extension to Microsoft Edge. The first batch of extensions are mostly Chrome ports of existing extensions.
The following guide walks you through the steps of discovering extensions for Microsoft Edge, installing them, using them, and managing them.
Only a few extensions are available for Microsoft Edge currently. It is likely that this is going to change as developers may have waited for the final version to be released before committing resources.
The primary way to discover and install Microsoft Edge extensions is via Windows 10's Windows Store.
You may get there directly from Edge by clicking on the three dots, then Extensions, and finally "Get extensions from the Store".
Selecting the option opens the extensions hub on Windows Store. You may click on any extension listed there to open the profile page of that extension on the Store.
There you find listed screenshots, a detailed description of its functionality, compatibility information, permissions the app requires, privacy and service agreements, and supported languages among other things.
The action button at the top may read "update" or "free". Free indicates that you have not installed the extension yet, and may do so for free. Update on the other hand means that an older version of the extension is installed and that you may update it.
The installation of the extension happens in the background. Edge won't turn on any extension that you install in the browser.
The browser displays a notification prompt that a new extension is available. It lists the name of the extension and the permissions that it requires. You may also turn it on, or keep it off for the time being.
Note that keeping it off keeps it listed as an extension in Edge. The "manage Edge extensions" part of the guide tells you how to remove extensions again from the browser.
The notification prompt may not be displayed directly when you launch Microsoft Edge or continue to use it. This is for instance the case for sideloaded extensions. You may need to click on Extensions explicitly to get the installation prompt.
Extension icons are listed either in Microsoft Edge's main toolbar, or the top menu row when you click on menu.
You may move any extension icon from one location to the other by right-clicking on it and then on the "show next to address bar" toggle.
The right-click menu lists a manage option that you may use to open the extension's profile page in Edge.
The following Edge extensions are currently available:
Extensions currently in development:
All installed extensions are listed when you click on the Extensions menu. Note that installed does not necessarily mean turned on. Edge displays the status of each extension underneath its name on the page.
While the display works currently as there are only a handful of extensions, it may not be suitable later on when some users install dozens of extensions in Microsoft Edge.
To manage extensions click on them in the Extensions listing. I suggest you click on the pin icon first to stick the extensions listing for the time being to the window so that you don't close it accidentally.
The page that opens lists the following information / options:
To remove the extension from Microsoft Edge, hit the uninstall button. A confirmation prompt is displayed when you hit the button to confirm the intent.
This removes the extension from Edge completely.
Some extensions ship with options. You may configure options only if the extension is enabled; the options button is inactive otherwise.
A click on it opens a local page that enables you to configure the extension using the provided preferences.
You need to enable extension developer features before sideloading becomes available. Sideloading refers to installing the extension from a different source than Windows Store.
Once done, a new "load extension" button appears when you open Extensions in Microsoft Edge. You may use it to load extensions on the local system.
Microsoft published resources for Enterprise customers that reveals how Edge extensions can be sideloaded.
A good starting point is the "Extensions for enterprise" documentation hub on the Microsoft Edge website.
There is only one Group Policy option available currently that handles extensions. It enables you to disable extensions in Microsoft Edge.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.