Microsoft Edge Annoyances revisited - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft Edge Annoyances revisited

I published the article Microsoft Edge Annoyances back in mid-2016. Edge was about a year at that time, and it was still largely unusable (for me) then and there.

The article that you read right now looks back at the annoyances to find out if Microsoft resolved them. I will mention other issues that I have with Edge that I did not mention back then.

I use Edge on my Surface Pro 4 laptop almost exclusively to get a feel for the browser. Things have gotten better in the past year as far as I can tell.

Lag

Edge lag fix

Microsoft did fix or reduce some of the issues that got on my nerves back in 2016. The lag that I experienced when opening new tabs has been greatly reduced for instance. Edge still takes more time than, say Firefox or Chrome, to open a new tab page.

I found a solution for the remaining lag issue, however. Simply set the new tab page to load a blank document instead of "top sites and feed" to speed this up significantly.

You can change the appearance of Edge's new tab page with a click on the settings icon displayed on the page. There you may switch to  "a blank page" at the top to resolve the issue.

Copy and Paste

I don't experience copy and paste errors anymore in Edge. Edge would "forget" copy and paste operations in the past, but that seems to be a thing of the past.

The selection process when clicking on the address bar of the browser was not improved, however. A click on any position marks the full address right now. If you hold down the mouse cursor to select part of the URL, you will notice that the selection jumps because of Edge adding the protocol to the URL.

I don't know what Microsoft's reasoning is for not fixing this. Maybe it is because a minority of users selects part of the address in the address bar of the browser.

Context Menu

edge context menu

The Edge context menu has not improved at all. It lists a handful of options only with many important ones missing.

There is no refresh option, no option to save a page, no bookmarking choice,  and no option to navigate back or forward.

Lastly, you are stuck with Bing Search when you right-click on a selection.

Customization

Things have not changed in regards to customization. Edge is like Google Chrome in this context; the browser UI cannot be changed.

There is still no option to remove interface elements that you never use; I'm eying you "make a web note" and "share."

Microsoft did fix the missing address bar on the new tab page at least.

Edge new annoyances 2018

Microsoft made some fixes to Edge, but most annoyances of 2016 are still present in the 2018 version of Edge.

Since I use Edge more on a day to day basis, I stumbled upon other annoyances or issues that I would like to share.

Lack of extensions

Edge did not support browser extensions right away, but they are supported now by the browser. The Microsoft Store lists 80 extensions at the time of writing. You get lots of content blockers and password managers, some extensions for developers, a userscript loading extension, and some productivity enhancing extensions.

Microsoft revealed some time ago that it focuses on quality over quantity. This approach helps protect users from malicious extensions, something that Google Chrome is plagued with quite a bit.

It means on the other hand that the offering pales in comparison. Sure, you get important extensions and can install them, but if you need something else, you are out of luck.

Want a screenshot extension? Not available. An extension to give you more control over the removal of browsing data? Does not exist. New Tab Page add-on? Nope.

The situation will improve over time obviously, but it seems unlikely that Edge will ever have a massive extension store.

You cannot view certificates in Edge

edge certificate

Microsoft Edge comes without options to view the full certificate of sites. You can click on the lock icon but the information that Edge displays when you do is limited.

Users need to switch browsers to check certificates. Even Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser supports this.

Making Edge an all-purpose tool

Microsoft turned Edge from being a tool for web browsing to something that is more than that. Edge is the default program to read ebooks on Windows 10 for instance.

I ran into a related issue in 2016. Edge would lose all tabs when I opened PDF documents in the browser. Microsoft appears to have fixed this.

My main gripe with making Edge more than a browser is that I think Microsoft should focus on improving the browser part first before it starts to expand it.

Now You: Do you use Microsoft Edge?

Summary
Microsoft Edge Annoyances revisited
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Microsoft Edge Annoyances revisited
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I published the article Microsoft Edge Annoyances back in mid-2016. Edge was about a year at that time, and it was still largely unusable (for me) then and there.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. ShintoPlasm said on January 8, 2018 at 8:39 am
    Reply

    Edge is a good option for people who need simplicity (like my mother-in-law!) – and pretty useless for the type of people who read your website… :)

    1. Weilan said on January 8, 2018 at 9:44 am
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      True, it’s also restricted to Windows 10 at this point (and Android, sort of) and the userbase can’t grow, especially if there are people out there, like me who want to stay on Windows 7 on purpose. The android version is like a wrapper/UI over Android Web View, which isn’t anything special if they are too lazy to port their engine, I’d rather use Via Browser, because it’s also a wrapper/UI for Android Web View, but it’s a 3MB installation, has built-in adblock, popup block, allows you to view source, edit it on the go, has a CSS file you can edit to make the browser more to your liking and so on… it’s just one Chinese guy that puts Edge and Microsoft’s lazy incompetent work to shame.

      I can safely say that they failed with Edge as well. Sure, they can slowly remove IE and only leave edge, force people to use it on some websites and stuff, but people won’t be recommending it to their friends, because it’s bare bones, even Safari seems better on Mac OS.

      1. bobeltrolo said on January 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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        Its userbase can grow a lot, since Windows 10 is growing, and most people on Windows 10 are not using Edge. Since its a UWP app, it’s impossible to port to Windows 7.

        Edge for Android is NOT using Android Web View. It’s using its own Blink implementation.

  2. Borgy said on January 8, 2018 at 10:32 am
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    The only reason I go to Edge is to make sure the ad/content blocker is up to date in case something ignores my default (Firefox) and opens Edge.Without a few more extensions Edge isn’t worth using, as far as I’m concerned.
    If more people used it more developers would have an interest in making extensions.That won’t happen until there are more extensions.Catch-22.

    1. George said on January 9, 2018 at 1:10 am
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      I don’t think you need to open Edge for that. The Microsoft Store app takes care of installing/updating all Edge extensions in the background, assuming you have allowed it to.

  3. Leo said on January 8, 2018 at 10:34 am
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    I tried both adblock plus and ublock origin in Edge, for some reason both of them kept deactivating and removing lists I added upon every time I checked their settings. Now, is that the extension developers fault or is Edge to blame? I have no idea, but I don’t want to be constantly worried if my extensions are working or not. A browser without a 100% functioning adblock extension, to me, is a completely useless browser. Haven’t touched Edge in almost a year now, and unless I read a thousand new articles in all of the tech sites (all of them!) praising it and declaring it the undisputed eternal champion of all browsers, I never will again.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on January 9, 2018 at 11:58 am
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      Use Adguard (via the Microsoft Store) – it’s the most mature adblocker for Edge.

      1. Mike said on January 9, 2018 at 8:10 pm
        Reply

        I have had no issues with uBlock Origin on Edge. The only negative I have experienced is that the developers (Nik Rolls) can be slow to catch up to the Gorhill version of the extension. I have never experienced an issue of uBlock randomly deactivating my filters. I tried Adguard on Edge once, but I ran into issues with the “activate appropriate filters automatically” setting.

        Edge isn’t bad as long as you go into it knowing it isn’t very customizable and you probably should have Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Vivaldi installed alongside of it. The best thing about Edge is that it is pretty fast, has very smooth scrolling, and is significantly better on battery than Firefox (my other go-to browser).

  4. Sophie said on January 8, 2018 at 10:56 am
    Reply

    This might be just me, but I cannot for the life of me – understand why anyone would want to use Edge, from what I have seen of it. Sure, as Shinto above said…perhaps his mother-in-law, and this in fact describes the whole trajectory of Microsoft these days…..dumbing down.

    I use it very rarely, when I need to view something without any adblocking. Kind of “bare bones”. For heavens sake, last time I looked, you can’t even clear the history upon exit. Maybe you can now.

    I also had firewall prompts that indicated Edge had opened up other processes, and because of blocks in my Hosts, I get something like “hmmmmm …something went wrong” Sorry…I can’t quite remember the message, but clearly Edge is trying to contact somewhere by default, that is listed in my Hosts.

    The search defaults to Bing…..and the browser is so basic and unappealing. My single and only use for it, is about 1 time in 100, where I can see a page is not rendering quite right, due to my blocking, and then I may (may) just turn to Edge to see if I can see that page.

    Another fail from Microsoft, in my view, and I seriously think they need a turn of direction, and soon. They’ve lost their way.

    1. bobeltrolo said on January 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm
      Reply

      It’s ok, you’re not the only one who can’t comprehend that other people can have different preferences and priorities. Empathy is not something you are born with. It’s a skill you need to train. So, lots of people didn’t had the chance to practice how to put themselves in the shoes of another person.

      There are people who need a web browser for touchscreen, or that care more about battery life. Some people like a more basic, no-confusion web browser, or simply use it for its integration into Windows. Others are in a more lockdown environement. Some people found how to delete the history when closing Edge (in the option menu, of all places).

      1. Sophie said on January 8, 2018 at 6:02 pm
        Reply

        Sure, but do notice that I said “in my view”. It’s just that….and I completely and always will, accept that each have their own view.

        I believe that my points are not unreasonable, and also you could note that I make reference to the fact that “maybe you can now” clear history upon exit. I didn’t say you couldn’t. When I last looked, there really was not a way….and that is pretty basic stuff to get right from the get-go…., isn’t it?

        Oh and just lastly……..this was about “Edge Annoyances” , wasn’t it?

      2. Cigologic said on January 8, 2018 at 11:39 pm
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        Sophie: “but I cannot for the life of me – understand why anyone would want to use Edge”

        In government & large corporate organizations, not only are the PCs’ configuration locked down, the browser also defaults to whatever is default on the OS. So if those organizations use Win 10, their staff have to use Edge — or IE, if they manage to access it (not that IE is very much superior to Edge).

        From what I observed though, the overwhelming majority (999 per 1000) of locked-down users (even in the IT department) genuinely do not care which type of browser they use.

        As for the remaining 1 user (per 1000 users) who do care, they are marked as troublemakers, & tend to (be made to) leave within 3-5 years of joining. This is probably why the proportion of non-carers (= apathetic lifelong stayers) evolve to 999 users (per 1000) over time, & become the entrenched status quo at such organizations.

      3. pHROZEN gHOST said on January 9, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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        @Cigologic Not true. The organization can decide to use anything other than Edge. I worked for a government organization that uses Chrome as their browser of choice on Windows.

      4. John Smith said on January 13, 2018 at 4:57 pm
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        @pHROZEN gHOST – Yeah I’m with you on that one… in fact most government organisations I have dealt with (and I work for an associated one) tend to use Chrome in my experience. However, my opinion of that is obviously only formed from my own experience, so research may show that this is not the case generally.

      5. ULBoom said on January 9, 2018 at 5:24 am
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        What, you don’t just love the clean, white, monolithic, frozen interface with those skinny icons just begging cursive input above the never ending distracting vids of who knows what in new tabs? They can be replaced with, uh, a blank page. What’s wrong with an interface marriage between WinRT and Yahoo?
        Yeah, if someone’s stuck with it or isn’t interested in trying something else, fine. IE was good overall, edge seems to me like a prototype, badly lacking in esthetics and customization.

      6. John Fenderson said on January 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm
        Reply

        She didn’t say she couldn’t understand _that_ other people are OK with Edge, but that she couldn’t understand _why_. Empathy has nothing to do with it.

    2. John Fenderson said on January 8, 2018 at 10:31 pm
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      It’s not just you. I don’t understand the appeal that Edge has for some users, either.

    3. nopoi said on January 9, 2018 at 4:57 am
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      Edge is for people who don’t know how to download other browsers like Shinto said

      1. Sophie said on January 9, 2018 at 10:59 am
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        Yes, this is the great thing….all comments, views, opinions are valid. There is no single way, just what works for each, and if part of an organisation, as Cigologic said, you may get little say in the matter. I hadn’t considered businesses, and must admit that I was coming from an individual user perspective.

        I’ve enjoyed such full and detailed customisation of Firefox over the years, with good mastery over it, that I would never be happy with a browser like Edge, but also, I do find it hard to react positively to the things Microsoft are doing these days, and that also tends to colour my view. More than anything, I would like them to get their updates right…rather than adding bloat that often has little of true value.

        Here’s to the individuality of what’s right for each! It never was about empathy, or lack of it.

    4. pat said on January 10, 2018 at 10:31 am
      Reply

      Install tampermonkey, there are some userscripts to redirect bing search to duckduckgo or Google.

  5. Anonymous said on January 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    Edge is my Firefox downloader.

  6. Rick A. said on January 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm
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    Firefox is my Main browser.

    Edge is my second.

    internet Explorer is my third.

    Tor is my fourth.

    i’ll never download any Spyware browser like Google Chrome or Google Opera again. Windows XP was the only operating systems i ever installed them on.

    1. ULBoom said on January 9, 2018 at 4:56 am
      Reply

      Add Vivaldi, it’s just Opera in a new coat.

      1. Joe K. said on January 10, 2018 at 7:15 pm
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        Opera is still better optimized for battery life and performance than Vivaldi is, which can be a resource hog and battery hog. I like Vivaldi (at least their message), but Opera has it beat still on performance and battery life. Of course, the question regarding Opera is if you are comfortable using a browser that is owned by a Chinese consortium.

      2. John Smith said on January 13, 2018 at 5:07 pm
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        Weirdly enough, that actually makes me feel a lot safer than knowing my browser was created by a U.S. Corporation – I have more trust for the Chinese than I do for the U.S. But I guess that is coloured by the knowledge that my country (N.Z.) is one of the ‘partners’ who allow the U.S. government access to ALL Internet traffic that originates from or passes through my country. I don’t recall the Chinese giving all their citizen’s information to a foreign power recently!

  7. Alan said on January 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm
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    I use Edge and Chrome. Some annoyances with Edge, nothing earth shattering. I also use the Adguard blocker with Edge, that works very well. There is a lack of extensions, that’s for sure.

  8. bob said on January 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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    Totally agree. I use edge on my laptop at home only because of the butter smooth scrolling and great battery life. In all other respects I think both Firefox and Chrome are far superior and I prefer using them when on a desktop PC.

  9. leanon said on January 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm
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    Mainly used it for the occasion quick search and playing video at cnn.com. However now that Firefox finally got itself back in the game about all Edge sees me is update uBO

  10. Mike said on January 8, 2018 at 6:12 pm
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    I use Edge off and on. Firefox is my primary browser and I only really use Edge when I am mobile and need to save battery life. Edge remains the best option (in my experience) for when you need to conserve battery usage. Otherwise, I rarely choose Edge over Firefox, especially since the performance improvements Mozilla introduced with FF57.

  11. pat said on January 8, 2018 at 9:50 pm
    Reply

    I like Edge, and I use it every day, equipped with uBlock Origin (hard mode), tampermonkey, popup blocker, some bookmarlets and online applications, it is very satisfying, very fast, reads YouTube videos of 720p with 9% cpu, what other browsers can’t do, fills pdf, reads ebooks. I can watch almost 4 movies in streaming with my laptop. Ccleaner and Edge Manage to complete it.
    But I have to admit, somehow it sucks. ;))

  12. All Things Firefox said on January 8, 2018 at 11:56 pm
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    “The selection process when clicking on the address bar of the browser was not improved, however. A click on any position marks the full address right now. If you hold down the mouse cursor to select part of the URL, you will notice that the selection jumps because of Edge adding the protocol to the URL.”
    That’s been fixed for me for a while now, I think since the FCU.
    Off-topic but the new theme is very very quick, though it sometimes doesn’t load properly. Good work.

  13. ULBoom said on January 9, 2018 at 4:53 am
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    Can’t stand it. Finally got around to hiding it and blocked it from the internet a week or so ago on the kids’ desktop, replaced with FF. They love FF, the colors, add ons and especially that it goes where they ask it to. Edge is far too integrated into windows, can’t be disabled like IE and all those stupid apps can, just fenced off.
    I use FF and github woolysys chromium. All our phones use focus, android FF is beyond awful!

  14. pHROZEN gHOST said on January 9, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    Even tho’ I did not use it, I had Edge pinned to the start bar from the beginning of Win10. I tried it a couple of times but found it to be inadequate (as many articles had documented).

    After the last update, I ran Edge just for fun to see if it was getting any better. It crashed before it could fully start up. Google searches based on the event log data suggest I am not alone. I tried a few of MS’s suggestions to fix this. None of them worked. Other users appear to have had similar experiences.

    I unpinned Edge from the start bar. For those who use it, good luck. Please don’t make suggestions to help me fix it. I’m done with it.

  15. John Smith said on January 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm
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    I killed it over a year ago, and I’m happy that it’s stayed buried. A combination of Edge-Deflector, some registry hacking and some file permission hacking has meant I have had an Edge-free Windows 10 experience for quite a while now. I sometimes see the odd person using it – but I can’t remember an occasion when one of them wasn’t complaining about it as they were doing so. This hasn’t convinced me to give it another try…and it is now unlikely that I ever will.

    Even though Vivaldi is still buggy in places, I prefer its bugginess to Edge’s. I feel a little bit happier knowing that my preferred browser is working for my benefit, and not Microsoft’s. Though in truth, most Windows 10 apps seem to be of more benefit to Microsoft than their users and are extremely feature-poor (just like Edge).

    Also Vivaldi has the ChromeDevTools (a must for web dev I find) and can use ‘chrome extensions’ – need I say more!

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