Microsoft Edge is getting new theme options soon

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 15, 2021
Internet, Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is testing new theme customization options in the company's Edge web browser. Available in Edge Canary, the new options allow users to change the color theme of the browser with just a few clicks.

Taking another cue from Vivaldi, after adding sidebar tab browsing support earlier this month, Microsoft started to add new experimental theming options to its browser.

Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, the same core that Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Brave, and Opera uses. Since all browsers share the same core, the only differentiating factors are features that browser makers add manually to their browsers.

Microsoft did add support for installing Chrome themes in Edge last year, but the new feature introduces native support for a selection of themes in the browser.

All Chromium-based themes are limited to changing colors, as the browser UI cannot be modified.

Enable the new themes feature

microsoft edge customize your browser

Microsoft Edge Canary 91.0.825.0, the latest Canary version at the time of writing, was used to write about the feature. You can check the installed browser channel and version by loading edge://settings/help.

Here is what you need to do to enable the new functionality. Microsoft calls it picker for color based themes:

  1. Load edge://flags/#edge-color-theme-picker in the browser's address bar.
  2. Set the experimental feature to Enabled.
  3. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Once restarted, head to edge://settings/appearance. The page should display the new themes at the top under Theme.

All available themes, 14 at the time of writing, change the color scheme of the user interface. Cool Breeze turns changes it to a light blue color scheme, dark & stormy to dark gray colors, and mystical forests to green colors.

Options to create a custom color scheme, something that Vivaldi supports, are not available in this preview. Links to download and install more themes from Microsoft's own Edge Add-ons store or from Google's Web Store are available on the page as well. An option to restore the theme to the default is offered next to that.

How do these color themes differ from the dark and light system themes?

edge new color themes

Unlike color themes, system themes do change colors on internal browser pages, the new tab page or menus. If you just enable a system theme, say dark, you will notice that everything will get painted in dark colors.

Keep dark enabled and select silky pink, and you get the browser chrome painted in rose colors while pages, new tabs and menus remain in darker colors.

Clearly, darker themes work better with the dark system theme, and lighter themes with the light system theme, but users can mix and match if they want to.

Closing Words

Ultimately, the new themes give users new customization options. Instead of displaying the entire browser in dark or light colors, it is now possible to add a bit of color variation to the theme using the new color themes.

Microsoft has not revealed when the new options will become available to all users. It seems likely that the option will become a default in a stable version of Edge later this year, but since it is experimental, it is possible that the feature will be removed again before it lands for all users.

Now You: do you use a custom theme / colors in your browser of choice? (via Techdows)

Microsoft Edge is getting new theme options soon
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Microsoft Edge is getting new theme options soon
Microsoft is testing new theme customization options in the company's Edge web browser. Available in Edge Canary, the new options allow users to change the color theme of the browser with just a few clicks.
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  1. Bob B said on March 15, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    The color changes are nice.

    This is off topic, however, I very simply want the option to be able to make the font size on the Favorites Bar and open Tabs larger. Chrome and Opera respond nicely to a setting called “Message Box” when using a nice little program called Advanced System Font Changer on Windows 10. My old eyes need the font size to be larger in Edge in the two places I mentioned and then I would use that browser all the time. Too small right now on my 23″ monitor.

  2. Leopeva64 said on March 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    This flag and those accent colors (“themes”) have been available since December in Canary:

    Recently, in Canary and Dev, Microsoft has simply renamed “Accent Color” to “Theme”, and they have also made some minor cosmetic changes:

    But the flag and therefore the themes are already available in the stable version, this is not new.

    1. Anonymous said on March 15, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      WC is still around? I thought they turned into a scam shopping site. No one comments on there anymore. If there is comments, its some fanboys, and can’t they take any criticism.

      1. Lars said on March 18, 2021 at 1:27 am

        Sounds like you got booted out from there. They certainly do not tolerate B.S. and lies like are allowed here openly in the comments.

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