Microsoft Edge: Edge Bar feature first look
Microsoft is working on a new feature for its Microsoft Edge web browser that it calls Edge Bar. Edge Bar displays content in a floating window or pinned to the right side of the screen; both states are independent of the Edge browser window.
Edge Bar is an experimental feature at this point that is rolled out gradually to users of the browser. You can check Menu > More Tools to see if Edge Bar is listed as one of the options.
First launch displays a short reminder next to the bar with a link to a support page. The bar itself displays information that is very similar to Widgets of Windows 11 or the News & Interests feed of Windows 10, as all three are powered by the same source: MSN.
The bar features a Bing search option at the top, displays weather information and local headlines. The content is powered by MSN and Microsoft, and users may change what is displayed with a click on the "pen-icon" in the footer; this opens the edit area of the MSN website.
There you can change the language, enable or disable modules such as Sports, Traffic or Weather, and tell Microsoft about your interests to personalize the news feed.
The default interface displays several items in a small bar on the left side. From top to bottom, these are Home, Bing Search, Outlook, LinkedIn, Add Item, User Profile, Rewards, Settings, and Pin.
Most options are self-explanatory. The plus-icon opens a basic form that accepts a web address and a name. You may use it to add any website to Edge Bar permanently. A click on the icon displays the website in the interface. Note that it depends on the site whether it is displayed correctly in the small window that Edge Bar provides.
Basic navigation options are displayed at the bottom if a website is displayed. You may go back and forward, reload a page, go back to Home, or open the current page in the Edge browser. An option to load another URL directly is also provided.
Selecting Pin attaches the entire window to the left side of the screen. The window is set to be always on top by default, but you may activate the autohide button to see just a small vertical bar at the right side whenever the window is not used actively.
Edge Bar is like a small browser window that you may attach to the side of the screen. It resembles the sidebar of the Vivaldi web browser, but is unattached from the browser window.
Edge Bar is configured to launch with the computer by default; this needs to be disabled in the Edge settings, edge://settings/edgeBar, while all personalization options are configured on the MSN website and not in Edge.
Microsoft continues to push its MSN news feed and Bing Search to users. Widgets and News & Interests are already available on Windows 10 and 11, and the default tab of the Edge browser displays the information as well already. Edge Bar's main attraction is the ability to display custom URLs. Many users do so already by displaying two browser windows side by side though.
The interface lacks customization options. You can't change the search engine or remove it, and you can't remove the default icons either in the interface.
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