Microsoft hopes to improve Edge with permanent imports from Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
May 31, 2022
Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is testing a new function in the Canary and Developer versions of its Edge web browser, that is designed to import data from Google Chrome on every launch of the browser.

microsoft edge import browser data on each launch

Most web browsers include import functionality to migrate user data from other browsers to a newly installed or run web browser. Data such as passwords, bookmarks, cookies or open tabs may be imported to continue right in the new browser without losing any old data in the process. Imports can be run at any time in most browsers as well; the function is found in the preferences, usually.

The feature that Microsoft is testing in Edge introduces permanent imports of select data. All it takes is to select Menu > Settings, and there the "import browser data option" under Your Profile.

A click on "import browser data on each launch" displays the configuration menu. Currently, imports are only supported from Google Chrome. A click on "turn on" enables the functionality. Once turned on, you may select the items that you want imported on each start of the Edge browser, and the Edge profile that you want the data to be assigned to.

edge chrome import permanent

Imports are enabled for all the different data types by default, but it is possible to disable some data types during setup. The current Edge Canary implementation lacks support for the importing of bookmarks and extensions, but Microsoft promises that the functionality will be introduced in a later update.

For now, Edge users may import saved passwords, autofill settings, payment information, the browsing history, and cookies. Some users may import open tabs as well, but the functionality is not available in all Edge Canary instances yet.

The Developer edition of Edge supports permanent imports, but it lacks data type customization options at the time of writing.

Permanent imports may assist Edge users who use Chrome as the main web browser on their systems, and Edge sporadically. Some Windows 10 and 11 features open Edge by default, and users may be inclined to use Edge more if the data that is available is in sync with the Chrome browser data. The feature is not turned on by default in Edge Canary, and it is unclear if Microsoft plans to promote it in some way to Edge users, or introduce policies that allow administrators to enable permanent data imports by default.

Chrome is the most popular desktop web browser, and it makes sense to pick it for the imports. It seems unlikely that Microsoft is going to introduce support for permanent imports from other browsers.

Data imports on each startup may impact the loading time of the browser. It is too early to tell if the delay will be noticeable once the feature lands in Stable.

Now You: would you use Edge more if it imported data from your browser regularly?

Microsoft hopes to improve Edge with permanent imports from Chrome
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Microsoft hopes to improve Edge with permanent imports from Chrome
Microsoft is testing a new function in the Canary and Developer versions of its Edge web browser, that is designed to import data from Google Chrome on every launch of the browser.
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  1. owl said on June 4, 2022 at 10:42 am

    “No choice of means for the purpose”
    The theory of ancient and modern things

    It has already been commented, that “unique data” that should be isolated (per app) is automatically collected by Microsoft (unintentionally by the user) and will use at will.

    The majority of end-users simply want things that are “easy, convenient, and free,” which makes them easy prey for the cunning Microsoft. Microsoft’s viciousness and outrageous is nothing new, but In addition to ignorance and indifference to the use of tools and precautions, end users who do not suspect the intended trap are inferior to monkeys.

  2. Anonymous said on June 1, 2022 at 11:31 pm

    Its time for a antitrust. Microsoft is getting out of hand.

  3. Anonymous said on June 1, 2022 at 10:09 am

    importing your data from google chrome into microsoft chrome? gee whiz, what will they think of next, facebook chrome?

  4. Tony said on June 1, 2022 at 5:07 am

    That’s basically a siphon connected to Chrome. Is their reasoning that if you won’t give Edge your data, they will steal it from you while you use Chrome?

  5. Alan said on May 31, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Edge browser is spyware by Microsoft. I will never use that browser. I’m using Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019 with no Edge on it at all. Also all the other Microsoft bloatware is totally removed as well.

  6. Henk said on May 31, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    I use a handful of different browsers for different situations and for different reasons. One of those reasons is, in fact, exactly this: that the user data for browser A are kept separate from the user data for browser B, so do not spill over or merge from one into the other.

    Edge doesn’t happen to be among the browsers I use. But what Microsoft does here, will in everyday reality amount to saying (more or less): “you might just as well keep using just Chrome, as we just siphon your data from there”. So it seems to me that even from Microsoft’s own perspective, this is a rather stupid policy.

    1. Croatoan said on May 31, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      Same. I use four browsers:
      – Vivaldi is used for Facebook and Instagram, rarely used
      – Opera because it’s best browser on mobile for me
      – Chrome (work)
      – Firefox (main browser)

    2. Alan said on May 31, 2022 at 6:07 pm

      Henk I never use Google Chrome either. I’ll use a browser which is more anti Google or Microsoft. Because both companies are evil. They are anti privacy and pro censorship too.

    3. John G. said on May 31, 2022 at 1:52 pm

      Completely agree.

  7. Bleh said on May 31, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Amazing. Mind blown. I can’t believe it’s not butter.
    The usual experience with Edge is that for some reason something is funky with the main browser and you have to click on the dreaded Edge icon, where all your nightmares come to life. First it wants to update, then it want this and that. Endless fun. Then all the absolutely horrific “features” it includes are all on by default, also the lovely one that makes it run and start all the time. It’s like herpes.

    1. Iron Heart said on May 31, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Use another browser then. Unless you are at work and your employer forces Edge on you, that is.

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