Microsoft Edge Browser Configuration and Use

This blog post contains suggestions for configuring and using the Microsoft Edge web browser on Windows systems, including keyboard shortcuts. Edge is arguably the most secure browser available for Windows, though likely not supporting privacy as well as others. I have heard that Edge automatically includes AdBlock. I have written notes about Edge in various other places and will compile them here over time.

Some of this content came from articles that I had published on LinkedIn:

Disable Notifications

To disable annoying notification prompts:

  • Access edge://settings/content/notifications
  • Set Ask before sending to off

Improve Privacy

To reduce the abilities of certain tracking systems:

  • Access edge://settings/privacy
  • Set Tracking prevention to Strict

Browser Lag

If Edge is slow to start or on initial access to each site and you see a message such as message such as “downloading proxy scripts”, you may try this (credit to and more details at Manage Microsoft Edge’s Downloading Proxy Script issue (techdows.com)):

  • Access edge://settings/system
  • Click Open your computer’s proxy settings
  • Set Automatically detect settings to Off.

Sidebar Search

In Edge, to use a sidebar to search while reading, select some text and either press Ctrl+Shift+E or right-click and select Search Bing in sidebar for …

Unfortunately, the Edge search sidebar seems to depend on the Microsoft Bing search product.

General Tips

  • At least in Edge, to pin a tab that you always want open, right-click the tab and select Pin tab from the menu that appears.
  • Drag an image to the title bar to open that image in a new tab (good for zooming in on images).
  • Drag a tab out of the browser window to make it a new window.

Windows and Tabs Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Windows+F1: Launch browser, test Internet connectivity.
  • Ctrl+L or Alt+D: Focus address/search bar.
  • Ctrl+T: New browser tab, select tab, focus address/search bar.
  • Ctrl+N: New tracking window.
  • Ctrl+Shft+N: New InPrivate window.
  • Windows+F1,Ctrl+Shft+N: launch browser, new InPrivate window, focus address/search bar.
  • Ctrl+Tab/Ctrl+Shift+Tab: Cycle browser tabs.
  • Ctrl+Shift+L: Paste into address/search bar of new tab.
  • Ctrl+Shift+M – Change browser user/guest.
  • Ctrl+W: Close browser tab.
  • Alt+F4 or Ctrl+Shift+W: Close Window.
  • Ctrl+Shift+D: Reopen closed window.
  • Ctrl+Shift+T: Reopen and select last closed tab.
  • Ctrl+Shift+R: Reload, ignore 0.
  • Ctrl+Shift+E: Sidebar search (after selecting text).

Find/Cut/Copy/Paste Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl+F – Find text in page.
  • Ctrl+G/Ctrl+Shift+G – Next/previous.
  • Ctrl+Shift+V: Paste without formatting.

View Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Plus (+)/Ctrl+Minus (-): Zoon in/out.
  • Ctrl+H: History.
  • Ctrl+J: Downloads.

Sound Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Shift+U – Read Aloud.
  • Ctrl+M: Mute tab.

Developer Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Shift+I: Developer tools.
  • Ctrl+U: View source.

Run Edge InPrivate by Default

If you don’t want to do the work described below, then get into the habit of starting the browser by right-clicking the Edge icon on the Windows 10 taskbar and choosing New InPrivate window.

Supposedly, Edge should use the command line switches that chrome supports:

But, of course, it does not (maybe next Tuesday?). In fact, the only one that I have tried does not work. This is what I’m using now:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" 
  --inprivate --profile-directory=Default

On Windows 10, right-click the Edge icon on the taskbar, right-click Microsoft Edge in the pop-up menu that appears, then select Properties in the menu that appears, and then add –inprivate to the command line arguments in the Target field on the Shortcut tab. Then close all Edge windows and use that shortcut icon to restart the browser.

If you want an Edge window with all your cookies and tracking enabled, from an InPrivate window, press Ctrl+N. Otherwise, press Ctrl+T to open a new InPrivate tab, which you can drag out of the browser window to use as a separate window. Either way, I think you get a separate msedge.exe process.

If you have only tracking windows open and you click the icon, it may not open an InPrivate window. In this case, in a tracking window, press Ctrl+Shift+N or click the ellipsis at the top right and then New InPrivate window from the menu that appears. Alternatively, right-click the icon and then click Microsoft Edge from the menu that appears.

Because this uses a command line switch, it seems unlikely that next Tuesday’s “fixes” from Microsoft can reset/override my preference.

It seems a little fishy that this 64-bit binary is in the x86 directory, which I thought was for 32-bit binaries, but I may be misunderstanding something.

Including this here for anyone interested (set default google account for tracking windows).

Resources

If you have additional suggestions for this list, please comment on this article.

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Edge Browser Configuration and Use

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: