Microsoft tried lot of new features in Windows 11 and with their new Chromium based Edge browser. Edge bar is one such an attempt to combine the widgets feature in Windows 11 with Edge settings. Using Edge bar you can use the default widgets or add site tabs and keep you updated while working on other tasks. In this article, we will explain how to access Edge bar and customize the settings.
Edge Bar with Microsoft Edge
Edge bar is the feature comes with the latest Microsoft Edge browser in Windows. Though Edge browser has a Mac version, Edge bar is a dedicated feature that is only available in Windows. As the name indicates it opens a fixed sidebar with default list of widgets. You can customize these widgets and rearrange them as per your convenience.
Opening Edge Bar
There are multiple ways to open Edge bar with Microsoft Edge browser.
1. Open from Settings Menu
This is the easiest way to launch Edge bar from the browser’s default menu.
- Click on the “Settings and more” icon showing as three horizontal dots on top right corner of Edge browser.
- Go to “More tools” menu and select “Edge bar” option.
2. Open from Edge Settings Page
This is similar to above method to open Edge bar from browser’s settings page.
- Go to “Settings and more” menu and select “Settings” option. You can also open this menu by pressing “Alt + F” shortcuts keys.
- Navigate to “Edge bar” tab from the right sidebar.
- Click on “Open Edge bar” option to launch Edge bar.
The advantage with this method is that you can see few additional options in the settings page.
3. Open Edge Bar with Shortcut URL
Unfortunately, there are no direct keyboard shortcuts available in Edge to open Edge bar. What you can do is to open the Edge shortcut URL edge://settings/edgeBar in address bar to go to the Edge bar settings page. There on you can launch the bar as explained in the above method.
Features of Edge Bar
Edge bar opens with default set of widgets from the right section of the screen. Unlike Windows widgets which open on top of other apps, Edge bar will occupy the space and adjust other windows to the left. However, you can customize this behavior and add new tabs to the bar’s sidebar.
- Drag the bar to change the position on your screen.
- Access weather, top stories and feeds which is a first tab by default.
- Access other default tabs to open Bing search, Outlook and LinkedIn.
- Add or delete new tabs below the default tabs.
- Change the layout, pin or unpin and autohide the bar.
- Minimize the bar to system tray icon and open back when needed.
- You can quickly open any website URL without opening Edge browser app.
Customizing Edge Bar Options
If you really like Edge bar then make sure to customize the settings to use it productively without disturbing your work.
Changing Edge Bar Layout
We recommend using the smaller layout so that it will not change the size of other windows and intrude in your work.
- Move the bar to pin anywhere on the screen. You can click on unpin icon to detach it and move again to different position.
- Use autohide to hide the bar when not in use. Autohide is useful to float the bar’s tab on top of open app instead of adjusting the window size. The working area of the Edge bar will also hide automatically, for example you can view the emails quickly and hide it to start working on other apps.
- Click on the settings icon and change the layout to vertical or search only format.
- Search only layout will show you a search box which will help you to open a webpage URL or search with Bing.
- You can also use “Enable floating button” to change the Edge bar as a floating icon on the screen to quickly access when needed.
Customizing Top Stories and Feed
Click on the pencil icon showing on the bottom of the Edge bar when you are viewing the MSN feed tab. This will open MSN website where you can choose your interests and change the news in the feed.
Adding New Website in a Tab
In addition to the default tabs, Edge bar allows to add your favorite websites.
- Click on the + icon to add a new tab in the Edge bar.
- Enter your favorite website URL and an optional name.
- Click “Add” button to add a new tab.
New tabs will show below the default tabs in a new section. It will show you the site icon so that you can easily remember the site and quickly open. You can right click on the added icon and remove it from the list when you do not need the tab.
Auto Launch Edge Bar when Starting Computer
Finally, you can automatically open Edge bar when starting your computer. You can use this option along with floating icon so that it will not be intrusive on the desktop. Go to Edge settings page using the URL edge://settings/edgeBar and enable “Automatically open Edge bar when the computer starts”. You can also customize the feed from here by clicking on “Personalize” button to open MSN site.
Problems with Edge Bar
Though Edge bar is useful to access your custom tabs, it can be annoying due to the following reasons:
- We do not know why Microsoft is aggressive in pushing their MSN feed without an option to disable. The problem is that the feed will show in the local language where you are located instead of your preferred language/location. For example, you will see the MSN China feed if you have purchased the laptop from China. This is absurd as Microsoft forcibly redirects due to restriction from government instead of allowing users to customize or disable the feed.
- You cannot rearrange the order of default widgets and tabs.
- You can open Edge bar only through the Edge browser. However, the bar will stay even you close the browser. So, it is a confusion why this called Edge bar and part of Microsoft Edge browser.