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Microsoft’s Edge browser finally implements vertical tabs

After announcing vertical tabs nearly a year ago, Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser now lets you stack tabs at the lefthand side instead of having the long list of tabs at the top.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Switch to vertical tabs with a click.
  • Up to 41% faster startup time.
  • Improvements to history view.
  • More visual Bing results for some searches.

A macOS screenshot demonstrating vertical tabs in the Microsoft Edge browser for the Mac

How to use vertical tabs in Edge

According to Microsoft’s blog post, vertical tabs are great for those times when you’re running the Edge browser on 16:9 ratio screens. With a click of a new icon at the leftmost side of the tab bar, you can switch between the traditional long list of tabs at the top and a new pane with vertical tabs on the lefthand side.

This allows you to clearly see the tab titles and controls, making it easier to find and switch between the tabs you need, regardless of how many you have open.

To switch between an icon-only view and an expanded pane showing page titles, simply hover over a vertical tab icon with the mouse pointer. This is in addition to sleepy tabs, a feature that releases system resources for inactive tabs in situations when too many open tabs are hogging the RAM and the CPU.

A new way to browse history

No longer does invoking your Edge history open the settings interface. Now when you want to see the browsing history, it will swoosh into view as a pane on the righthand side. This is much better than navigating away to a fullscreen view.

The history browser initially open as a lightweight dropdown from the toolbar, but you can pin it to the side by choosing “History” from the three-dotted menu (or hit Command + H). This feature is similar to Safari’s bookmark manager that appears in the lefthand pane although Apple’s web browser still loses the context of the page you’re on when browsing your history.

Other tidbits

Aside from vertical tabs and the new history browser, this edition of Edge features up to 41 percent faster browser startup after rebooting your computer. “Initial tests show startup times improve from 29 percent to 41 percent with this feature,” says Microsoft’s Liat Ben-Zur.

This basically launches Edge quietly in the background when you startup your computer, keeping the browser running even after all its windows and tabs are closed. According to the company, this feature will be automatically enabled later in March, but users will be able to toggle it off in settings.

→ How to open a webpage from Safari in another browser

On top of that, Edge now shows visual search results from Bing for popular searches. For broad topics, the browser now presents aggregated Bing information. Lastly, the carousel now shows information about the result when you hover over an entry.

These perks are rolling out to Edge users in the US in the coming weeks.

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