Now that Microsoft Edge is based on the Chromium engine (the same engine that powers Google Chrome), it’s actually a good browser. Think of it like Chrome, but better for privacy and battery life. But it’s still a Microsoft product and it has the affinity to pick up some bloated and annoying features. Fortunately, it’s nothing that a few minutes on the Settings page won’t fix. If you use Microsoft Edge as the default browser on your Mac or Windows PC, consider disabling these features to make browsing even easier.
Get rid of the search icon on every image
Google Chrome has added a great feature that allows you to search for similar images using Google Lens (also using OCR). Microsoft Edge got the same feature, but uses Bing instead of Google Images. To make matters worse, Edge shows an Image Search icon when you hover over an image (at the top right corner). That alone would be annoying. However, you can disable the feature. Go to Settings > Appearance > Visual Search and enable the “Show visual search on image hover.” If you want, you can still use the feature from the right-click menu.
Get rid of Bing search
If you have just started using Microsoft Edge, you may have noticed that the default search engine is Bing. If that’s not your problem, go to Settings > Privacy, Search and Services > Address bar and search > Search engine used in the address bar. Here you can switch to “google” or “DuckDuckGo.”
Disable all annoying coupon popups
Coupon add-ons are great, but Microsoft’s built-in Shopping tool pops up every time you visit a store. To disable them, go to Settings > Privacy, Search and Services and enable the “Save time and money with Shopping in Microsoft Edge” feature.
Remove all clutter from the homepage
The home page in Microsoft Edge is great once you get rid of all the clutter. You can get started by going to the home page and clicking the Settings icon. Here you can switch to the “focused” mode to keep only the search bar. You can also go to the “Amended” section, hold the “Quick Links” section and enable the “Background of the day” feature. Make sure you have the “Content” feature to remove Microsoft News panels.
Remove the Downloads pop-up window
The era of the download bar at the bottom of the browser is behind us, but Edge still likes to remind us by popping open the Downloads drawer every time you start a new download. If you find your way to the Downloads button at the top (which shows progress visually), disable the pop-up feature. Go to Settings > Downloads and enable the “Show download menu when a download starts” feature.
Stop opening Office files in the browser
Since Edge was created by Microsoft, it insists on opening Microsoft Office documents or files in the browser first instead of the dedicated apps. You can reverse this by going to Settings > Downloads. Switch here the “Open Office files in the browser” feature.