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The Microsoft Edge browser has a number of helpful features you can take advantage of to keep track of useful websites, keep websites from tracking your activity, and make notes on web pages.

See where you've been lately

If you went to a site recently and want to return there but can't remember the name, you might check your browsing history in Microsoft Edge's Hub to find it.
  1. In Microsoft Edge, click the Hub button in the address bar and then click the History button (with the clock face on it) in the Hub pane to display the History list (see the following figure).

  2. As the History list accumulates items, it groups them by date, such as Last Hour, Today, and Last Week. You can click any of the time category labels to expand or collapse the entries in the group (see the following figure).

  3. Once you've expanded the desired time category, you can click an item to go to it. The History pane closes.

To delete a single item from the History list, move the mouse pointer over it, and click the Delete (X) that appears at the right. (Refer to preceding figure.) You can also right-click the item and click Delete. To remove all the history items, click the Clear All History link at the upper right in the History pane.

You can pin the Hub pane open temporarily by clicking the Pin This Pane button (with the pushpin on it) in the upper-right corner of the pane. Click the Close (X) button that replaces the pin button when you want to unpin the pane.

Block websites from tracking your browsing habits

InPrivate Browsing is a feature that stops Microsoft Edge from saving information about your browsing session, such as cookies and your browsing history. InPrivate Browsing allows you to block or allow sites that automatically collect information about your browsing habits. This feature is not active by default when you open an Edge window.

To use InPrivate Browsing,

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and click the More Actions button.

  2. In the menu that appears, click New InPrivate Window. As shown in the figure, the new Microsoft Edge browser window that appears displays InPrivate in the upper-left corner. The tab that appears is titled InPrivate and displays a description of InPrivate browsing.

  3. You can now surf the web privately by entering a search phrase or web address in the Search or Enter Web Address box and pressing Enter, or by clicking in the Address bar, typing a web address, and pressing Enter.

  4. To turn off InPrivate Browsing, click the Close button in the upper-right corner of the InPrivate window.

If you don't want to use InPrivate Browsing but would like to periodically clear your browsing history manually, with Microsoft Edge open, click the Hub button at the right side of the address bar, and then click the History button at the top of the pane. Click the triangle icon beside any date category to review your history for that date, and click the Delete (X) button if you decide to delete it. Or, you can click Clear All History to delete all history entries. Press Esc to close the Hub when you finish.

Adjust your Edge settings

You can work with a variety of settings to adjust how Microsoft Edge works. Click the More Actions button at the far right end of the Microsoft Edge address bar, and then click Settings in the menu that appears.

In the Settings pane that appears, make selections for settings, such as:

  • Choose a Theme: Choose the Light or Dark theme from this drop-down list.

  • Show the Favorites Bar: Use the On/Off slider to control whether an additional favorites bar appears below the address bar.

  • Open With: The choices here determine what displays when you start Microsoft Edge.

  • Open New Tabs With: This drop-down list controls the content for new browser tabs.

  • Clear Browsing History: Click the Choose What To Clear button here to delete various types of browsing data such as your browsing history, cookies, of passwords.

  • Reading View Style and Reading View Font Size: Make choices from these drop-down lists to change the colors and text size for the Reading view.

You can move the mouse to the right edge of the screen to display the scroll bar, and then scroll down and click the View Advanced Settings button. This displays an additional pane of Microsoft Edge settings including how to handle pop-ups, using Adobe Flash Player, and managing passwords.

Add notes to a web page

With Microsoft Edge you can add your own highlighting and notes to a web page. For example, you might do this to capture your own experience with a recipe or instructions for a project. After you start Microsoft Edge and display the web page that you want to make notes on, click the Make a Web Note button on the address bar.
  1. In the toolbar that appears, click the lower-right corner of the pen or highlighter button, and then click the color to use (see the figure), or a size/shape option at the bottom.

  2. Drag with the mouse to write or draw on the page (refer to the figure). Release the mouse button whenever you want to stop marking, and press it again to restart your note taking.

  3. Click the Save Web Note button on the toolbar. An Add To dialog box appears. Click either Favorites or Reading List at the top, and then click the Add button.

  4. Click the Exit button on the web Notes toolbar.

Writing and drawing onscreen with a regular mouse can be awkward. You can get a drawing tablet and stylus that connects to your computer via USB. After you plug it in and set it up, if needed, you can use the stylus to write and draw just like a pencil. Using one of these tablets makes adding web notes feel the same as doodling on paper.

When you view your page with web notes from your Favorites list at a later time, a toolbar appears below the address bar. It offers Hide Notes and Go To Original Page buttons.

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