How to Browse the Internet with Microsoft Edge - dummies

How to Browse the Internet with Microsoft Edge

By Andy Rathbone

Built for speedy browsing of modern websites, Microsoft Edge, which comes installed with Windows 10, loads quickly and displays web pages as quickly as your connection allows. Part of its speed and clean look comes from its limitations, though. The browser hides its menus in order to showcase every website’s content. That makes navigation challenging.


To open Microsoft Edge, click its icon (shown here) on the taskbar along the bottom of your screen. The browser opens, as shown in the following image, filling the screen with either your last-viewed site or a launch screen that shows the top news, weather, and links to popular sites.

Microsoft Edge lets you view several websites, each in its own tab.
Microsoft Edge lets you view several websites, each in its own tab.

The browser hides most of its menus behind cryptic icons:


  • Back: This back-arrow icon in the top-left corner lets you revisit the page you just visited.


  • Forward: A click on this icon lets you return to the page you just left.


  • Refresh: Handy when viewing sites with breaking news, this icon reloads the currently viewed page, gathering the latest material available.

  • Tabs: Your currently open sites appear as tabs along the window’s top edge, letting you revisit them with a click. (Or you can close them by clicking the X in their tab’s right corner.)

  • Address bar: Click the name of the currently displayed site, which usually appears along the site’s top edge, and the Address bar appears, letting you type in the address of a website you’d like to visit. Don’t know where to go? Type in a few descriptive words, and the browser searches for and displays possible matches. Click any match to visit the site.


  • Open New Tab: Clicking this plus sign icon, which lives just to the right of your currently open tab or tabs, fetches a blank window with an Address bar along the top. There, you can type in either the address of a coveted website or a few search terms for the browser to fetch.


  • Reading view: This changes the current website’s layout so it looks much like a page of a book. How? It ditches a lot of the ads and formatting, leaving only text and pertinent photos.


  • Add to Favorites or Reading list: Click this to place your currently viewed page onto your list of Favorites, a collection of frequently visited sites. Clicking this offers an option to save a copy of the site to your Reading List for reading later. (The Reading List syncs between your devices, so Reading List items from your desktop will appear on your Windows 10 tablet or Windows 10 phone.)


  • Hub: Despite its non-descriptive name, this icon lets you revisit websites you’ve marked as Favorites or placed on your Reading List. It also lets you view a history of your visited websites, and find downloaded files.

  • Web note: Coveted mostly by owners of a tablet and stylus, click this to mark up a web page and save it as a graphic. It’s handy for highlighting passages and scrawling a “Read this!” note before sending a website to an interested friend. (Because the marked-up page is sent as a graphic, none of the links will work.)

  • Share: Click here to send your currently viewed page to another program, usually OneNote.


  • More: Clicking this icon with three dots fetches a drop-down list with options for opening a new window, changing the current website’s text size, sharing a site with friends, searching for a word on the current page, printing the page, pinning the page to the Start menu, and viewing other settings.

When you’re on the go and looking for quick information, Microsoft Edge’s speedy browser and its simple menus might be all you need.

If you’ve clicked or tapped the wrong button but haven’t yet lifted your finger, stop! Command buttons don’t take effect until you release your finger or mouse button. Keep holding down your finger or mouse button but slide the pointer or finger away from the wrong button. Move safely away from the button and then lift your finger.