If you mainly use a Mac, you may not be very familiar with the Microsoft Edge web browser. Given its name and the fact that it was first released as the Windows 10 default browser, you might be surprised to find Edge is even available for Mac.
It turned out to be super available for Mac computers. But is Edge a browser you even want to install on your Mac? What are its advantages?
We are here to answer these questions and more. Read on to learn more about Edge's features and benefits, our recommendations, and how to install Edge on your Mac if you want.
The different versions of Microsoft Edge
To talk about features in Microsoft Edge, the first thing we need to do is clarify which version of Edge we are talking about. There have been two versions of the browser for a while, only one of which is available for the Mac.
The first version of Microsoft Edge was released in 2015 when Windows 10 came out. It's an EdgeHTML-based browser that is a continuation of the previous standard Windows browser, Internet Explorer.
This first version of Edge has been renamed Microsoft Edge Legacy. The renaming took place because Microsoft redesigned Edge in 2020. The modern Edge is now based on Chromium, which has added a number of new features and functions.
It's the 2020 Edge and subsequent updates that you can install on a Mac. This is related to the fact that Microsoft stopped supporting Microsoft Edge Legacy on March 9, 2021.
So for the purposes of this article, we're talking about the 2020 Chromium-based Edge. To learn more about Edge Legacy, check out our article on Microsoft is retiring Edge Legacy.
The capabilities of Microsoft Edge for Mac
Now that we know what Microsoft Edge we are talking about, let's dive into its features.
First, the Chromium base for the 2020 Edge Mac users enables many Google Chrome extensions to be used in Microsoft Edge. The browser's layout and settings are pretty similar to Google Chrome too. So, if you already like this browser on your Mac, you should like this one too.
You can also change the design of your Edge browser from time to time to change the look in case you are bored with the default look.
One of the best hidden features in Edge is the ability to pin tabs in the browser. That way, websites that you always need to have open in the same place can stay open on the left side of your Edge window, taking up less space than other tabs.
You can also arrange your Edge tabs vertically and put certain tabs to sleep so they don't monopolize your Mac's CPU and memory while you are not using them.
We're also big fans of the collection function. You can use Collections in Edge to save multiple web pages as a group. This is great for research projects or just to have all of your social media pages or favorite web games saved in one part of the browser.
In terms of security, Microsoft Edge is updated frequently so that bugs are fixed quickly and security features are often improved and reinforced. New security features are also added for users with certain processor types.
Frequent updates also mean that this feature list can grow longer over time, helping Edge shine against its other web browsers.
Do we recommend using Microsoft Edge for Mac?
In our comparison of Microsoft Edge and Firefox, we concluded that Firefox is better for privacy. However, Edge is a bit faster and manages CPU and memory resources more efficiently.
We are impressed with this and the many features of Edge. It wouldn't be surprising if features like collections or vertical tabs became available in other browsers in the next few years as other companies try to capture their magic and versatility.
In terms of using it on your Mac, you'll find that Edge isn't all that different from Google Chrome. It's just as easy to use and has a few more features that you might like.
Because of this, you may find that it doesn't really stand out from other browsers you already have if you're not particularly fond of Edge's features.
It uses Bing for its sidebar searches when you Ctrl + click any word or phrase for a quick search. Browsers like Safari use Google by default, so this uniqueness could be refreshing. Or, it might just annoy you if you don't like Bing.
Overall, we would definitely recommend installing and using Microsoft Edge on your Mac. It works well and we really like its unique features.
Here's how to install Microsoft Edge on your Mac
If you believe Microsoft Edge is worth trying out, here are the steps you need to follow to get the browser installed and used on your Mac.
First, go to the Microsoft Edge website on your Mac. At the top of the page you will see a big blue Download for macOS Button. If the button doesn't say macOS, click the down arrow and select it from the list.
Press the Download for macOS Button as soon as it is available. You then need to choose what type of Mac you have –Mac with Intel chip or Mac with Apple chip. Click the one that matches your Mac model.
Go to your Downloads folder and open the Microsoft Edge PKG file that you just placed there. Follow the instructions in the installer, including entering your password when prompted.
When the installer finishes, close it and click move to Trash Button if you want the installer out of the way. Edge should open automatically – if not, yours will find it Applications Folder.
In Edge, click Edge Getting started, and follow the instructions to choose your preferred new tab layout and decide whether to log in to your Microsoft account in the browser and sync data from there.
Edge also offers to import your browsing data from your other browsers. You can do this if you want Edge to have this information to better personalize your browsing experience. Otherwise, you can just use Edge!
Microsoft Edge: Great for Mac too
We're pretty impressed with the capabilities of the Microsoft Edge 2020. They make Edge a unique browser and one that we definitely recommend for Mac users.
We hope we have helped you decide if you want to use Microsoft Edge on your own Mac, and we also hope that our installation guide will make installing the browser pleasant and easy if you choose to do so.
A guide to the security settings in Microsoft Edge
Here are four easy ways you can reconfigure the Microsoft Edge browser to make your online activities more secure.
About the author
(28 published articles)
Jessica has been writing tech articles since 2018 and loves knitting, crocheting, and embroidering little things in her free time.
By Jessica Lanman
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