Browsing in Edge

Learn all about the Microsoft Edge browsing experience in this free lesson.

Browsing in Edge

Edge makes browsing the web quick and easy. In this lesson, we'll talk about navigating to websites in Edge. You'll also learn how use tabs, access your browsing history, and view your downloads.

If you don't have much experience using a web browser, you may want to review our lesson on Using a Web Browser, which covers the basic points of Internet browsing in more detail.

Watch the video below to learn the basics of browsing in Edge.

To navigate to a website:

In Edge, you can use the address bar to navigate to other websites and conduct web searches.

Navigating in Edge

Edge uses three main buttons for navigation: the Back, Forward, and Refresh buttons.

Windows and tabs

Like all browsers, Edge allows you to open new windows to view different pages. In addition, Edge allows you to open multiple websites in the same window using tabs. Tabs are usually more convenient than opening several windows at the same time.

To open a new window:

  1. Click the More button, then select New window. You can also press Ctrl+N on your keyboard.
  2. The new window will appear.

To open a new tab:

  1. Click the New tab button next to the current open tab. You can also press Ctrl+T on your keyboard.
  2. The new tab will appear. Type an address, then press Enter to navigate to a new page.
  3. The page will appear in the new tab.

To switch between tabs:

  1. Click any tab that is not currently selected.
  2. The tab will be selected.

To close a tab:

To open a link in a new tab:

Tabs can also make it easier to browse the web. If you find a link to a website, you can open that link in a new tab. This allows you to open the site without losing your place on the original page.

  1. Right-click the link you want to open, then select Open in new tab from the drop-down menu.
  2. The website will open in a new tab.
  3. Click the tab to view the website.

Managing tabs

Tabs can be moved and pulled in and out of windows.

To move tabs:

  1. Click and drag the tab you want to move.
  2. Release the mouse when you have moved the tab to the desired position.

To pull tabs:

If you want to view two tabs at the same time, it's easy to pull a tab to its own window.

  1. Select the tab you want to pull.
  2. Click and drag the tab out of the window.
  3. Release the mouse. The tab will now appear in its own window.


Browsing history

Like all browsers, Edge keeps a record of the websites you visit, which is known as your browsing history. Edge allows you to search your history to find a previously viewed page and delete your history for the sake of privacy.

To view your browsing history:

  1. Click the Hub button.
  2. Select the History tab.
  3. In the History section, you can view your recent browsing history. The history includes every site you've viewed in the past. The list is sorted by date, so the most recent history appears at the top of the page. If you want to return to a website, simply click the link.

Review our lesson on Privacy and Security in Edge to learn how to delete your browser history.

Downloading files

Edge can display many different types of documents, media, and other files, including PDF and MP3 files. But there may be times when you'll want to access a file outside of the browser. To do this, you'll need to download the file directly to your computer.

For example, let's say you need to complete and print a form you find online. You could download it to your computer, then open it with the appropriate program (such as Microsoft Word) to edit it.

To download a file:

If you click a link to a file, it may download automatically. However, depending on the file type, it may just open within the browser. To prevent a file from opening in Edge, you can use Save target as to download it to your computer.

  1. Right-click the file you want to download, then select Save target as.
  2. A dialog box will appear. Select the location where you want to save the file, enter a file name, and click Save.
  3. The file will begin downloading, and the download progress will appear at the bottom of the browser. When the download is complete, click Open to open the file.

For various reasons, many websites do not allow you to download content. For example, YouTube does not offer a way to download its videos.

To access your downloads:

Edge makes it easy to view and manage all of your downloads.

  1. Click the Hub button, then select the Downloads button.
  2. The Downloads tab will appear with a list of all of your downloaded files. From here, you can open previously downloaded files and clear your list of downloads.

Reading view

Edge offers a feature called Reading view that makes reading a variety of articles and websites easier. When you use Reading view, all of the ads, banners, and navigation buttons are removed, leaving you with just the text and pictures from that article. This provides the reader with a more streamlined reading experience with fewer distractions and more of a minimalistic look. To use Reading view, simply click the book symbol next to the address bar.