The 5 Biggest Problems With Microsoft Edge

Ben Stegner 09-11-2017

Microsoft Edge should have been a big deal for Microsoft. Instead, it’s an awkward half-baked experience that most Windows 10 users don’t bother with. Over two years after Windows 10 and Edge’s release, the browser still isn’t seeing widespread use.


problems microsoft edge

Why is this? We’ve identified five major problems that explain why Microsoft Edge still isn’t worth using as your main browser yet 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Switch to Microsoft Edge Yet Is Microsoft Edge worth using while Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are still around? Is Edge good enough to be your primary browser? Read More .

1. A Subpar Library of Extensions

Of all Edge’s problems, this is probably the one you’ve heard about the most. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (over a year after its release), Edge gained support for extensions. We’ve taken a complete look at the list of available extensions The Complete List of Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions Microsoft Edge now supports extensions, but its library is paltry compared to Chrome's. Let's find out exactly how good Edge extensions are compared to Chrome's offerings. Read More — while it certainly has some useful ones 10 Best Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions You Should Try Today The latest Windows 10 Upgrade finally brings browser extensions to Microsoft Edge. We have examined the handful of extensions available and show you which ones are worth your time. Read More , the paltry library simply can’t match what Chrome and Firefox offer.

At the time of writing, Edge offers 71 extensions. The Chrome Web Store doesn’t provide a number, but Google celebrated 8,500 extensions in 2010 after the service had been live for a year. We can certainly assume the Chrome Web Store houses thousands more extensions today. And while sheer quantity doesn’t beat quality, you’ll find many of the best Chrome extensions aren’t available on Edge.

problems microsoft edge extensions


Even the extensions Edge has aren’t all amazing. Of the 71, at least five of them are ad-blockers. Several others are intended for corporate users and only available if you sign in with a company account. Chances are, your favorite extension isn’t available on Edge. And that’s a game-breaker for many.

2. No Mobile Syncing Capabilities

Since Windows Phone/Mobile is essentially dead Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Mobile Is Dead Microsoft has put Windows 10 Mobile on life support, administering the bare minimum in order to keep it alive. But in reality, Microsoft's dream of making an impact in the mobile market is over. Read More , Microsoft is focusing its efforts on Android and iOS apps Windows Mobile Is Dead, But Not Microsoft Mobile Windows Mobile is dead. But, Microsoft has some excellent apps for both Android and iOS. We feature five of the best Microsoft apps to boost your productivity. Read More . This includes a version of Microsoft Edge for those mobile platforms. Since Edge doesn’t really have anything unique to tempt Chrome or Safari users to switch 5 Simple Ways to Choose the Best Mobile Browser for You Choosing a browser for your mobile device, whether Android or iOS -- which one do you choose? If your head spins from the variety of mobile browser options, then ask yourself these five questions. Read More , you’d think the one feature it absolutely needs is syncing with Windows 10.

But it can’t do that.

Currently, Edge is only available as a beta app on Android and iOS. And in its current state, tab syncing isn’t included. This means the most important feature that would make desktop Edge users want to install it on their phones is missing. You can send a tab from your phone to your PC, but it’s not an always-on sync.


Whenever you use Chrome on Android or iOS (or Safari on iOS), you open it up, sign into your account, and everything syncs. On your phone, you can view tabs that you have open on your laptop. Your passwords and autofill info are present for your convenience. But if you install Edge on your mobile, you’re working from scratch.

Hopefully, when Microsoft releases the final version of Edge for smartphones, it will include this important feature. But that could take months and only appeals to a small number of users — those whose main Windows 10 browser is Edge. Will Edge on iOS really tempt any Mac users to try it on their iPhone when Safari provides such a better experience Mac & iOS Users: Why Aren't You Using Safari Yet? Apple's browser is now a polished first-party product that's exclusive to Mac and iOS devices. So why aren't you using it? Read More ?

3. Few Quality-of-Life Features

Let’s say you don’t use any browser extensions and don’t care about Edge on mobile. Even then, Edge lacks some basic usability features that have been in other browsers for years.

The Fall Creators Update (which is still rolling out to users Do This Before Every Windows 10 Update or Installation Windows 10 gets major updates twice a year, plus monthly updates. We show you what you should do before running Windows Update. Now Patch Tuesday can come! Read More ), is adding several once-absent features to Edge, which makes us wonder why it didn’t have them in the first place.


These include fullscreen mode, pinning websites to your Taskbar, and editing the URL for a bookmark. Internet Explorer 11, which released in 2013, has all three of these.

problems microsoft edge quality-of-life features

But additional basic usage features from other browsers are still absent from Edge. You can’t middle-click the Back button to open the prior page in a new tab, or mute individual tabs. Clicking the info icon for a website provides very little security information What Is a Website Security Certificate? What You Need to Know Website security certificates help make the web more secure and safer for online transactions. Here's how security certificates work. Read More . The Favorites and History slide-out panels don’t let you search or view the information using the whole screen.

And there’s no profile feature, which is an amazing productivity trick 6 Custom Google Chrome Profiles You Should Start Using What are Chrome profiles and how do you use them? Here are several useful ideas for Chrome browser profiles you should try. Read More . Further, diving into Edge’s settings A Quick and Dirty Guide to Every Setting in Microsoft Edge If you decide to use Edge, the first thing you should do is set the browser up, which includes tweaking all of the settings according to your needs. Here's everything you need to know. Read More (even the hidden Flags menu How to Access Secret Settings in Microsoft Edge Microsoft Edge has a hidden menu with some extra settings. Here's how to access it and tweak a few secret options. Read More ) doesn’t offer you the fine-grained control that other browsers do.


All this adds up to a browser that feels unfinished. When Internet Explorer has basic features that your browser doesn’t, that’s a big problem.

4. Its Unique Features Don’t Set It Apart

So Edge can’t do a lot of what other browsers can. But what does Edge offer that’s different from every alternative? It has a few neat features, but none of them make a convincing argument for switching 10 Reasons You Should Be Using Microsoft Edge Now Microsoft Edge marks a complete break from the Internet Explorer brand name, killing off a 20-year-old family tree in the process. Here's why you should be using it. Read More .

Cortana integration means that your virtual assistant can show you coupons for certain sites Cortana Now Helps You Save Money When Shopping Online Cortana, Microsoft's digital personal assistant, can now help you save money when you're shopping online. Which is nice of her. Read More , show lyrics for music videos, and show you information on restaurants. This is all fine, but not particularly exciting. You have to sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account The Pros and Cons of Using a Microsoft Account with Windows A single Microsoft Account allows you to log into a wide range of Microsoft services and apps. We show you the pros and cons of using a Microsoft Account with Windows. Read More and use Cortana in the first place to take advantage of it.

The other big draw is page annotation. This lets you take a snapshot of a site and mark it up so you can send it to friends. It’s… okay. But does anyone really use this? It’s just as easy to take a screenshot in any other browser How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows The best way to take a screenshot depends on the version of Windows you're on. We show you the subtle differences, give troubleshooting tips, and reveal the best keyboard shortcuts and tools. Read More and annotate it. We can’t imagine anyone needing this feature so badly that they would use Edge just for it.

problems microsoft edge lackluster unique features

Microsoft Edge also supports ebooks, which is neat but, again, not an amazing feature. Surely most bookworms aren’t reading entire books on their computers — that’s what Kindles are for Why You Should Buy a Kindle (Even If You Love Real Books) Here are several reasons why you should buy a Kindle, even if you love "real" printed books. Read More . It could prove to be useful for students, but there are other ways to read books on Windows The 7 Best PDF and Ebook Readers for Windows Here are some of the best PDF book readers and ebook readers for reading ebooks on a Windows PC! Read More .

Edge’s only other major feature is the Reading View, which strips everything but the essential parts of a webpage to make it easier for reading. It’s not unique to Edge, and can render some pages strangely, but it does have some utility.

Finally, Edge also has special touchscreen shortcuts 18 Essential Touch Gestures in Windows 10 Touch gestures are like keyboard shortcuts for your touchpad and touchscreen. And with Windows 10, they have finally become useful! We'll show you how to access the full potential of touch gestures. Read More and extra-large buttons when in tablet mode. We’ll give it a point for this, but we imagine even for the few people who regularly use a touch screen, this isn’t an essential feature.

5. The Stigma of Being Internet Explorer’s Successor

This isn’t a hard-and-fast problem with Edge, but it is a consideration in why it’s had a hard run so far. As you likely know, Edge replaced Internet Explorer (IE) as the default browser 5 Legendary Windows Tools Replaced by New Features Windows includes lots of tools that you use every day, but some have lasted longer than others. Here are parts of Windows that don't exist anymore. Read More in Windows after a 20-year run beginning in 1995. While the last version of IE (Internet Explorer 11) is a passable browser Why You Should Upgrade To Internet Explorer 11 Now Restoring Internet Explorer to a browser that people actually wanted to use was always going to be a hard road, but it's just possible that with Internet Explorer 11 this stage has been reached. Read More , years of problems with IE have left sour tastes in users’ mouths.

Whether it was the dawdling update cycle for IE, lack of support for modern web standards, security problems, or being forced to use it at work, many people jumped ship from IE as soon as they could. Thus, even though Microsoft Edge promised a fresh start, that familiar logo and status as the default browser in Windows instantly turned many off. It’s an unmeasurable quality, but will probably never fade away.

Speaking of which, Edge inherits one major problem from its predecessor: slow updates. Unlike other browsers, which see incremental updates roughly every month, Edge only gets feature updates when a new version of Windows 10 rolls around.

Take a look at Edge’s release history. Since the Anniversary Update in August 2016, Edge has barely gained any features. Microsoft waits for major updates to Windows, which happen roughly every six months, to add new features to Edge. This is a long time to wait. Compare this to Chrome, which adds features like individual tab muting in standard releases.

Will Edge Ever Improve?

Edge isn’t in a great place right now. It lacks a solid extension library, doesn’t sync smoothly with mobile platforms, and lacks major features to help it stand out. It’s not a total piece of junk — there are some good reasons to use Edge This Is What Microsoft Edge Is Good For Microsoft Edge is way better than Internet Explorer. It's time to become browser agnostic. We'll show you the unique features that make Edge worth using, even if it's not your main browser. Read More , like its superior battery life on laptops. But there are problems that Microsoft can’t ignore if it wants people to take Edge seriously.

Since you’re not using Edge, check out the best browsers for Windows instead The Best Web Browsers for Windows What is your default web browser? Even though we're spoiled for choice, the majority of us stick to the tried and tested major players. What are better alternatives for resource use, speed, and security? Read More .

What is your biggest problem with Microsoft Edge? Would you use it if some of these issues were fixed? Tell us what you think about Edge in the comments below!

Image Credit: DragonImages/Depositphotos

Related topics: Microsoft Edge, Windows 10.

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  1. Newt Newton
    November 21, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    #1 reason: It freezes. That's only reason I need not to use it. Every once in awhile I try it again. It's hopeless.

  2. Don Smith
    June 15, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Another Edge problem is that I can't put a quick icon of a favorite website on my desktop as I can with Internet Explorer. Using the drag and drop method is how I do it with Internet Explorer.

  3. Dotty
    November 14, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Edge is too slow and you can't tell if it is still loading or just laying there dead. I hate it but can't seem to load Crome or Firefox. I'm going to switch to a tablet and only use my laptop for storage and printing. Windows10 has made my laptop useless. By the way my laptop is less than 2 years old and came with the new and wonderful windows 10 and Edge crap.

  4. OH
    January 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    My initial problem with Edge was that Alt-D was not a shortcut to the address bar, and that there was no shortcut to the address bar at all.
    This was fixed, and I considered it very much improved.
    However, Edge and Chrome both have the irritating feature of not having a keyboard shortcut to get to your favorites. (In Internet Explorer, Alt-A is the shortcut to favorites.
    My only remaining objection to Edge is this:
    That when you start edge from the command line or from a desktop shortcut, there is no command line option to force it to open in a new window.
    You would be surprised how much these little things mean to some people.

  5. Eddie G
    December 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I gave up on MS browsers a long time ago, moved to Opera when it came out and used Firefox, now I have a set list of browsers i will use, and MS Edge is not one of them....neither is Internet Explorer, (well to be fair?....seeing as how I use Linux? I guess none of them would work on my system anyway!) but when I DID have to use Windows (@work of course) I would instantly install Firefox or Opera and use that instead. Now I have (in no particular order!) Vivaldi.....Firefox.....IceWeasel......GNome Web....Epiphany.....Midori....and sometimes Chromium. So what would I need with Microsoft's offerings? Nope. No thanks.

  6. Chris Knight
    November 17, 2017 at 4:17 am

    If you're a Windows Server 2016 Remote Desktop user and need a modern Web browser then you're unable to use Edge and have to use something like Chrome or Firefox.
    Microsoft need to get over this idea of tying Edge and its feature enhancements to a Windows release. Didn't really work for IE, won't work for Edge.

  7. dragonmouth
    November 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    The one overriding problem Edge has is that it is from Microsoft.

    • Eddie G
      December 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      I agree totally with oyur assessment! LoL!

    • Tyano Jason
      May 4, 2018 at 1:42 am

      I couldn't agree more.

  8. ReadandShare
    November 9, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    All five reasons - plus the woefully unimaginative and butt ugly institutional gray/white color scheme. Sure, some people like that stuff, no doubt, but how arrogant is it for Microsoft to think that any single "theme" will satisfy the 'billions' of users that it hopes to attract?

    Options, Microsoft. Give people options!

  9. Tom
    November 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I use my desktop as a temporary working space. For me the Edge deal-killer is the inability to quickly create a desktop shortcut to the page I am viewing. Drag and drop from the address bar doesn't work, right-click gives a two un-helpful anemic choices, and there doesn't seem to be an extension that will do it. If anyone knows of a way to do this when using Edge I would appreciate learning about it.

    • John
      November 17, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Yep, same deal killer for me, and for exactly the same reasons!! And it's disappointing because there is a great deal to like about this browser, from its responsiveness to its uncluttered, clean interface and its, albeit limited, but highly useful extensions. I would really like to stay with a native browser (as I have done for the last fifteen years) on my Windows 10 platform but I won't while this glaringly obvious feature is absent from the experience.

    • James Lapointe
      November 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Tom is spot on. I like to make quick shortcuts on my desktop or drag the address bar to a specific folder. I honestly don't know what they smoke at MyCrapSoft. They kill off functions we use and love and add stuff we don't want, need or even understand. They really need a social media department to get customer feedback. THEN, they need to actually READ what consumers think and make adjustments. They seem to be more out of touch every year. I am often confused how Windows and Office continue to be the so popular when they keep screwing up what actually works.... I guess it's like crack. It sucks and it is bad for you, but once you get used to it, it is hard to stop using it.

      • dragonmouth
        March 14, 2018 at 11:39 pm

        "They kill off functions we use and love and add stuff we don't want, need or even understand."
        MS is the DEVELOPER. Therefore, they KNOW BETTER what the users need and want. Users are idiots that must be led by the nose. Ever hear "If I want your opinion, I'll tell you what it is"? That is the MS attitude.

        "how Windows and Office continue to be the so popular"
        Vendor lock-in. When you have thousands of documents created with Windows and Office, it is very hard to use anything but.

        • Disgruntled David
          May 30, 2018 at 11:04 am

          Modern MS in a nutshell. They are operating in a complete echo chamber.
          Make a brand new browser that's borderline pointless and offers next to nothing new?
          "Yes sir, great idea sir".
          Introduce a half-decent PDF reader for about a year, then kill it and force people to use Edge instead using dubious tactics?
          "Fantastic, I'll get right on it."
          Try to out-Apple Apple at their own game by launching a half-assed app store in an already saturated market?
          "Brilliant, genius!"

          They need to fire their QA testers and get a group of people who actually represent reality.

  10. TheFutureMe
    November 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Fonts are still a problem as well. Not only do sans-serif fonts look terrible, Edge still uses Times New Roman as the default font, with no way to change it like Chrome and Opera allow you to do.

  11. Abhinav
    November 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Hey.. that's a misleading pie chart that you have shown in the beginning. You should have filtered os=Windows 10 if you are making the claim that "most Windows 10 users don't bother with it".

    I use edge regularly (on surface book) ... And I feel in tablet mode, other browsers don't offer a good experience.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Ah, you're right. I didn't think about filtering by Windows 10, that was a mistake. But when I went back to check it after seeing your comment, the site requires you to pay to place any kind of OS filter on the results.

      This highlights another problem with Edge that we've mentioned before: its limited platforms make it hard for users to adopt it. Perhaps with the mobile versions, we'll see increased usage.

  12. dragonmouth
    November 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Ahhh, but now MS, with great fanfare, can release the NEW AND IMPROVED Edge 2. Which will be incrementally better but nothing to write home about. Which will lead to N&I Edge 3. Rinse and repeat. It will be IE all over again.

    • Roderick
      March 14, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      I have been trying to use edge since I installed windows 10 on this machine six months ago and I am disappointed.. half of things you need to interact with never load, like "Captcha" applets, sometimes I can be scrolling through a comments session, and click on "More replies" all I see is a spinning circle... just as a test, I let one of those circles spin while I went out for the day... I came back hours later and the same circle was still spinning, and I decided to load the same article on FireFox and it loaded just fine, no spinning circles, and the other sites that wouldn't load the captcha applet got loaded right away... This is now 2018, so this browser is some three years old and still not completely functional?
      Microsoft needs to fire all their so-called smart people and hire some people off the street that actually has experience with windows and it's inequities rather than some college kid that is still wet behind the ears. So in short, I have to once again rely on something other than a MS product for what I need to do in Windows.. Like someone on another MS thread said... Edge is the browser to use to download a "good" browser with.