Mac users might be wondering, “What is Microsoft Edge?” In a nutshell, it’s a modern web browser designed to replace Internet Explorer, which has been the default browser on Windows machines since 1995. Released alongside Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is made to compete with other highly popular alternatives such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Initially, Microsoft was hoping that the native integration with Windows search and Cortana, a voice-activated assistant, would give the Microsoft Edge browser an advantage over the competition. But the company quickly understood that lacking cross-platform support was a big hindrance — so they updated the underlying code to allow Microsoft Edge to work with other operating systems.
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Nov 16, 2019 Microsoft's new Edge browser works differently from earlier versions built just for Windows 10. Not only can you run it on Windows 7, but you can. Jan 30, 2020 To access the Collections feature in Microsoft Edge, you’ll need to create and modify a desktop shortcut. Microsoft Edge will normally add a desktop shortcut during installation, so feel free to modify this. Otherwise, to create a new Edge shortcut, click on the Start menu and locate “Microsoft Edge” in your list of installed software. The Microsoft Edge team wants to hear from you. As you use the preview channels, be sure to share your feedback using the send feedback button on the toolbar. You can also join us on the Microsoft Edge Insider Forum or on Twitter @MSEdgeDev. We share regular summaries of the top feedback we're hearing from our insider community, so you can see.
- Jan 23, 2020 How to Change Microsoft Edge to Search Google Instead of Bing Chris Hoffman @chrisbhoffman Updated January 23, 2020, 12:13pm EDT Microsoft’s new Edge browser uses Bing as its default search engine, but if you prefer something else you can change that.
- Jan 15, 2020 Edge for Mac has been designed to be similar to the Edge experience on Windows, but Microsoft has added optimizations to make it feel more Mac-like. Extensions can be added from the Microsoft.
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Is Microsoft Edge Available For Mac?
The first announcement that hinted at the possibility of Microsoft Edge running on macOS was its move to a Chromium-powered code engine. Finally, in 2019, Microsoft did release an early version of Microsoft Edge browser for Mac called Canary, which is a project name for the beta. The Canary version of Microsoft Edge is currently only accessible through the Microsoft Edge Insider program, which grants early access to new updates and betas before they roll out to market.
Releasing the Edge Microsoft beta was a timely announcement for users who had recently switched from Windows to Mac, or used both Windows and Mac in their daily lives and didn’t want to keep switching browsers.
Generally speaking, users do prefer to use one web browser across all their devices due to the similar user experience (e.g. having common features and buttons in the same place) as well as the possibility of syncing their history, bookmarks, and preferences. And while competing browsers had been enjoying those perks for years, Microsoft lost some of that momentum with their late transition from Internet Explorer to Edge for Mac.
How is Microsoft Edge for Mac different?
Microsoft used to be very particular about protecting their proprietary design language and exclusive Windows support. But the modern user demands a more natural crossover between devices and operating systems — Microsoft Edge included.
To make the move to macOS as seamless as possible, Microsoft had to make some changes and updates to suit the Mac environment. Most notably, the interface now more closely matches the global macOS design. For example, Microsoft Edge browser for Mac has updated fonts, navigation bars, and menus to mimic other Mac apps. Mac users will also enjoy trackpad gestures and hotkeys that feel right at home. Microsoft has even added preliminary support for Touch Bar and aims to include more contextual actions in the future.
Web developers will be grateful for the IE mode in Microsoft Edge for Mac, which replicates older Internet Explorer environments to help with testing and viewing dated websites that aren’t designed for modern web browsers.
Windows users will be happy to see that the Collections feature has made the jump. Collections is similar to bookmarking, but lets you save text, images, websites, and more into one place via a simple drag-and-drop. Later, your saved material can be shared with others in just a few clicks — fantastic for collaborating quickly with colleagues, family, and friends.
As Microsoft Edge is currently in its early stages on Mac, its development team is actively asking for feedback from users to help shape the product roadmap.
How to download Microsoft Edge for Mac
If you’re looking for the Microsoft Edge for Mac download — let’s get started! First, you’ll need to be running macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or above, which you can check by clicking on your Apple menu and then About This Mac. If you’re up to date, here’s what to do next:
Open the Microsoft Edge Insider Channels website. Note that Microsoft Edge is still in beta and might be buggy.
Under the Canary Channel, click Download. Ensure that beneath the download button, it says macOS — if not, you’ll need to click the dropdown arrow and select it.
Accept the license terms
When the Edge browser for Mac download has finished, open the download package
Click Continue ➙ Install
Enter your password ➙ Install Software
Once the installation is finished, it will ask if you want to delete the installation files. Click on “Move to Trash”.
Open Microsoft Edge by finding it in your Dock or Applications folder
To enjoy the best cross-device experience after completing your Microsoft Edge download for Mac, consider logging in to your Microsoft account from the Edge browser. To do this, open Microsoft Edge, then click on the profile icon next to the URL bar and click Sign In.
More better apps for your Mac
If you’re accustomed to using Microsoft Edge and happy that it’s moving to Mac, you might also wonder about other Microsoft apps. But Microsoft is yet to release their full suite of Mac software. Thankfully though there are some amazing alternatives that readily fill the gaps without breaking the bank. In fact, you can get all the apps you need for Mac with a single subscription service called Setapp, which grants you access to more than 150 apps.
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Launch CleanMyMac X
Navigate to System Junk ➙ Scan
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Looking for something similar to Microsoft Word? Try Ulysses, a writing and Markdown editor for Mac that favors a beautiful, simple interface to allow you room to do your best work. The app also lets you set a word count goal to hit every day to motivate you to write more.
Working across devices? Ulysses synchronizes your documents and work in progress across them all using a cloud-based data storage system, so you can pick up where you left off.
If you find yourself accidentally deleting files, experiencing data corruption, or being unable to access folders on your USB devices then you might want to try a high-quality file recovery tool.
Disk Drill is a simple application designed to do just that, and do it well. When you need to get a deleted file back, simply open the app, find the hard drive where the file was located in, and click Recover. A magical algorithm will take it from there.
Finally, as all of us come across PDFs every day now, a good PDF editor is a must. Try PDFpen, which rivals the best on the market for a fraction of the price. Featuring OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, PDFpen lets you convert PDFs to text and make edits and updates without a hitch. It also comes packed with every PDF editing feature you’ll ever need, including the ability to merge PDFs, sign forms, draw shapes, and redact personal information.
Best of all, CleanMyMac X, Ulysses, Disk Drill, and PDFpen are all available for a free 7-day trial with Setapp, a platform that gives you access to more than 150 Mac apps that cover everything from editing photos to keeping tabs on cooking recipes. So if you just install Microsoft Edge and Setapp — you Mac environment would be fully complete in minutes.
There's a new browser launching today, January 15, across various platforms including macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. It's the new version of Microsoft Edge, the company's first browser that's based on the open-source Chromium project, the technology behind the industry-leading Google Chrome.
Since last summer, I've been using the Microsoft Edge public beta on my MacBook Pro alongside Apple Safari, my default browser for nearly two decades. For this okay, boomer, even the thought of ditching an Apple product for one made by Microsoft was like considering an invitation to join the dark side. Nonetheless, flirting with Microsoft Edge turned out to be a positive experience.
We’re committed to delivering the power and simplicity of Office in an experience designed specifically for Mac, and we continue to make significant investments in the platform. Today, we’re excited to announce that Office 365 is now available on the newly redesigned Mac App Store. The result is an experience that is unmistakably Office but designed for Mac.“We are excited to welcome Microsoft Office 365 to the all new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave. And it’s connected to the cloud, so you can access your content from any device, coauthor with anyone around the world in real-time, and use the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to create more impactful content with less effort. With one click, Mac users can download the cloud-connected, always-up-to-date version of the Office suite—including full installs of, and.Office 365 provides experiences tailored to the Mac and macOS, like Dark Mode, Continuity Camera, OneDrive Files on Demand, and Touch Bar support on the MacBook Pro. Microsoft office 365 for mac manual.
With the first Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser now available to the public, I plan on continuing my Microsoft adventure for various reasons. Still, I'm not ready to ditch Apple Safari either for the reasons noted below.
Price: Free download.
Bottom line: Even as an unfinished product, Microsoft Edge is on the right track. Mac users should take it for a test drive and not feel guilty about it.
- Easy setup and import
- Robust, flexible security tools
- Access to Chromium-based extensions
- No Apple Pay integration
- No iCloud password integration
- Syncing isn't a finished product
Packed with features
What is Microsoft Edge?
Originally, I thought the best way to review Microsoft Edge for Mac was to compare it to Apple's Safari. After much thought, I decided against taking this approach, although I do plan on writing a separate article for iMore explaining the key differences between the two browsers. For this review, I'll focus instead on Microsoft Edge's broad features, then unpack its biggest strengths and weaknesses and why you should consider adding it to your Mac.
All about Chromium
Any discussion on Microsoft Edge needs to begin with one about Chromium. This web browser project was originally developed by Google. Like all successful open-source projects, it's been steadily improved by many third-parties, of which Microsoft is only one.
With Chromium, Google has long promised a 'lightweight and fast' internet experience. From there, it has largely been left to others to make browser-specific features worth considering.
Today, Chromium serves as the starting point for many browsers, not just Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. These include Amazon Silk, Brave, and many others.
A security and privacy win
Microsoft Edge: What I like
The first Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge is packed with high-profile features. No doubt, those on the surface will get most of the attention. However, I've been most impressed with what's going on behind the scenes.
Hackers will always target web browsers and I don't expect that will ever change. While nothing is 100 percent secure, Microsoft is doing its part to push its Edge browser closer to absolute security through tracking prevention and a so-called SmartScreen tool.
In Microsoft Edge, you get to decide how much free rein web trackers have while you're surfing. The trackers, which collect data about how you interact with a site, includes a mix of good and bad actors. Unfortunately, separating the two isn't always easy. At launch, Microsoft Edge offers three levels of tracking prevention, Basic, Balanced, and Strict.
Under Basic, Microsoft blocks trackers it thinks are potentially harmful, while allowing others that are intended to personalize your web content and ads. The Balanced approach, which Microsoft recommends for most users, blocks harmful trackers and those from sites you haven't visited. The trade-off is you receive a less robust and personalized experience compared to the Basic option.
With Strict tracking, Microsoft blocks harmful trackers and the majority of all trackers across most sites. Under this scenario, your surfing experience becomes even less personalized. Depending on the site, the limit could also disable video and login capabilities.
Like Microsoft, I believe the Balanced approach is optimal for most users. Nonetheless, I'm impressed Microsoft has moved past an all or nothing approach when it comes to tracking. Better still, you can switch back and forth between the three levels at will depending on your circumstances or location.
SmartScreen and Application Guard
Meanwhile, with built-in Microsoft Defender SmartScreen technology, Microsoft Edge can protect you from accidentially visiting locations online previously reported as phishing or malware websites. The tool also sends out an alert if you attempt to download potentially malicious files.
For those in a work environment, Microsoft has given IT professionals even more control over SmartScreen. For businesses, there's also the Application Guard, which is designed to help prevent web-based attacks using hardware isolation.
Looking beyond privacy and security, there's no denying Microsoft has spent a great deal of time during the beta process to create a setup process simple enough for anyone to complete. As part of this, it made it easy to import data from other browsers. Current Apple Safari users, for example, can import favorites, bookmarks, and browsing history, while Google Chrome users also have the ability to import payment and password information, addresses, settings, and more.
As part of the Microsoft Edge setup process, you can also create an informative web page that shows up on new tabs. The page offers a Microsoft Bing web search box, quick links to your most visited web sites, and a full Microsoft News page. You can change the tab page to match one of three canned layouts or make it your own by creating a more customized version. The new page is a nice touch and one of the key reasons to consider making a switch.
Lots of extensions
Another benefit of using the Chromium-backed Microsoft Edge browser is compatibility. Not only can you take advantage of Microsoft's new extension store for Edge, but you can also install content from the Chrome Web Store. The compatibility means you now have access to over 190,000 extensions and web apps. At last count, Safari offers less than 100.
Extensions make a web browser even more useful and offers a great way to further customize the experience. Available extensions include web security tools, translators, password generators, and much more.
iCloud averse, lacking features
Microsoft Edge: What I don't like
The Chromium version of Microsoft Edge arrives with two limitations that could make it a tough sell for users, at least in the short-term.
Can You Use Microsoft Edge On A Mac
One of Microsoft Edge's most important features is sync, which keeps your browser history, favorites, passwords, and other data the same across all of your devices. Unfortunately, sync isn't fully supported at launch. No doubt, Microsoft will correct this omission soon, but it's a head-scratching omission from such a high-profile launch.
There's no easy fix to the second limitation, which affects only Apple users. Microsoft Edge, unlike Apple Safari, doesn't support iCloud. Because of this, there's no way to bring over your iCloud Keychain username and passwords to the new browser. You also can't use Apple Pay. Because of the former, I have found it nearly impossible to fully embrace the Microsoft Edge browser and choose it over Apple Safari. However, if you use a third-party password manager such as 1Password, this limitation isn't important.
Beyond these pain points, Microsoft Edge is a nearly perfect browser and I can't wait to see where it goes from here. I'm also excited about trying the refreshed iOS version, available on the App Store.
Speedy, but ..
I'm not the type who puts a lot of weight on software benchmarks because those tests are heavily influenced by hardware. Because of this, I'll leave it to others to fully analyze the performance of Microsoft Edge and compare it to other browsers on the market, including Apple Safari.
With that being said, during my limited tests, I didn't see much of a difference between the two browsers. Like other Chromium-based browsers, Microsoft Edge on Mac is quick. However, it didn't seem any faster or slower than Apple Safari. Your situation could differ depending on the age of your computer, which is certainly worth keeping in mind.
A mostly great product
As 2020 begins, a plurality of Mac users now use Google Chrome as their browser of choice, followed by Apple Safari. In total, the two browsers control 93 percent of the market on macOS. That could soon change thanks to the arrival of Chromium-based Microsoft Edge.
If you're a current Chrome browser user ..
The new browser has been designed with privacy and protection in mind. At the same time, it firmly embraces the third-party integration and speed that has made Chrome the most popular browser on desktops overall.
If you're a current Apple Safari user ..
Thanks to limitations from Apple, Microsoft Edge can't import all content from Safari, such as passwords. However, if you're willing to look past this and want to jump head first into open-source Chromium web browsing, you should give Microsoft Edge a try. Offering perhaps a fresher experience than Safari with more privacy features, the newest browser for Mac is beautifully designed, fun to use, and customizable to match your unique tastes.
Microsoft Edge For Mac Features
A worthy alternative.
Microsoft Edge could give Google Chrome and Apple Safari a run for web browser supremacy on a Mac.
Have any questions?
If you have any questions or concerns about the Microsoft Edge web browser, let us know below.
How To Use Microsoft Edge On Mac
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