The Best New Features in Edge Chromium 88

The Best New Features in Edge Chromium 88

The latest update for Edge Chromium, version 88, is finally rolling out. This version adds many new features to the Windows and macOS versions of the browser, like new password security tools, an updated look, and several quality-of-life enhancements. It’s a lot, so we’ll go over everything new in Edge 88 and show you how to use it.

Password generator and security monitor

Headlining Edge 88’s update notes are two big password features. First is a randomised password generator that auto-creates passwords whenever you create a new account or update an existing password. Edge saves the password and auto-fills it for you so you don’t have to memorise it.

The other new password tool is automated data breach monitoring. Edge cross-references any saved login information with the latest data breaches and will warn you if it believes any of your accounts are compromised.

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Both features require you to sign into Edge with a Microsoft account and turn on Password Syncing under Settings > Profile > Sync > Passwords. To enable the password generator:

  1. Go to Settings > Profile > Passwords.
  2. Turn on “Offer to save passwords” and “Suggest strong passwords.”

Now whenever you input a new password, Edge will offer to create it for you. The password monitoring is automatic and applies to any logins saved in Edge. You can find these under Settings > Profile > Passwords > Saved Passwords.

Sleeping tabs

Users can now set inactive tabs to “go to sleep” after a set time. Edge stops checking sleeping tabs in the background, which frees up your PC’s memory and CPU to be used elsewhere. According to Bleeping Computer, this cuts down an inactive tab’s memory usage by 32% on average, and CPU use by about 37%.

Users will see a popup notification suggesting they turn on sleeping tabs to reduce Edge’s resource use, but you can configure the setting in Settings > System > Save resources. You can choose how long a tab needs to be inactive before going to sleep, or set specific websites to never go to sleep.

Sidebar search

You can now search the web without opening a new tab or leaving the page you’re on. Simply highlight a word, then right-click > Search. A sidebar will open with search results.

New looks

Edge 88 also changes the browser’s appearance, including new “Fluent Design” interface icons that match Microsoft’s other products, and over 24 new browser themes you can use to personalise Edge’s look.

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Each theme has its own colour scheme and wallpaper. The wallpaper selections include artwork from Microsoft’s first-party video game properties like Halo, Forza, Sea of Thieves, and more; Wonder Woman 1984; and a few original designs. You can preview and install them from the new Edge add-ons page.

Other new features

Finally, there’s a selection of smaller tweaks, some of which were only available on certain platforms but are now standard for all desktop versions of Edge:

  • The new tab page now shows incoming emails from your Outlook account.
  • Cross-device history and tab syncing are now available for all users.
  • Automatic Profile Switching is now available on Mac.

To download the version 88 update, open Edge and go to Settings > About Microsoft Edge. The download will automatically start if it’s available, though Microsoft says it may take up to two weeks for some users to receive it.

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