Microsoft Edge flags are experimental features that are yet to be fully integrated into the browser in the near future. Some might take a longer period to be fully implemented on the stable version of the browser, but that does not limit it from being used, and that is where the flags come in.
Let’s explore some of these experimental features that are found on most Chromium-based browsers.
How to enable Microsoft Edge flags
Follow the steps below to understand how to set up these flags from the stable Edge browser.
- Launch the Edge browser
- You can search for flags manually or simply use the code “edge://flags/” without the quotation marks, on the address bar.
- You will be directed to the Edge Flags page, where you can now search for available flags and enable or disable them using the toggle button.
- Lastly, restart the browser to allow the changes to take effect.
Experimental features are never recommended for security purposes on the stable version of the browser. The best option is to use the versions of Edge that are under development, the beta, canary or the developer version.
The experimental may also already have the experimental features working, or you might have to enable some of them. This brings peace of mind as you won’t have to interfere with the optimization of the stable version of the browser when testing these tempting features.
Tab Hover Cards
This feature makes it possible to display a popup hover card and replace the traditional tooltip. This comes handy when the user has opened many tabs, and is not able to see the title of the web page in full. When you hover the mouse on any particular tab, you are able to see a small window displaying the content of that page.
Tab groups flag is used to organize tabs virtually into distinct groups. Related tabs can be organized in groups by a common color to easily identify them. Right-click on the tabs you want to “Add a tab to a new group” to put them in one group.
Omnibox UI Max Autocomplete Matches
This flag is used to allow the Edge browser to display more autocomplete options in the Omnibox UI. The users also have the option to specify the number of suggestions that can be displayed on the address bar.
To get this feature, enable the “Omnibox UI Max Autocomplete Matches” flag on Microsoft Edge.
Parallel Downloading allows the downloading of files to be faster by dividing files into small bits. This is an ideal flag for those that download heavy files on the internet.
This flag is used to automatically put to sleep some tabs that have remained idle for some time. This, in turn, saves the system resources, and only allocates the needed resources to open active tabs.
All the tabs running in the background will be suspended, and very little to no internet resources will be utilized at all.
Fill Passwords on Account Selection
Some websites store log in details to assist in logging in automatically the next time. But if you log in to the same website with different accounts, or you have other individuals who log in details to your account in particular.
You log in to your account, then the flag will autofill all the other log in credentials of all others related explicitly to that one account.
Force Dark Mode for Web Contents
This is used to force websites to turn dark in the background. Some websites don’t have the feature to switch from light mode to dark mode. The force dark mode for web content will change the default mode to dark mode whenever the website loads up.
Global Media Controls
This is a quick settings toolbar that appears next to address bar. It comes in handy to those individuals who interact with many tabs. You can be able to control multimedia content that is being played from another tab, from any other tab that they are in without having the need to switch back.
The ClickOnce Support allows any application to be launched without administrator credentials. It deploys and even updates the software with very little user interaction. Just click on the particular link on the web page, and the action will be started on the side. This feature also allows installation of a program without requiring any user configuration from the user manually.
This flag is for those websites that still do not use server encryption on their servers. The flag switches the connections to those particular websites from the HTTP to HTTPS mode to enhance security automatically on all the websites the client visits.
Enable Lazy Image Loading
Most websites have a lot of multimedia content that you might not even want to access. This loading of images and videos consumes a lot of data, and you might be running out of low data at that particular moment.
This is where this flag comes in for the rescue. You won’t have to worry no more when visiting a heavy graphic website because of low data.
This feature is used to create a QR code for any website so that you can share those particular websites. The QR code is located in the address bar, and clicking on it will display a QR code that is sharable to anyone.
Experimental QUIC protocol
This is a new connection protocol that combines both the TCP and UDP protocols. This feature enables a faster and safer browsing experience by creating a single connection between the client and the server.
Speedup browsing by enhancing data transfer between the packets sent and received.
There are various distracting notifications that we are prompted with every time, and we might not want to interact with them at that particular moment.
These include notification like for location, which might not be hindering accessing the webpage, but you still get a request to enable it. Others are like the camera and many other alerts that might be causing real distraction on the work flow.
This flag improves the scrolling quality and speed on the Edge browser. Smooth scrolling will also be noticeable on large websites, and thus the client will find it easier to navigate the website.
Heavy Ad Intervention
Most websites have ads to allow users to access the websites freely without paying to access content. Many ads, however, become intrusive and at times defeat the purpose of having ads in the first place. Heavy Ad Intervention is a flag that helps to block these ads and results in pages loading even faster.
Desktop PWAs Run on OS login
This flag is very important to progressive web apps, to allow them to start their services in the background as soon as the system is powered up. This means for the apps that rely on launching Microsoft Edge in order to get notifications, that would now be a thing of the past.
The above are some of the experimental flags in 2023 that you can be able to utilize on the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge. They are well optimized for the Edge browser, since even if most of them were created for Google Chrome browser, they do share one engine, the Chromium engine.
Enabling most of the flags randomly might affect the web browser, and it is not recommended. Only try those you need and are important to your work flow.
The final word is to update the stable version of the browser before enabling these flags. This is because some of the flags might have already been released to the public and available when you do the update. To permanently enable the feature, you should only consider doing so on the testing versions of the browser.