As the Software is developed on the Chromium Project you can expect speed and other features similar to Google Chrome. You can download extensions from Chrome Web Store and also use the popular Flags. Though the Flags are native to the browser the Edge has come up with some of the best Edge://Flags for the Microsoft Edge Browser.
Note: Edge Flags are experimental features and may be unstable on some devices. The guide contains all the flags that have been tested on the Stable Edge Desktop Browser. If you face any issues disable the Flags.
How to Enable Edge Flags?
The steps to enable the Edge flags are the same for flags belonging to any domain, across any platform (Windows, macOS or Android).
Here are the Steps to Enable and Access Edge Flags Across all the Supported Devices.
1. Open Edge Browser on your Device.
2. Head over to the Omnibox (i.e. address bar), type Edge://flags and hit Enter.
3. Now you may take the help of the search bar to look for the desired flags.
4. Now look for any of the Flags you need, by default it is either ‘Disabled’ or in a ‘Default’ state. Just click on it and change its state to ‘Enabled’ to access the flag.
5. As soon as you do so, you will get notified to restart your browser. Just click on the Restart button to do so.
6. That’s it! As soon as the Edge Browser relaunches, the said flag would be enabled and you will see the associated effect.
Best Edge Flags to Enhance your Browser
Here are the Best Edge Flags for your Windows and Mac PC to Improve Productivity of the Microsoft Edge Browser.
1. Lazy Image Loading
Lazy Image Loading as the name suggests delays the image loading time, the edge flag will only render the images when the user comes in the viewport i.e only when the user scrolls down the page. It is a very helpful flag which can help speed up page loading and reduce your internet data as images are only loaded when you scroll across the page. It defers the loading of images marked with the attribute ‘loading=lazy’ until the page is scrolled down near them.
2. Heavy Ad Intervention
A webpage without ads can load 75% faster than the webpages with Ads. Many times the site may force you to load the content with Ads. Heavy Ad Intervention prevents the load of such Ads which consume many resources of the device. Thus making the page load faster without the use of Adblocker.
3. Previews Allowed
Many a time you might have come across a link of which you might not be sure whether is it of any significance or not. This is because there exist many click-bait articles with catchy titles but actually, they hold some completely different contents, which might not be of much use to you. The Previews Allowed Flag shows a preview snippet for the link when you hover the cursor over the link showing some excerpts to get an idea of what the link actually contains.
4. Secure DNS lookups
Basically, this flag forces the website to load over HTTPS encryption. It does the same thing as HTTPS Everywhere extension do by forcing to the website to go HTTS. When this feature is enabled, your browser may try to use a secure HTTPS connection to look up the addresses of websites and other web resources. You might have to change your DNS server to Google Public DNS, Cloudflare, etc take advantage of it.
5. Microsoft Voices Extension
Can’t read the text but can listen then this flag is just perfect for you. The flag enables Read Aloud software and other web-based applications to read the text in a human-like manner using Microsoft-provided online voices from theSpeechSynthesis API.
6. Hardware-accelerated Video
Generally, the bulky stuff like video play and graphic load (browser games) are handled by CPU causing heavy CPU usage. Hardware Accelerated Video reduces this load on CPU by making other Hardware accessories like GPU to handle the Video Play. Thus making other operations smooth while exporting in H. 264/AVC and HEVC codecs.
#disable-accelerated-video-decode | #disable-accelerated-video-encode
7. Force Dark Mode for Web Contents
Use can use Force Dark Mode for Web Contents flags to get completely dark on the content of the web page. The dark mode is available for Edge. But if you wish to read the Web Content in Dark Mode this flag is ideal for you. This Flag automatically renders all web contents using a dark theme.
8. Parallel Downloading
This functionality breaks down heavy files into numerous batches of files, downloads these batches parallelly or simultaneously and then combines them into one single file at the end. Well, in fact, this is what all the torrent downloaders also does. And the good news is that this same technique could well be carried over to Edge as well.
9. Experimental QUIC protocol
Google has recently launched a new connection protocol that it calls QUIC. This protocol is a mixture of both TCP and UDP protocol. When these two combine together, it gives not only a much faster browsing experience but also provides a much safer experience. It creates a single trip between client and server. This greatly reduces the time taken to transfer data packets, which improves the data exchange speed and hence the overall speed on the web.
10. Potentially Unwanted App Protection
Internet is filled with malware and spyware. You may be tempted to download an app without knowing that the software may contain harmful virus which can infect your device. By enabling this flag the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen will protect you against downloading potentially unwanted apps.
11. Security Warnings for Sites using Legacy TLS Versions
Suppose if you are visiting a website where you want to make some payment or fill a form with your personal details. And if the site uses older SSL TLS security than your card details and personal details may be at risk. Enabling this flag will show you security warnings for sites that use legacy TLS versions (TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1) as this older TLS are deprecated and will be removed in the future.
12. Focus Mode
Focus Mode helps in distraction-free browsing. Basically the Flag works on the tabs and when you enable the focus mode for a particular tab than the tab will open in a different window altogether making your work or read very fully focused on the particular tab.
13. Back-Forward Cache
This experimental feature caches the forward and backward pages which are already loaded making smooth and quick navigation across the pages without loading. If you have a high-end device with a large amount of space which can store cache build-up than the chrome flag can do wonders for you.
14. Microsoft Edge Tracking Prevention
Every site comes with a number of trackers to collect the data. This Flag auto automatically blocks the trackers and prevents the data to be sent to the site owner. Enable this edge flag to block site trackers a simple yet good Flag if you are concerned for privacy.
15. Treat Downloads over Insecure Connections as Mixed Content
Internet is filled with malicious files. This flag blocks downloads of unsafe files that can potentially execute code, where the final download origin or any origin in the redirect chain is insecure if the originating page is secure.
16. Tab Hover Cards
The tab hover card allows users to replace the current tooltips with a pop-up hover card. The edge flag enables a popup containing page title and domain information to be visible when hovering over a tab. It is very helpful when you work simultaneously over a number of tabs.
17. Override Software Rendering List
This option overrides Edge’s built-in software rendering list and permits GPU acceleration on unsupported system configurations. The flag will shrink loading times for games, graphics and flash videos by forcing GPU-accelerated combining of visual elements from separate sources into a single image on webpages.
19. Fill Passwords on Account Selection
Generally, when you create an account for some website, your credentials are saved and every time you open the app site the account is already logged in. But if you have multiple accounts for the site (e.g Google Accounts) and wish to select different account very frequently than this flag is very useful. The flag only Fills the passwords when an account is explicitly selected by the user rather than auto-filling credentials on page load.
20. Show Autofill Predictions
This is a very useful Edge Flag which can assist you in filling the forms or signing up for the site. The flag can Autofill the forms with an email, location address, names, mobile numbers and other pre-filled details so that you do not need to repeat the same every time.
Conclusion: These are some of the best Edge Flags for your Edge Chromium Browser to Boost your Browser Productivity. The flags are experimental and may not work in every case.