How to Use Extensions in Microsoft Edge – 2019 Guide

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5 min read

Extensions are something many Microsoft Edge users have been crying out for, in some cases their absence kept another browser in use. But Edge has a lot going for it, and finally, with extensions, there’s nothing missing anyone could claim as a “showstopper.”

In fact, what we’re going to get now is a more powerful, more functional browser for everyone. The selection may be small, but there are already some great additions to your browsing experience. As the selection grows, we’ll keep this list updated to be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

Extensions are small software programs that integrate with Microsoft Edge to make surfing the internet easier, safer, and more productive. You can add extensions to personalize your web browsing experience.

Extensions vary in purpose and usefulness and you choose the extensions you want. Some extensions do one thing, like block pop-up ads, and work behind the scenes. Others provide translations between languages when you ask for it, manage web passwords as you deem fit, or add quick access to say, Microsoft Office Online products. Still others make it easier to shop at an online store; Amazon has their own extension, for instance. Extensions are available from the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Edge extensions are available from the online Microsoft Store or through the Store App on any Windows 10 computer. (We prefer the Store app.) Once there you can click any extension to go to the Details page for it. Most extensions are free, but there are a few you’ll have to pay for.
To browse the available extensions:

  • From your Windows 10 computer, type Microsoft Store and click it in the results.
  • In the Store’s search window, type Edge Extensions and press Enter on the keyboard.
  • From the resulting window, click See All Extensions.
  • Click any of the results to go to its Details page. The Pinterest Save Button is an example.
  • Click the Back arrow to return to the All Extensions page and continue to explore until you find ad add on you like.

Get Edge Extensions

Once you’ve found an extension you’d like to get, you’re ready to install it.
To install an Edge Extension:

  1. Click Get on the applicable Details page. You might also see Free or Buy.
  2. If the app isn’t free, follow the instructions to purchase it.
  3. Wait while the extension downloads.
  4. Click Launch.
  5. From the Edge browser, read the information available and click Turn It On to enable the new extension.

Use Edge Extensions

Your Edge extensions appear as icons near the top right corner of the Edge window. How you use an extension depends on the extension itself. Sometimes there’s an explanation on the Details page in the Microsoft Store; sometimes there isn’t.

For the Pinterest extension, for example, you must first find a site that allows pins to be created and then click the Pinterest icon on the Edge toolbar to create that pin. This is a manual extension. For an ad block extension, you’ll have to run across a site that has ads that need blocking and let the app do its job on its own. This is an automatic extension.

We particularly like the Microsoft Office Online extension. This is a kind of hybrid extension. The first time you click the icon for this add-on it asks you to enter your Microsoft login information. Once logged in, you’ll click this icon again to gain quick access to all Microsoft Office Online apps, which open and log you in automatically from then on.

Whichever extensions you choose, you’ll need to learn how to use them on your own because they are all different. There’s no one size fits all instruction set to guide you. Keep in mind though that some work automatically behind the scenes, some only work in specific situations, and some require you to log in to a service to use them.

Manage Edge Extensions

Finally, you can manage Edge Extensions. Some offer options and settings, but all offer a way to uninstall the add-on should you decide to.
To manage Edge Extensions:

  1. Click the three ellipses in the top right corner of the Edge interface.
  2. Click Extensions.
  3. Click any extension to manage it.
  4. Click Uninstall if desired, otherwise, explore the options.

Recommended Extensions

Ghostery

Let’s be real: Web publishers (like ourselves) would rather people didn’t block ads, but it happens. Edge can now do the same and if you’re going down that road then you should use Ghostery.

Ghostery blocks trackers used by websites and allows you to take control over what you do and don’t want to see while you’re browsing. It’s very customizable, free, and if you create a Ghostery account you’ll be able to sync your settings across devices.

Office Online

Office 365 subscribers and frequenters of Office Online will love this nifty little extension. It offers you access to your documents, even to create new ones with a couple of clicks. Open from your OneDrive account or from local storage and create, edit and save right there in the browser. It’s not particularly flashy, but still a must have for Office users.

OneNote Web Clipper

Microsoft’s own OneNote is an amazingly powerful tool used by many. It’d be foolish for Microsoft not to support its own products, so OneNote gets its own Edge extension for web clippings. Once added you can snip anything you find online to your notebook in OneNote with a click of a button. Simple, effective, supremely useful.

LastPass

There are other password services we’d expect to see extensions from in the future, but if you’re a LastPass user you’re already in luck. Instead of having to exit out of your browser to another app you can hit the extension and get the login information you need, all without ever leaving Microsoft Edge. Ultimately convenient and another plus to using LastPass on Windows 10.

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