5 Microsoft Edge Habits for a Minimalist Browsing Experience

When browsing online, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus on the task at hand. With the rise of short media, staying focused on online work becomes a bigger challenge.

Embracing minimalism is a great way to combat this problem. Luckily, Microsoft Edge offers plenty of tools to create a minimal browsing environment to avoid hampering your productivity. Here are five ways to eliminate distractions and enjoy a meaningful and convenient browsing experience in Microsoft Edge.

1. Optimize the bookmarks bar

Microsoft Edge’s bookmarks bar can be a useful tool for accessing web pages faster. But it can also be a useful distraction tool, especially if it’s filled with non-work related links.

Fortunately, Microsoft Edge offers several options to avoid clicking when doing important work. You can either show the bookmarks bar only on new tabs or turn it off completely. To access these options:

  1. Right-click any empty space in the bookmarks bar.
    Hide bookmarks bar in Microsoft Edge 1
  2. Hover over it Show favorites bar.
    Disable Favorites Bar in Microsoft Edge 2
  3. Select now Never Where Only on new tabs.

You can also quickly switch between hiding and showing the bookmarks bar using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+B.

2. Reduce news clutter on the New Tab page

Opening the new tab page is great when new ideas come to mind. But with Microsoft Edge My feed viewing news, the new tab page can quickly become a hub of distractions. While there is some useful strategies for limiting news consumption in generalthis tip will purify your browsing experience in a news-free and stress-free environment.

The My feed the news feature is displayed by default when opening new tabs. However, this can be easily disabled. To disable the feature:

  1. Click the gear icon at the top right of the page.
    Disable My Newsfeed feature in Microsoft Edge
  2. Scroll to Contents section.
    Disable My Newsfeed feature in Microsoft Edge 2
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Disabled content.
    Disable My Newsfeed feature in Microsoft Edge 3

This will prevent the News Feed from showing when opening new tabs.

Microsoft Edge lets you customize the amount of news displayed on the new tab page if you want to always access the news feed when opening new tabs. Using the same menu as above, the following options are available:

  • Titles only
  • Content partially visible
  • Viewable content

The last two options display news cards, while Titles only displays only the top newsfeed banner as shown below. All options and their relevant news feeds apply each time you open a new tab.

Banners enabled only in Microsoft Edge My Feed feature

Reducing the news content available to you is an effective way to limit distractions at work and keeps you from going off on unintended tangents while working – a trap it’s easy to fall into.

3. Use Tab Groups

With more and more activities of daily living moving online, whether it’s shopping online, catching up with friends, or performing work-related tasks, it’s not hard to be overwhelmed by your tab bar.

Microsoft Edge offers a solution to this problem with its Tab Groups feature. To use this feature, you need to know how to select multiple tabs in Microsoft Edge. There are two ways to do this:

  • Use CTRL+ left-click to select individual tabs.
  • Use Shift + left-click to select a series of tabs that fall next to each other.

After selecting the tabs to be grouped, right-click on any of the selected tabs to display the option Add tabs to group in the drop-down menu.

Creating a New Tab Group in Microsoft Edge

Here you can either create a new group, giving it a title and assigned color, or select an existing group to add your tabs to. To open and close a group, simply click on its title.

Using tab groups allows you to categorize the mesh of ideas on your browser display into dedicated regions to help you focus on one thing at a time. This minimal workflow strategy has recently proven effective, with numerous studies highlighting the cognitive costs of multitasking.

4. Try Vertical Tabs

Whether you’re studying for an exam or working remotely from home, it’s not uncommon to experience an overflow of open tabs. Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs feature offers a useful solution to this problem.

Using vertical tabs has many advantages. More tabs can fit on the screen—with vertical tabs enabled; all tabs are presented in a neat vertical list on the left side of the browser window. You may also find it easier to use the tab groups feature from a vertical perspective.

To enable vertical tabs, right-click on the title window and select Enable vertical tabs. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + , to easily switch from one view to another.

Enable vertical tabs

Enabling this option gives you a list of your tabs with their names displayed in the side pane. You can adjust the size of the pane by clicking and dragging the edge of the pane. However, if you want to completely remove the tab names, you can use the Minimize pane tool.

To activate this view, click on the small arrow below:

Collapse pane vertical tabs functionality

This reduces tabs to icons only, giving you a minimal view of your tabs while increasing browser space.

Show tab icons only 1

You can easily switch back to the old view by hovering over the collapsed pane and clicking the pin icon shown below:

Edge Browser pin pane tool

5. Install websites as apps

What’s better than trying to cut down on distracting browser features while working? Eliminate them completely. With Microsoft Edge’s Web Apps feature, you can install websites to work as separate apps without any external browser functionality. To install a website as an application:

  1. Click on the three dots at the top right to access the settings menu.
    Accessing the Web Apps feature in Microsoft Edge 1
  2. Move towards apps and select Install this site as an application.
    Accessing the Web Apps feature in Microsoft Edge 2

Here you will also find a list of your installed apps.

As a unique feature, Microsoft Edge lets you customize the app title and icon before installation. You’ll also get prompts during setup to pin the app to your desktop taskbar or Start menu, just like you would with a regular app.

Opening an app will load the website in a new window. With only the web page accessible (and no tab bar, bookmark bar, or even address bar), you can enjoy a totally minimal browsing experience without the temptation to click.

Adopt These Habits for a Minimal Browsing Experience

Applying minimalism to your browsing experience is simple in Microsoft Edge. Use these methods to isolate your time at work from your downtime and disconnect from the chaos of the online world.

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