We Tried the “Sidebar” Feature on Microsoft Edge and Were Pleasantly Surprised

Recently, Microsoft added a “Sidebar” to its Edge Internet browser, which is a bar for rapid access to websites, programs, and utilities that eliminates the need for users to open new windows or tabs.

At first sight, it could seem like simply another pointless add-on that clutters the web browser with numerous options. After all, opening new windows or tabs isn’t that tough. Our initial misconceptions proved to be unfounded, and the Sidebar pleasantly pleased us. As a result, we can declare with confidence that using this quick and easy access bar will make you feel as though you’re using an Android smartphone.

Enabling the Sidebar

To use Edge’s Sidebar, make sure you have the most recent version installed since it first became available in September of the previous year. Open Edge and select the menu icon with three dots in the top right corner to carry out this action. The next selection is “Help and feedback”, so tap that. Next click the item below that says “About Microsoft Edge”. If you’re not “up to date”, the download for the most recent version will only begin automatically.

The Sidebar is quite easy to access. By having to click on the same three-dotted option, select “Show sidebar” from the settings menu. “SHIFT+CTRL+S” is a helpful keyboard shortcut that you may use to either open or close the Sidebar, and to do that rapidly. It can also be closed by simply clicking the “Hide sidebar” button, which is situated directly beneath it.

What Does the Sidebar Contain?

With Sidebar active, you can immediately notice how a sidebar emerges on the right side of the Edge browser window with many keys that indicate tools, shortcuts, and websites on the web. The sidebar by default has the following buttons: Spotify, Microsoft Office, Outlook, Spotify, Discover, Shopping, Tools, and Customize sidebar.

Each of the buttons in the list can be deleted, and some even allow for further customization.

Perhaps a few instances will best illustrate the Sidebar’s usefulness.

Multitasking in One Place

For instance, you could need to translate some numerical figures or perform computations while writing a specific paragraph. Simply select the “Tools” option, and the calculator would launch right away. You can access the “Unit converter” conversion tool by scrolling down further.

The “Translator” feature is accessible from the same interface if you need to translate words or sentences. You may check your Internet speed there, as well as see the time in different international capitals.

It’s not necessary to open a separate window or tab for Internet browsing. Simply click the “Search” button on the Sidebar to conduct a quick Bing search for the details you require. You won’t be able to alter the search engine itself, therefore you’ll only be permitted to use Google if you type it into the search bar. But, this is usually insignificant when we need specific information from the Internet for a text or paper that we are writing.

The “Microsoft Office” option offers a list of recently used or opened documents along with the ability to launch Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files.

As you might expect, the “Outlook” option gives you access to your emails, calendars, contacts, and “to-do” list of activities.

It’s already obvious from a few introductory presentations that Sidebar provides everything you require for high-quality work. You can multitask without being distracted too much or opening extra windows or tabs.

Additional Content

Although Microsoft product customers will undoubtedly benefit the most from Sidebar, you are still free to attach other programs to it if you so choose. It’s nice that the majority of websites and apps have versions for both mobile and desktop.

For instance, when you’re using WhatsApp, just add an icon to the Sidebar for the website and utilize it at will. The same holds true for placing, for example, the website of a highly regarded gaming business here in the Sidebar.

Sidebar covers more than just multitasking and the office setting. Users have additional alternatives if they wish to have fun or learn new things.

The “Games” button in the Sidebar gives gamers and other fun seekers quick access to all of Microsoft’s free games. During the most recent version, a button for the “Spotify” service was included.

Using the “Discover” button, you can search the Internet in a new way and locate the information you need through a variety of various structures.

It’s necessary to mention another button that came with the most recent Edge upgrade. This button is for “Shopping”. Because it employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to evaluate information from the Internet, including comparison and price history, discounts, promotions, offers, etc., its use could be highly useful. The consumer gains a thorough understanding of his online purchases in this way and has the opportunity to save money because relevant information is readily available.

The Sidebar Resembles a Smartphone

As you can see, the Edge web browser’s Sidebar feature has proven to be a truly helpful addition. Those who multitask at work will particularly enjoy it, and we believe that the Sidebar will be the perfect tool for them to quickly switch between various programs, applications, and tools.

Because of its function, Sidebar appears to be a portable smartphone that you may activate with a keyboard shortcut. It gives everything in one location and is highly adaptable.

It should be mentioned that Sidebar has a few small flaws as well.

Things That Can Be Worked On

Icons in a sidebar cannot be ordered differently, therefore, those that are installed by default are always in the identical arrangement. This might not important to all users, yet it ought to allow for customization and a varied order based on individual tastes.

Additionally, it appears that Sidebar does not accept extensions. This may have been anticipated because many of the websites contained inside will function well on their mobile versions, however the actual issue is that this won’t be the case for desktop versions.

Another way to put it is that they wish there were more Microsoft tools inside. The majority of the most crucial ones are included, but some other Microsoft tools’ additional buttons could yet be added (e.g. Microsoft To-Do).

It may be said that Edge has evolved into possibly the most useful web browser for multitasking at the present and that Microsoft pleasantly surprised us by introducing the Sidebar function. Although there’s still potential for minor improvements, Sidebar’s existing features are more than sufficient for streamlining numerous tasks and centralizing all relevant tools, programs, and apps.