5 Fixes for Common Microsoft Edge Problems

Microsoft’s slick browser is a welcome contrast to the fusty old Internet Explorer that it succeeded. It’s faster, less cluttered, and has a snappy (dare I say “edgy”?)  name that stands up well to Chrome and Firefox. But the Edge experience has also been blunted for many people by a bunch of small but frustrating problems. Here are five fixes for the worst and most common of those.

1. Prevent Automatic Downloads

The tendency of Microsoft Edge to automatically download files to your computer without confirmation is not only annoying, it’s dangerous and can lead to malicious software sneaking onto your PC. Not good, Microsoft. Not good.

While the option to confirm before downloading wasn’t on Edge before, it’s now been added, so you should enable it immediately.

1. Click the three dots (menu icon) at the top right corner of the Edge window and go to “Settings -> View advanced settings.”

2. Switch on “Ask me what to do with each download.”


2. Edge is Running Slowly or Pages Aren’t Loading

If Edge isn’t being its usual speedy self, then apart from the obvious advice of “Check your internet connection,” etc., you should also clear the browser of unnecessary clutter and check your hard drive for errors.

1. To clear Edge of cookies, trackers, and other junk, go to “Settings -> Choose what to clear,” then make sure that the first three boxes are ticked, and click “Clear.”

2. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can try the more radical solution of scanning your hard drive for errors. Click Start, type cmd and hit Enter.

In the command prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter. This will scan and fix any errors on your hard drive that could’ve been causing Edge trouble. (Your PC may restart during the process.)


3. Videos Not Working in Edge

If you can’t watch your favorite clips and animal videos on YouTube or other video sites, then there may have been a breakdown in communication between Edge and your graphics card (GPU). First, make sure your graphics card drivers are up to date and clear your browsing data like in the previous tip. If that’s not enough, then do the following:

1. Go to “Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Advanced,” then tick the box that says “Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering.”

2. Restart your PC, and videos should be working again.


4. Edge Isn’t Blocking Pop-Ups

For most of its relatively short life, Edge has been lacking the kinds of quality extensions seen in Firefox and Chrome. One of the major things missing from Edge has been a reputable Ad blocker, but since the Anniversary Update, you can now download either Adblock or Adblock Plus for Edge. To do this:

1. Click the menu icon at the top right of Edge, “Extensions,” and search for “adblock.”

2. Select “AdBlock” or “Adblock Plus,” then click the blue “Free” button to install.


5. Can’t Change Edge as the Windows Default Browser

Tried all the above fixes but Edge is still not living up to your expectations? Then it might be time to let it go and set another browser as your default. The problem for many people, however, is that the the normal method of changing the default browser (through “Settings -> System -> Default apps”) doesn’t work because of a bug.

There is, thankfully, another way to change your default programs. Go to “Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Set your default programs.” Next, select the browser you want to have as your default in the Programs pane on the left-hand side, then click “Set this programs as default” on the right and click OK.



Microsoft Edge is an intuitive browser and the much-needed improvement over Internet Explorer that’s long been needed. It got off to a shaky start but has gone through some major updates that make it possible to add crucial functions like confirmation before downloads and ad-blockers. If you had problems with it before, then hopefully these fixes will eradicate most of those, meaning now could be a good time to give Edge another chance.

Robert Zak
Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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