When it was first announced, Microsoft’s decision to adopt Chromium code was met with skepticism. The launch of Edge, the company’s Chromium-based browser, is the latest attempt to dethrone Google Chrome. Gone are the days of Microsoft running its own proprietary software.
A new Microsoft Edge is attempting to dethrone Google by attacking from the inside. Claiming better performance across the board, Microsoft is combining the best of two worlds. One of the biggest advantages of Edge is the ability to run Google Chrome extensions. In other words, Microsoft Edge users can get all of the advantages of Chrome without actually using Chrome. Sound good? Here’s how to run those Chrome extensions.
First, you need to start by downloading the latest version of the Edge browser. You can do that at microsoft.com, and your existing browser will determine the appropriate download package. Edge is currently available for Windows 10, macOS and mobile software for both Android and iOS.
Building it on the same Chromium code base allows all desktop-based Edge users to tap into the incredibly large selection of Chrome extensions. Microsoft has its own selection of extensions as well, downloadable through the Microsoft Store. As of this writing, the native extension selection is rather limited. Honestly, that is okay, as there are so many Chrome extensions, Microsoft can take its sweet time to increase the native selection.
Finding the Extensions Menu
After Edge is installed on your computer, adding Chrome extensions is relatively easy. Once you have the hang of it, you’ll be installing extensions at will in just a few seconds. Let’s get started.
- Find the three horizontal dots, or ellipses, in the upper-right corner of the browser to open up the menu.
- Now, drag your mouse down and click “Extensions” in the menu.
- After hitting extensions, a new tab will open in the browser. Follow the next steps to keep going.
Enabling Third-Party Extensions
This is the most critical piece. Fortunately, it’s only one click. Toward the bottom-left of the extensions page is an option labeled “Allow extensions from other stores.” Toggle that option so it’s active. You’ll receive a pop-up warning that Microsoft hasn’t verified the extensions in the Chrome web store. That is okay. Just click “Allow” to move on.
Head over to Google’s repository of Chrome extensions by clicking over to the Web Store. If for any reason that does not work, a simple Google or Bing search of “Google Chrome Extensions” will help navigate you to the right page.
Now just find any extension you want and install. Extensions that can be added will have a blue label toward the top right of the page labeled “Add to Chrome.” Just click on that and hit “Add extension” on the warning pop-up that follows. The confirmation dialog occurs with almost every install, so just continue to ignore its warnings. Hopefully, Microsoft will remove it after a while.
Consider this your first warning: Google Chrome extensions have not been tested in the Edge environment. What this means is that you might see memory leaks or a variety of other breakages. If you experience problems, try and uninstall extensions one at a time until you find the cause.
Uninstalling Chrome Extensions
As easy as it is to install, uninstalling Chrome extensions is equally simple. Head back to the “Extensions” tab. Installed extensions are broken down by Microsoft’s native selection and Chrome. To remove any extension, click “Remove,” and it will be gone.
As Edge is likely to arrive as the default browser on Microsoft laptops in the future, there is a good chance it will see lots of market share. Knowing how to personalize and increase its functionality is important. Adding Chrome extensions makes an already good browser even better. Did the world need another Chromium browser? That’s a subject for another time, but in the interim, happy browsing!