Microsoft has made incredible strides with its Edge browser and for all the right reasons. Fast, lightweight and with stronger security and privacy, it’s rightfully the default browser for millions of Windows users. While browser bookmarks have been around for what feels like forever, Edge’s introduction of Collections are really unique. So how do collections and bookmarks all fit together? Let’s take a look.
What Is a Collection?
If you have ever wanted to keep track of ideas while browsing the Web, bookmarks can quickly become a black hole of links you can easily forget. While Collections are similar to bookmarks in some way, a collection is more geared toward keeping track of ideas on the Web. That’s especially true if you are shopping, collecting notes for research, planning a trip, etc. Collections sync across all of your Edge devices including various computers as well as Android or iOS versions of the Edge browser.
For example, let’s say you are shopping for a trip to Disney. Collections will allow you to set up different collections for the parks, hotels, transportation, food, etc. You can establish a collection for every category of the trip that will assist you with staying extra organized while having quick access to everything. Inside each category, you can add images, videos, links to Web pages, or a snippet of text from a page without needing the whole site.
How to Access Collections
To access Collections, the feature is built right into the Microsoft Edge address bar.
1. You can find the logo at the top right by finding the “+” icon.
2. Click or tap on the icon, and it will open a sidebar on the right side of the browser.
3. When you open up the Collections window pane, you can rename it anything you want.
4. With the pane open, you can:
- Add current page to save an entire webpage to a collection
- Select or drag an image into the collection
- Select and drag a link from your address bar as well as highlighted text from a page into the collection.
On mobile devices like an iPhone or Android device, you are only able to add a webpage to a collection.
What Is a Bookmark?
A bookmark, or more appropriately known as a “favorite” in Microsoft Edge, is a collection of saved websites that you want to access later. Essentially, favorites are a quick and easy method that creates a shortcut to quickly access a website in the future. Instead of typing in a full URL into the address bar, you go into your favorites, click on the website you wish to visit, and go directly to that page. Just as collections can be organized into separate categories, so, too, can favorites. With Edge, favorites can be organized in a variety of ways, including having them added to your “Favorites Bar,” which can live right beneath the address bar. This is a great way to quickly access your most-used sites.
Adding a site to your favorites is as easy as clicking (or tapping when on mobile) the star icon that lives in the very far right of the address bar. It’s a star with a little “+” symbol. When you click on the star icon, Edge will give you the option of where this newly added favorite can live. It’s here that you can make new folders, add to your Favorites Bar, add to an existing folder, etc.
On top of that, favorites also have keyboard shortcuts that can be used on a desktop:
- Ctrl + D to add your current site as a favorite
- Ctrl + Shift + B to show or hide the favorites bar
As bookmarks (favorites) have been around forever, it’s likely most Internet users have at least some familiarity with them, while Collections are something new.
Which One Should You Use?
If you are asking yourself if you should use Collections or bookmarks, the answer is both. Each serves a different purpose, and they can live together harmoniously. There’s a good chance that, for most people, favorites are going to be familiar, so they will lean in the direction of using this function more frequently. Collections are no doubt a great addition to Edge and a differentiator from the likes of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. It’s a great way to organize trips or projects, but it’s not a must-have. You can easily do the same thing with Favorites. though, in a less visually exciting way.
The challenge with favorites/bookmarks is that things can quickly get out of control the more you add. Because of the visual nature of collections, it’s less likely to look disorganized. That said, if organization isn’t a huge concern for you, favorites should be your default way to save links/websites to return to later.
Edge has already shown its potential, and adding new and exciting functions like Collections is a great way to encourage new users. For all of its popularity, Chrome has been slow to add new features, while Microsoft Edge is moving quickly to shore up its market share and not give another inch to the likes of Chrome.