How to configure custom cookie options in the new Microsoft Edge browser

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser comes with quite a few options to manage and control cookies. Apart from blocking all cookies and blocking third-party cookies, Microsoft Edge users may also browse all cookies that sites set and define block and allow rules.

While it is without doubt time-consuming to allow or block cookies individually, it may be useful for some users.

Allowing plays right into the browser’s capability of deleting cookie data on exit. You may use the feature to keep some cookies while all others are deleted on exit.

Blocking on the other hand prevents the saving of cookies from select sites automatically.

Microsoft Edge’s cookie options

microsoft edge cookies exceptions

To open the cookie options, load edge://settings/content/cookies in the browser’s address bar. You can alternatively select Menu > Settings > Site Permissions > Cookies and site data if you prefer it that way.

Here are the options provided on the page currently:

  • Allow sites to save and read cookie data (recommended) — Enabled by default. Allows sites to save and read cookies.
  • Block third-party cookies — Disabled by default. Will prevent any third-party cookie from being saved or read in the browser when enabled.
  • Block — Use the Add button to add sites that you want to prevent from saving and reading cookies in the browser.
  • Allow — Use the Add button to allow cookies from select sites. These cookies are retained even if Microsoft Edge is configured to delete site data on exit.
  • Clear on Exit — You may add sites here to have their cookies deleted automatically on exit.

Edge users may configure the browser to delete data on exit automatically. Just load edge://settings/clearBrowsingDataOnClose in the browser’s address bar to open the configuration page.

The following data may be deleted automatically when Edge is closed:

  1. Browsing History
  2. Download History
  3. Cookies and other site data
  4. Cached images and files
  5. Passwords
  6. Autofill form data (includes forms and cards)
  7. Site permissions
  8. Hosted App data

Each of the options can be enabled individually. If you just want cookies deleted, toggle the Cookies and other site data option to do so. Remember that you can allow some sites to keep cookies in Edge; this may be useful to keep logins active on sites

Now You: Which cookie rules do you use in your browser?

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Microsoft postpones TLS 1.0 and 1.1 deprecation to second half of 2020

Microsoft announced yesterday that its plan to disable the security protocols TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in the company’s browsers has been postponed. The company wanted to disable the security protocols in the first half of 2020 initially but decided to postpone this in light of current global events.

All major browser makers pledged to disable the aging security protocols TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the first half of 2020. Some, like Mozilla, went ahead with the change but reverted it when it became clear that some government sites still relied on these protocols. Users of Firefox could not access these sites anymore because of the disabled protocols. Mozilla re-enabled the protocols to make sure that Firefox users worldwide are able to access important sites in a time of crisis.

Microsoft’s updated plan for discontinuing support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 is as follows:

  • New Chromium-based Microsoft Edge: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be disabled by default “no sooner than Microsoft Edge version 84”. The browser is scheduled for a July 2020 release.
  • Classic Microsoft Edge browser: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be disabled by default on September 8, 2020.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be disabled by default on September 8, 2020.

Options are provided to enable TLS 1.0 and 1.1. if required. Users find settings to enable TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in the Internet Options under Advanced.

tls 1.0 1.1 internet options

Administrators may also change the settings in the Windows Registry. Here is how that is done:

  1. Open the Windows Registry Editor, e.g. by using Windows-R to open the run box, typing regedit.exe, and hitting the Enter-key.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt that is spawned.
  3. Go to HKLM SYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSecurityProvidersSCHANNELProtocols
  4. For TLS 1.0, do the following:
    1. If you don’t see a TLS 1.0 entry, create one by right-clicking on Protocols and selecting New > Key. Name the key TLS 1.0.
    2. Right-click on TLS 1.0 and select New > Key. Name it Client.
    3. Right-click on the newly created Client key and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Name it Enabled.
    4. The default value is 0 which means that TLS 1.0 is disabled. To enable it, set the value to 1 instead.
  5. For TLS 1.1, do the following:
    1. f you don’t see a TLS 1.1 entry, create one by right-clicking on Protocols and selecting New > Key. Name the key TLS 1.1.
    2. Right-click on TLS 1.1 and select New > Key. Name it Client.
    3. Right-click on the newly created Client key and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Name it Enabled.
    4. The default value is 0 which means that TLS 1.0 is disabled. To enable it, set the value to 1 instead.
  6. Exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows.

You can use a service such as the SSL/TLS Client Text by Browserleaks to list the supported protocols of the browser.

Now You: Have you visited sites recently that rely on these older protocols?

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Microsoft's new Edge browser will get vertical tabs soon

All modern browsers use a horizontal bar to display open websites in tabs; that has been the status ever since browsers started to allow users to open multiple sites in a single browser window.

Vertical tabs were introduced as extensions, a prominent example the classic version of Tab Mix Plus for the Firefox web browser which was one of the most popular extensions of its kind.

Moving tabs from a horizontal bar to a vertical bar has several advantages, especially if a widescreen or high resolution display is used. Vertical space is available in abundance on these systems whereas horizontal is not. Vertical tabs offer other advantages as it is possible to display more open tabs at the same time without scrolling and easier to manage tabs. Extensions like Tab Mix Plus or Tree Style Tabs added other interesting features to the experience, from defining event behavior to session support.

Firefox users are still waiting for a good vertical tabs extension for Firefox 57 or newer; and while Firefox users are waiting, support for vertical tabs comes from a company that most Internet users would not have expected to release such a feature natively in the browser.

microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft published the new article “The top 10 reasons to switch to the new Microsoft Edge” browser to highlight some of the existing and upcoming features of Edge. Vertical tabs are highlighted as the second of the ten reasons.

If you are like me when you research online, you find yourself with dozens of tabs open at any given time. When that happens, there’s less space for me to see which tab is which. I find myself losing track or I’ll accidentally close a tab as a result. Utterly frustrating as that is usually exactly the one page I needed.

Today we announced vertical tabs, a feature that helps you easily find and manage many open tabs at once. Microsoft Edge is the only browser that allows you to manage your tabs on the side with a single click. Vertical tabs is expected in the Insider channels in the next few months.

In other words: Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) users will soon be able to switch between horizontal and vertical tabs in the browser natively. All it takes is a click to switch the display and either display open tabs vertically or horizontally in the browser.

microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft plans to introduce the vertical tabs feature in the coming months in the Insider channel. From there, it will find its way into the stable version of the Microsoft Edge browser.

The company highlighted another handy feature that is coming soon: smart copy. Smart Copy makes it “easier to select, copy, and paste the exact content you want from the web and preserve the rich web format”. Also upcoming are a password monitor to receive prompts if passwords were found in breaches, and inPrivate Browsing enhancements.

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Microsoft adds option to change New Tab search provider to new Edge browser

Microsoft updated the list of features recently that it plans to introduce into the company’s new Chromium-based Edge browser in the coming months. Some of the features are planned for a March release while others for later this year.

Some of the features found their way into development builds of Microsoft Edge already; one of these is the ability to change the search provider used on the browser’s New Tab Page.

Up until now, users of the new Edge browsers could not change the search provider; this mean that Bing was used regardless of the user’s preference when it comes to search. While it is possible to change the default search provider in edge when using the address bar to search, it did not sit well with some users of the browser that the New Tab page search provider could not be changed.

This changes this month with the introduction of a new option. It is currently available in Microsoft Edge Canary but will become available in Stable versions of Microsoft Edge soon as well.

microsoft-edge chromium search provider

Here is what you need to do to change the New Tab page search provider in Microsoft Edge (Chromium):

  1. Load edge://settings/search in the Microsoft Edge address bar; this opens the Search preferences of the browser. You may also select Menu > Settings > Privacy and services > Address Bar to get there.
  2. The preference”Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar” defines which search engine is used when you run searches on the New Tab page. The two available options are “search box (bing)” or “address bar”. The first option is the default, the second uses the address bar search provider for searches in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.
  3. Change the “search engine used in the address bar” if you have not done so already.
  4. The change is active immediately, a restart is not required.

Tip: you may need to open “manage search engines” first to manage available search engines and add new search engines to the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser if your favorite search engine is not listed under “search engine used in the address bar” yet.

Now You: Have you tried the new Edge browser yet? Describe your experience!

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Microsoft adds Chrome themes support to new Edge browser

Users of the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser which the company released in January 2020 officially will soon be able to install themes designed for Google Chrome in Microsoft’s web browser.

Microsoft’s new web browser supported the installation of Chrome extensions from the day of launch. While it needs to be enabled in the browser’s options, it is a straightforward process that unlocks Chrome’s vast extensions store and the extensions it hosts.

Users of the new browser who tried to install themes from the Chrome Web Store noticed that this was not possible at the time. The installation would throw the error “An error has occurred” when trying to do so.

microsoft edge chromium chrome themes

The process is not supported in current versions of Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft added a new option to the latest Canary build of its browser that allows users to install Chrome themes in Microsoft Edge. The feature is not enabled by default and needs to be unlocked on the experimental flags page of the browser.

If tests are successful, options to install Chrome themes will come to other Microsoft Edge channels in the near future.

microsoft edge allow chrome theme installations

Here is what you need to do currently:

  1. Make sure that Microsoft Edge Canary is up to date. You can check for updates on edge://settings/help.
  2. Load edge://flags/#edge-allow-store-extension-themes in the browser’s address bar; the page should jump straight to the “Allow installation of external store themes” flag on the page.
    • Allow installation of external store themes
      Turn this on to allow themes from external web stores to be installed in Microsoft Edge. – Mac, Windows
  3. Set the experiment to enabled using the menu on the right.
  4. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Head over to the themes section of the Chrome Web Store to test the new functionality. You will notice that themes will install fine in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.

chrome theme installed edge

Chrome, unlike Firefox, accepts only one custom theme installation and the same is true for the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.

To remove a custom theme, visit edge://settings/appearance in the browser’s address bar and select “remove” next to custom theme.

Note that you may also disable the status of the experimental flag to uninstall the theme.

Closing Words

Users of the new Microsoft Edge web browser can install Chrome browser extensions and soon also Chrome themes from the official Chrome Web Store. Google does not like this at all and displays a notification to Edge users who visit the Chrome Web Store claiming that Chrome is more secure when it comes to the installation of these extensions.

Now You: Default theme or custom theme, what is your preference? (via Deskmodder, Techdows)

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