How to add an extensions menu to Microsoft Edge (Chromium)

The latest Canary version of the upcoming Microsoft Edge browser that is based on Chromium supports an extensions menu to improve extension manageability; when enabled, it reduces space on the toolbar but still gives users options to display specific extension icons on the toolbar.

Microsoft Edge supports extension installations from the Microsoft Store and from the Chrome Web Store; this is one of the advantages that Edge has over Chrome as Microsoft’s extensions policy does not impose the same limitations as Google’s.

An icon is automatically placed in the Microsoft Edge toolbar when you install an extension. While you can move the extension icon to the Menu instead, you cannot remove it completely. Google Chrome has the same limitation whereas Vivaldi, another Chromium-based browser, does not.

microsoft edge extensions menu

What that means, essentially, is that you end up with extensions icon in one of the two places even if the extension icon does nothing. Google started to work on an Extension icon in Chrome to display all active extensions using a single icon when enabled.

Microsoft added a similar option to the Canary version of the Edge browser.  Edge moves all extension icons underneath the icon by default when the feature is enabled; specific extensions may be pinned so that their icons remain visible on the main toolbar.

The feature is not enabled by default and needs to be enabled by starting Microsoft Edge with a parameter. You need to launch Microsoft Edge with the parameter –enable-features=ExtensionsToolbarMenu.

Here is how you do that on Windows:

  1. Right-click on Microsoft Edge in the Start Menu or taskbar, and select Properties. You may right-click a second time on the taskbar on the Microsoft Edge entry in the menu that opens before you may select Properties.
  2. Switch to the Shortcut tab if it is not active by default.
  3. Append –enable-features=ExtensionsToolbarMenu after the path in the Target field, and make sure there is a space between the end of the path and the parameter. Here is a sample line to get a better idea how it looks like: “C:UsersMartinAppDataLocalMicrosoftEdge SxSApplicationmsedge.exe” –enable-features=ExtensionsToolbarMenu
  4. Select ok to save the selection.
  5. Restart Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge should display the Extensions menu in the toolbar. A click on the icon displays the list of all extensions that are installed and active, and an option to manage extensions.

You may pin extensions to the main Edge toolbar by moving the mouse over the extension in the menu and selecting the pin option that is displayed. A click on menu next to an extension displays the usual extension options and the pin option as well.

Closing Words

The Extensions Toolbar Menu is a pre-release feature. While it is likely that it will find its way into Stable Microsoft Edge eventually, there is also a possibility of it being removed by Microsoft at any point in time.

I like the Menu as it brings order to the toolbar especially if you have installed more than one or two extensions.

Now You: Would you use the Extensions Menu? (via Winaero)

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