If you’ve thought all unnecessary features Microsoft has been testing in the Edge browser as unnecessary or bloatware, the company has come up with Sidebar to access them all quickly. Do note, that this sidebar is different from the Office Sidebar we covered earlier.
Sidebar in Microsoft Edge
As of now, the Sidebar is available and visible out of the box in Microsoft Edge without needing to enable any flag. It provides buttons to access the following Microsoft features.
Recently we reported Google Chrome has received a Side Panel to view Google Search results without needing to leave the current page you’re on. The feature is similar to Edge Sidebar Search, Microsoft has now baked Bing search into the Sidebar. This gives an experience similar to Chrome Side Search.
To get started with Bing Search in Sidebar in Microsoft Edge
- Open Microsoft Edge
- Click on the Search button on the Sidebar and perform the Search. The Sidebar Search is powered by Bing, this doesn’t change to Google even if you change the default Search Engine in the browser to Google.
- Clicking on the Search button hides the Search pane again.
The Discover feature has been around for a while in the Edge browser. This has been now integrated also into the Sidebar in Edge to give more information about the page or site in the active tab. It also displays news.
Microsoft Edge already has Math Solver built-in. To the latest, Edge added handy tools such as Calculator, Unit Converter, and Internet Speed Test to the Tools pane in Sidebar.
Click on the Tools button in Sidebar and give them a try.
The Games pane provides access to Surf game and 100+ popular games on MSN for free.
The whole games panel is divided into “Editors Pick”, “Popular games”, and “Microsoft Classics” sections.
While the Popular games section features Microsoft Solitaire, Microsoft Jewel, 2048, Chess, and Wordament, the Classics section includes Microsoft Suduku, Micorsoft bubble, Microsoft Jigsaw, and Microsoft Minesweeper for you to play.
After office Sidebar, Microsoft Edge integrated Microsoft Office into Sidebar to access office Apps, the office pane also displays the recent open documents. This is all nothing but a promotion for Office 365 subscription.
Following the addition of Outlook to the new tab page, Microsoft has brought its email service to Sidebar as well.
Click on the Outlook icon on the sidebar and sign in to Microsoft Account or enter Password when prompted.
After that, you can view and send emails inside from the outlook pane opened on the right side.
How to hide or show Sidebar in Microsoft Edge
Micorsoft provides many ways to hide the Sidebar in Microsoft Edge: For instance, it includes options in the menu as well in Settings and provides a hotkey.
Use any one of the following options to keep the sidebar out of your way.
- Click on the menu and select “Hide sidebar“
- Click on the option above the gear icon in the sidebar to hide the Sidebar
- Use Ctrl+Shift+/ keyboard shortcut to hide or show the sidebar.
- Or, navigate to Settings > Appearance > customize the toolbar and toggle the “Show Sidebar” button.
Microsoft also gives a setting to control notifications shown by Sidebar Apps. You need to disable the “Allow Sidebar apps to show notifications” switch in Appearance settings for the same.
How to Customize Sidebar in Microsoft Edge
Finally, Microsoft Edge also lets you manage which features you want to appear in its Sidebar.
For that, click on the + icon, then toggle the switches for Search, Discover Tools, Games, Microsoft Office and Outlook.
Note: By default, Etree is not displayed by default, you can configure Sidebar to show that.
Here is how Etree aka Eco Tree feature works in Edge: when you plant a virtual tree with Microsoft Edge, a real tree will be grown by a respected organization or project company in Kenya.
As of now, the Sidebar feature is available in Edge 102 canary for testing. Meanwhile, the Edge bar is missing in Canary recently, we’re not sure whether Microsoft has plans to replace it with Sidebar, there could be chances for that happening too.
If you complain of Microsoft Edge as bloatware, most of the features are optional and not enabled by default. Now, Microsoft has brought Bing Search, Games, Microsoft Office, Discover, and commonly used tools such as Calculator, Unit converter, Speed test, and Outlook email service to Sidebar in Edge browser.
What’s your take on Sidebar in Micorsoft Edge that has been integrated with Bing Search, Microsoft Office, and more? Let us know in the comments below.
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