Windows 10 preview makes it easier to install Edge extensions

No more faffing about with side-loading

A new preview of Windows 10 has zipped out to Insiders on the Fast Ring, and this build (14342) finally sees extensions become fully functional and easy to install in Microsoft Edge.

Previously, a handful of extensions have been available, but they've had to be side-loaded manually by the user. Now, Edge extensions can be downloaded straight from the Windows Store, which is how things should work.

Redmond has also released some new extensions with this build, namely AdBlock and Adblock Plus. These join the original extensions released, which were Mouse Gestures, Reddit Enhancement Suite and Microsoft Translator, along with OneNote Web Clipper and Pin It Button.

Note that if you had side-loaded extensions previously, these will now be removed, and you'll have to re-download them from the Windows Store. Also further note that you shouldn't run both ad blocking extensions at the same time without expecting issues (though you could probably have guessed that).

Microsoft has also brought real-time web notifications to the Edge browser, meaning that if you give a website permission, it can whizz notifications across to you via the Action Center (in just the same way apps can).

And Redmond's browser also now has swipe support on the desktop for those with touchscreens, so you can simply swipe across anywhere on a web page to go back to the previous site.

Donnie dark mode

So that's a lot of welcome work on Edge, but of course those aren't the only tweaks in build 14342. Microsoft's Skype UWP Preview app has been updated with the inclusion of a 'dark' theme and the ability to switch between Skype accounts

The User Account Control dialog now also supports 'dark' mode.

The interface for the Action Center now supports a middle-click on your mouse wheel to dismiss a notification, and you can middle-click on the name of an app to dismiss all notifications for that piece of software, a handy shortcut.

Furthermore, Microsoft has introduced functionality to enable certain websites to open an app rather than their web page, if you so wish. However, no apps actually support this currently, but the groundwork is in place and you can see the management page for this option at Settings > System > Apps for websites.

And naturally there are loads of fixes relating to UI issues, niggles with Cortana, and many other tweaks which you can check out in the full list of improvements highlighted in Microsoft's blog post.

There are also fresh issues to be aware of, one of the more major ones being that Symantec products such as Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security are causing blue screen of death lock-ups.