Microsoft is testing another new feature to streamline its Edge browser

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Microsoft is implementing another streamlining measure with its Edge browser, this time pertaining to the sidebar.

Leopeva64, a regular leaker who comes up with interesting nuggets on Edge to post on X (formerly Twitter), discovered a new feature to help you trim down the excess that might be nestling in your sidebar.

The Edge option, which is still in testing, offers the chance to ‘declutter your sidebar’ with the user getting the choice to hide app icons in the panel that haven’t been used recently.

You’re presented with a list of said apps that haven’t been clicked on lately, and you can tick them if you want them removed from the sidebar, or obviously uncheck them if you’d prefer to keep them in place. Edge then enacts your wishes.

Analysis: Driving forward with debloating

This is a useful little feature on the face of it, and it’s another step forward for Microsoft in what appears to be a continued drive to get rid of bloat and unnecessary bits and pieces from Edge. Having a clear-out of the sidebar, with uncommonly used apps pointed out to you, is something worth doing as a bit of spring cleaning every now and then.

That said, the cynics out there may now be thinking that Microsoft may not offer to declutter its own apps as regularly as others, but that isn’t the case. In the example in the test build of Edge shown, Skype is one of the suggested icons to get the elbow.

What else has Microsoft been doing on the streamlining front, you may be wondering? Well, over the course of the year, Microsoft has been removing features from Edge (stripping out more than it’s adding), as well as instigating other functionality for debloating such as adding the ability to turn off optional features.

All moves in the right direction as far as we’re concerned, and Microsoft doubtless hopes that this will help to push adoption and Edge will gain kudos. Not to mention move further up our ranking of the best web browsers (where to be fair, it’s already doing well in several departments).

You might also like

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).