When Windows 10 burst on to our PCs in July 2015, one of the most anticipated new features was Microsoft’s shiny new web browser, Edge.

Edge is still a smaller player compared to its predecessor Internet Explorer and rivals such as Google Chrome, but according to the latest stats from NetMarketShare it’s closing in on Firefox at 3.9% to 4.03%. But Edge still has a way to go to catch up with Internet Explorer 11, which stands at 11.78% and Chrome (version 54) with 33.05%.

If you’re looking to learn the basics to get around Edge, check out our guide here first. We also answer some of your burning questions about Edge here. Below you’ll find eight tips to get you started.

Don’t miss our video guide to all the best tips for Microsoft Edge by clicking the play button above.

 

Step 1: Make Edge the default web browser — or not

The Windows 10 upgrade shouldn’t alter your default browser settings, but if you find web sites opening in Edge when you’d rather stick with something else — or you want Edge to be you default browser from now on — here’s how to make the necessary change.

Go to Start - Settings - System and click Default apps in the left of the window that opens. Scroll down the list in the right of the window to find Web browser and click the entry below it. You can now choose which of your installed web browsers to use as the default.

If you've decided Edge isn't for you and want to get rid of it, read our full guide here.

Make Edge the default browser

 

Step 2: Solve web site compatibility problems

As good as Edge is, some pages will inevitably not work properly when viewed in it — though any teething troubles should be resolved before too long. If you find a page that won’t work in Edge, you can quickly open it Internet Explorer 11 by clicking the Edge menu button at the top right of the window (three horizontal dots) and selecting Open in Internet Explorer.

Open in Internet Explorer

Step 3: Browse the web without leaving a trace

Edge has most of the same features as Internet Explorer, including the ability to browse the web privately so that no trace of your activity is left behind on your PC — useful for when buying presents on a shared computer, for example. To start a private browsing session, open the Edge menu at the top right of the window and select New InPrivate window.

Start a private browsing session

 

Step 4: Import your old web browser bookmarks

Edge won’t import your bookmarks or favourites from your previous web browser after you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, but it’s easy to do it manually.

[Read more: Windows 10 - How to get the most from the Action Centre]

If you were using Internet Explorer or Chrome before, click the Hub button on the toolbar (three horizontal lines) and then click the Favorites icon in the hub pane. Click Import favourites and select which web browser to import from — Internet Explorer or Chrome. Click the Import button to complete the process.

Import your old bookmarks

Firefox users will need to export their bookmarks as an HTML file and then import it into Internet Explorer. You can then import Internet Explorer’s bookmarks into Edge as explained above.

 

Step 5: Search with Google — or anything other than Bing

Edge uses Microsoft Bing as its default search engine, but switching to an alternative isn’t as straightforward as just choosing from a list of options.

Edge won’t display other search engine options until you’ve visited the search engine you want to use, so if you want to use Google or DuckDuckGo, for example, you’ll need to visit that site in Edge first — you don’t need to search for anything, just visit the site. (This is all because of something called the OpenSearch standard, if you’re interested.)

This done, open the Edge menu and select Settings - View advanced settings and click the drop-down list for Search in the address bar with - <Add new>. You can then choose your alternative search engine and click the Add as default button.

Change the default search engine

 

Step 6: Make notes on a web page with Web Note

Although it’s hardly a compelling reason for using Edge, its ability to write and draw on a web page can be very useful. You might just want to make a note about something for your own reference, for example, or draw someone’s attention to part of a less-than-obvious part of a page. There are ways to do this already, of course, but none so seamless as with Edge.

Open the page — any page — you want to use and click the Web Note button on the toolbar (it looks like a pen and square piece of paper). You’ll now see a toolbar you can use to draw on or highlight parts of a page, erase your drawings, type a comment and clip just part of page, rather than save the whole thing.

When you’re done, click the Save button on the Web Note toolbar to save the page to OneNote, your Favourites or the Reading List (see below); or click the Share button to email it to someone.

Click here for our full guide on how to use Web Note on Microsoft Edge.

Make a Web Note

 

Step 7: Quickly share a web page with someone

When you want to share a web page with someone, you can forget about copying its web address and pasting it into an email. With Edge, you just need to click the Share icon on the toolbar (a circle with three smaller circles) and click the mail option to create a new email automatically.

Share a web page

 

Step 8: Make web pages easier to read

Not all web pages are very well designed and some can be hard to read as a result. Edge has a solution for this called Reading view — although it isn’t compatible with every web page you’ll encounter.

When Reading view is available, you’ll see an animated book icon on the toolbar. Click it and the current web page will be automatically reformatted to remove anything that isn’t relevant. Content that’s split across two or more pages will be combined, too. Click the Reading view button again to return to normal web view.

Use Reader Mode

 

What do you think of Edge so far? Are you going to use it instead of your previous web browser, or are you sticking with what you know? Let us know in the Comments. 

Read more: 6 ways that Microsoft Edge is more secure than Internet Explorer