A few problems have started to creep into Chrome these days and it might be everyone’s favourite browser, but Edge has some interesting features that could tempt you to switch.
Let’s take a look at Edge and see how the start page can be customised, then I'll cover Microsoft Rewards, which involves Edge and Bing.
Set the Edge start page
As with all web browsers, Edge lets you customise the startup page, which is the first thing you see when opening it. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Edge to open the menu, click Settings and near the top is Open Microsoft Edge with.
There are four options and it can open with:
- Start page - a special customisable page
- New tab page - the same page new tabs open with
- Previous pages - the last tabs that were open
- A specific page or pages
Do not choose Previous pages. If you visit a bad website that crashes Edge or causes it to freeze, the next time you open Edge, it opens with the previous page which crashes Edge. It can get stuck in a loop opening the previous page which crashes it.
Choose the option to start with A specific page or pages and you can enter the URL of a website or page. Type in the url, such as www.bing.com or whatever site you want to see first when Edge is opened. After adding one site, it is possible to add more and they will open on tabs. It is best to keep it simple though.
Configure Edge Start page
The most interesting way to start Edge is with the Start page. Select the option, then quit Edge and reopen it. A collection of tiles and panels is displayed and you can see interesting links, the weather, money information and more.
On the left is your feed and on the right are cards. Click the gear icon near the top right corner to access the settings for the Edge Start page.
Use the switches to choose which information cards appear on the right side of the Start page.
There are six topics which determine the news stories that appear in the feed on the left side of the Start page. Click the topics you want to see to highlight them and select them. Click Save to finish.
Customise Edge Start page cards
That isn’t the end of the customisation and there is more. Click the three dots in the top right corner of a card to show a menu. The card positions can be switched and the Move down menu switches the card with the one below. This enables you to put the most interesting and useful cards at the top.
On the Weather card is an Edit option. Click it and you can specify a location to show the weather for or let it detect your location. If you are running Windows 10 on a laptop and travel with it, it means this card will always show the weather for wherever you are.
Start with a tab
When opening a new tab, there are three options and you can show Top sites and suggested content, Top sites on their own, or A Blank page.
This means that selecting New tab page to open Edge with has three sub-options on the Open new tabs with setting. To get Edge to start with a blank page, select a blank page for new tabs and then set Edge to open with a new tab.
The Top sites and suggested content is an alternative Start page.
You still get the news feed (and occasional ad for a Microsoft product), and the cards on the right, but you also get a list of top sites along the top of the page.
A plus tile on the right enables you to add any site you want. Let the mouse hover over a site and tiny icons appear to pin it and stop it being removed, or delete it.
Get Microsoft Rewards with Bing and Edge
Go to the Bing home page using Microsoft Edge and you might see a little icon in the top right corner of the page. Click it and a panel appears in which you can join the Microsoft Rewards scheme.
What’s this? Click Join Now and find out!
Click Sign up now, free and several information screens tell you what it is all about. Basically you earn points for completing various tasks. For example, you earn 5o points by taking the guided tour.
Points are awarded for searching on Bing, which implies that Microsoft is struggling to get users. It depends on what you are searching for, but Bing isn’t bad, it is actually OK, so try it and earn some points.
More points are awarded when you shop at the Microsoft, Windows and Xbox stores.
What can you trade the points for? According to the guided tour you can get gift cards for games, movies and apps, enter sweepstakes for prices and more.
I have not yet earned enough points to get any of these items yet, so we’ll see how it works. Googling everything is burned into my brain, so it takes some effort to fire up Edge and search with Bing and I forget!
Once you have joined the rewards scheme, click the icon on the Bing home page and this panel appears with ways to earn points and ways to redeem them.
On any Microsoft page you are logged into (like Bing, OneDrive, Outlook), click your account picture in the top right corner and click Microsoft Account or View Account (the wording varies).
This opens your Microsoft Account home page and Rewards is in the menu bar. There are Earn, Redeem, Status and Winners tabs. There are two levels and you start on Level 1. If you earn more than 500 points a month, you are promoted to Level 2 where the earnings and rewards are higher.
If you are the sort of person that likes earning points and collecting rewards, check it out.