- Microsoft Edge on Android now has extensions, making it a viable option for browsing on the go.
- To try the extensions, download Microsoft Edge Canary and enable the “Android Extension” option.
- The available extensions (Dark Reader, uBlock Origin, Global Speed) work well and improve the browsing experience.
Earlier this year, Microsoft renamed Edge on mobile devices to “Microsoft Edge: AI Browser.” When I tried it, I wasn’t impressed that it was actually an AI browser. The Copilot integration couldn’t handle the basic browser tasks I gave it, although it did a good job summarizing content like articles and videos.
So imagine my surprise when it turns out that Microsoft Edge is getting extensions on Android. All of a sudden I want to jump back on the Microsoft Edge train. I dove in headfirst to check out these extensions, and even though they’re still in beta, they’re making me seriously consider upgrading to Edge on Android.
Getting started with extensions for Microsoft Edge on Android
It is not yet available on the release branch
If you want to try this feature yourself, head to the Microsoft Edge Canary page in the Android store and download the app to your phone. The Canary branch of Microsoft Edge is where Microsoft tests all of its features before adding them to the main branch. You may see features the day Microsoft releases them for testing, but the app is likely to encounter strange behavior and bugs while the company works to resolve the issues.
Once the app is downloaded to your phone, open Microsoft Edge Canary and type “edge://flags” in the URL bar. In the Experiments window, search for “extension” and look for the “Android Extension” option. Set it to “Enabled” and restart Microsoft Edge. Once back, tap the three bars at the bottom right, long-press the menu that appears, then add the new “extensions” option to the panel. Open it, then tap “Manage Extensions” to get started.
At the time of writing, the extensions option only supports pre-selected extensions, and there are currently only three options to choose from. However, the three extensions available are among the best Chrome extensions: Dark Reader, Global Speed and uBlock Origin. They’re all worth a try, especially uBlock Origin, which we’ve included in our guide on how to get the most privacy in Microsoft Edge.
Extensions integrate well with Microsoft Edge
Managing them on the go is child’s play
I tried the extensions on Microsoft Edge, and even though there are only three options to choose from, I was really impressed with what I experienced. I expected the extensions to be a little clunky in their integration, but in reality they are presented in Edge almost the same way you would find them on any other Chromium browser.
Once the extension is activated, you can view it through the extension menu to change its settings. If you’ve used the extensions before, the user interface is immediately familiar and you can do everything you can do on Edge extensions just like you would on a Chromium browser. Even uBlock Origin’s item selector is available. Once you enable the extensions, you can start browsing and they will do their job while remaining out of sight.
Extensions work without problems
No watered down versions of extensions, just the real deal
Once the extensions are up and running, they work great in the background. To test this, I disabled Microsoft Edge’s built-in ad blocker and then browsed the web with uBlock Origin and Dark Reader enabled.
I expected uBlock Origin on Android to have difficulty with some websites known for displaying lots of ads, but I didn’t see any. Likewise, whenever I visited a website that didn’t have a dark mode, Dark Reader would step in and make the website much nicer to my eyes. This made browsing the web much more enjoyable than using Chrome for me.
As such, I recommend trying Microsoft Edge if you didn’t like how it worked on mobile. In fact, if you’re buying a new Android phone and have a clean slate, I recommend using Edge instead of your default browser and seeing how you like it.
The best feature of Microsoft Edge is support for extensions
I understand why Microsoft has gone all-in on the AI browser hype; after all, artificial intelligence is a big topic these days. However, I honestly think Microsoft will have much more success with Edge on mobile if it expands extension support. Even with this simple test implementation, I’m seriously considering using Microsoft Edge for all my mobile browsing. If Microsoft added more extensions for users to use, or even let users access the apps they want, I’m sure it would be a huge success.