Improvements to history in Microsoft Edge

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Microsoft

Today, we’re excited to share two significant updates to history in Microsoft Edge. We know you have all been eagerly awaiting history sync, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve started rolling out support for syncing your browsing history and open tabs across devices. We’re also excited to reveal some improvements we’re making to the way you access your history. We introduced you to a new way of using favorites in Microsoft Edge a few weeks ago, and we’re bringing many of the same enhancements to history as well.

 

As with favorites, the new history experience is designed to help you quickly get back to the sites you’ve visited previously, including tabs you’ve recently closed or have open on other devices. And many of these changes are based directly on the feedback you’ve shared with us.

 

History 1.gif

 

How often do you find the page you want in your history on the first try? Most of the time, there’s some trial and error as you switch back and forth between your history and the various pages to find the right one. The new history experience is designed to simplify this process by opening on top of the current webpage. From here, you can simply click through your history and watch as the page loads in the background. When you find the page you want, simply click anywhere outside of the history menu to close it. Of course, just like favorites, you can also pin history open for a more permanent view as well.

 

History 2.gif

 

In addition to your browsing history, you’ll also find pivots for your recently closed tabs and tabs you have open on other devices. History will even remember which pivot you were on last for faster access next time.

 

We’ve updated recently closed to remember the last 25 tabs and windows from any past session rather than just the previous one, giving you plenty of time to return later. And you can now expand a recently closed window to see all the tabs you had open inside.

 

History 3.gif

 

Support for syncing your browsing history and open tabs is a top-requested feature in Microsoft Edge. This feature is still under development and will be made available to everyone in the future, but users who are already part of the rollout will see a third pivot called Tabs from other devices. Here you’ll find all the tabs you have open in Microsoft Edge on other devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Note: Both devices need to have history and tab sync enabled for them to show up.

 

In response to your feedback, you can now add history to your toolbar right next to favorites and Collections for one-click access. Just open the history menu, click on the history menu button (Menu Button.png), and select Show history button in toolbar. You can also customize your toolbar on the Appearance page in Settings.

 

History 4.gif

 

The new history menu also includes all your favorite features from the history page, and you can clear your browsing history via the history menu. If you’d prefer a more immersive view of your history, simply select Manage history in the history menu or type edge://history in your address bar.

 

We’d love to hear what you think of the new history experience, so please leave us a comment below or let us know via the feedback tool in Microsoft Edge! These changes are currently available for users in the Canary and Dev channels, although sync may not be enabled in all regions yet. We’re also working on updates to the user experience for downloads and other content types. Stay tuned for more details!

 

William Devereux, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

22 Replies
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Thank you @William Devereux 

Very helpful and useful features.

 

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@William Devereux  Very good. Which is why I must ask how does stripping inPrivate mode from this functionality make it more secure and private?

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@William Devereux 

Thanks for the update, it's really useful to have this in Edge toolbar and not having to open a whole new tab to see history.

could you tell us about the max number of history entries that Edge will remember?

and also, will Edge history start to appear in Windows 10 Timeline/TaskView ? this was a great feature that Edge legacy had, and I was told that once history sync is enabled on new Edge, we can see web history in Windows 10 timeline, but I don't see anything there yet.

 

 

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We're glad you like it! InPrivate is designed to not save your browsing history, cookies, etc., so history is not supported in InPrivate mode.
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 @William Devereux Thanks for sharing! Great set of improvements. Looking forward to try them out!

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@William Devereux Great, but can you please at least give me the option to load it full page?

I just History a lot and when I use ctrl + h I go to History full page all the time but now I only get this small panel on right side which I really don't like. A option to control this behavior would be great!

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@William Devereux 

 

You dont mention which  of the main branches, insider tracks only, or backported to stable? please be the latter, and please have the infuriating fav sync issues resolved too!

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I guess it's not available here in Brazil. But I'm digging these new, more rounded icons. They're kinda fluffy.

Edit: actually, it is available. Just had to close and open the browser again. Vertical tabs also showed up. @William Devereux 

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@William Devereux I wish panel stayed there and not disappeared as soon as one starts to scroll the page or when I open a new webpage or new tab. Actually noticed just now it sometimes does that, it stays there while scrolling and while & after a new page is opened so I assume it is a work in progress. Collections does that but it also covers whole screen space on one side. History pinning is great when you need it pinned but again it takes full screen space and needs to be manually turned off while, in contrast, unpinned panel can be closed by just clicking anywhere on screen, which is so much more convenient. 

 

Another thing is that pinning requires you make up your mind while I like edge's panel because it doesn't require you to, no need to open in a dedicated history tab. So to reiterate I wish it stays until user clicks anywhere on screen and closes it. I expect the three dot menu to have the same behavior with the exception that when opening a new tab it should disappear. In this context, Mozilla has browser menu implemented correctly in that it stays firmly in place and allows for webpage scrolling / zooming. 

 

And finally, a panel for extensions would be neat! No reason extensions must be opened in a separate tab!! 

 

 

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@William Devereux This new History pane is good and I really missed it from the legacy Edge. But there is one thing that I think need to be addressed: the entries are grouped by date but the header of the groups are quite unrecognizable, maybe the header need to be a little bigger and maybe a small indentation need to be added to the history entries, also could be usefull if we can collapse the groups as we could with the old Edge

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They (new types of Favorites & History flyouts) are good, BUT SLOW AF. Its frustating to see them loading in 3-5 seconds, while they should should load instantly.
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@William Devereux wrote:

Here you’ll find all the tabs you have open in Microsoft Edge on other devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Note: Both devices need to have history and tab sync enabled for them to show up.

 @William Devereux  I'm on the latest beta of edge for android & the option to enable tab and history sync is grayed out, is the beta version behind the live version or are open tab and history sync not yet supported on android?

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@noahgaertner "open tab and history sync not yet supported on android?"
Yes, they are not supported yet.
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@William Devereux 

 

It would be great if it were possible to limit the search in the address bar to only the history (or actually also -- only the favourites) through the use of some prefix to the address, e.g. "&" or "*". 

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@William Devereux that History Panel is great but I think is a good idea exists a way to choose between the panel or the full history when pressing CTRL+H to go to ull history or panel. I use history many times and using this small panel constantly its really complicated. A option to choose which one you want to use would be great!

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@William Devereux Perhaps via Twitter or an update to this blog post, you can explain the relationship between this new History, the Windows Timeline and the need to have the Web Activities extension. I had believed thru other blog posts and Window Weekly Podcasts that once History Sync was active, the need for the extension to write to the Microsoft Graph was not needed (only needed for Chrome).

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@William Devereux-- Would be nice that when things are announced they become available.  In Canada and only Canary has this but DEV does not.  Wish this would sync to both as noted in posts not have to wait.

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Hi @William Devereux 

This a nice looking improvement, but unfortunately you broke a crucial power user workflow: ctrl+h - start typing. 

 

It's easy to fix by mimicking the history tab behavior in the new history popup, that is making the search field active upon ctrl+h. This is how it could look (also attached). 

https://i.imgur.com/atn2LFP.png

Duh, you can't insert a photo when you edit submitted post on this platform.

 

I have submitted this feedback thru the browser, but it's a black hole for us anyway.  Yes, I realize the new search is not only across history, but I'm sure your UX team can figure this out.

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Will History syncing be available in stable before the end of the year?