Introducing sidebar search in Microsoft Edge


Hello Insiders! We have heard your feedback and are excited to announce sidebar search - the first step in our evolution of contextual search in the new Microsoft Edge. 


Sidebar search builds off the foundation we began with "Ask Cortana" in the previous version of Microsoft Edge and addresses feedback we received when "Ask Cortana" didn't meet your needs.


With sidebar search, you can highlight a word or phrase, right click, and select “Search in sidebar” from the context menu. Search results show up in a pane on the right side of the page showing you web results like definitions, web links, images, videos and many more Bing services which are related to the query.


We have added some new features to improve relevance and to provide user requested functionality that was absent in "Ask Cortana". In addition to the web results, you now see image and video verticals which show results related to the highlighted word or phrase. If you are signed into your azure active directory account at work, you can now see company results.


Sidebar search is a persistent pane in the tab in which it was opened, which gives you the option to close the pane or look up additional information related to other words using the search box. There’s more – if you want a full view of web results, you can now click on the “Open in new tab” button which opens the web results in a new tab.


You can expect to see sidebar begin to roll out in Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary channels very soon!




Thanks - Microsoft Edge Search team





124 Replies


That is great news. I would like to see it in Beta soon too. Did you think about customization? For example user can decide if search will be opened in new tab or sidebar?


It can be redundant or confusing for some users to have two different options for the same think with different only displayed location. Feature called "Ask Cortana" was almost the same, but the name was nicer for the users. Especially in countries where "Cortana" is badly supported this feature was working like this new "search in sidebar", example county is Poland or Czech Republic.


Meantime, I am worry about size of context menu. It is yet another position added. I hope we will not repeat mistake from Internet Explorer where context menu was extremally fast growing. I loved in Edge that browser started with very compact context menu and there are only essential options. Some users I seen with 10-20 items in context menu in IE and older versions of IE. Where most of them never used like print or print preview under right click.


Example attached.






That's great news, can't wait to see it online. Would the new side bar also cover the ability to "find on page", this would be a big improvement for searching specific sites  for content.

Hi @matt_bits , yes, I agree re: overcrowded contextual menu. I can't remember a time when I didn't have the attached in the menu, but I have no idea what they are. I assume they are for developers? It would great to be able to toggle certain elements to choose whether or not they appear in the menu. 




@mayusuf I, for one, am so happy to see this. I loved Ask Cortana in legacy Edge because it gave you quick access to some relevant search about something in a webpage without navigating away from that webpage. That is what made it great. It doesn't really matter if it's powered by Cortana or not. Can't wait to try this out in the preview builds. Thank you guys. Sidebar search is yet another standout feature for Edge.

I would just point out that the context menu is much shorter when something on the page is selected, as will be the case when using Sidebar search.
Since this seems to replace Ask Cortana in the current version of Edge, will the other Cortana features make their way into Chromium Edge?
i agree and it makes right click too large

Hi @matt_bits 


There is already an options which opens search in new tab.

Just select a word, right click and choose "Search the web for ...".




I also totally agree with you when it comes to the context menu. There are already options which are also in the ... (three dots) menu, e.q. Print and I would also remove "Open in Immersive Reader", because it can be accessed by the button in the address bar.

The toggle, mentioned by @Pete_FFC , for developers could be integrated into the F12 DevTools.


I really love the feature, I used this feature a lot in Legacy Edge. I would like to suggest in this feature that can we have the option to double-click a word and search that word in sidebar. This would make things easier to search words in sidebar.


Good news! You can now find words or phrases on a webpage. Use shortcut Crtl+G on your keyboard 
and a popup will come below the right end of the address bar and you can type word or phrase to find it on the page.





Woot, just tried out this sidebar search feature and it is great.. I Love it!! Thanks Team for another great addon feature!!

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Annotation 2020-05-21 143411.jpg





Thanks, but that's what I'm using already.

The problem with the Find Popup is that it closes anytime you go to a new page, so searching within a site with multiple pages (1, 2, 3 etc.) is a mess, as you always have to reopen the Find Popup again.

It would be a big improvement if the find input-field stayed open (like in Edge Legacy) or even better if it would be part of the side bar, so you can easily switch between the different occurrences of your finds on this page (the up/down arrows are not very helpful if you have let's say 25 or more hits).

I think of a solution like the find sidebar in MS Word where all finds are listed. Imagine a large webpage (e.g. a whitepaper) where you have to find certain keywords or phrases and constantly need to switch between them to get a job done. 


Hi  @Neon01 . For me the Find Popup stays open even when I go to another page on the same website, and when I switch between tabs.


BTW, I'm still not seeing the option to search in sidebar. I just got updated to Version 84.0.523.0.



Thank you for sharing.


There is one of the feature I missed from Internet Explorer which is Accelerator and I added Accelerator for the following:


Bing Map

Bing Translator   

Send Email


I believe sidebar search could be smart in integrate with Bing and let say , if my default language for Microsoft Edge is English and I select text in Spanish, automatically show its translation (it should be general detection based on any language with Microsoft Edge and check default one and the select text one)


For the map, from the type of text it should be o detect the location and this could be integrate smart into the Bing.


Such a thing could be expand and become smart integration with Bing and let say it has Currency convertor, math , etc. when user select a text and do a search. More research should be done on this and you could get help from insiders like us.


As for send mail feature, it was like you select text and then you select send with Windows Live, it would open Windows Live Mail (today it is and compose new email and add text into it. This is different story and there is need for different discussion about emails and Microsoft Edge.


However, my point is , it shouldn't be just a search instead it should be smart search to show result based on what has been searched and not just list of websites.

@mayusuf I really like the sidebar so far! I've run into a few problems though.

1. I have to scroll left and right sometimes because the page doesn't fit in the sidebar. An easy fix would be to render code in the sidebar in mobile mode.

2. I can't close the sidebar. The only way to get out of it is to do Ctrl+K and close the tab with the sidebar in it.

3. There is way to go back to the previous page, for example if I hit the wrong link, I have to open the sidebar and do everything again.

@mayusuf If Microsoft Edge ships with this crap to bloat the context menu, without the settings to turn it off, I'll immediately stop using Edge and return to Google Chrome. 


Stop shoving Bing crap into my browser, and stop hijacking my context menu. 

@LonesomeDrifter2 That's actually not a bad idea. I remember hearing that this was one of the features in Netscape and one of the biggest reasons Netscape lost to IE was because it was bloated with unnecessary stuff. Edge should have an menu tab labeled something and contain features that could be turned off to speed up the browser.

Awesome, I was waiting for this basic, yet very important functionality for the very first build of Microsoft Edge (chromium).

@mayusuf  Eu uso um plugin chamado: 

Search from Popup or ContextMenu (SPC)

E para mim, este plugin é muito, mas muito bom.