New Extension button - hate it, and behaviour is (I hope) broken

Steel Contributor

So my Dev - but not Canary - just suddenly developed an Extensions button in the toolbar out of nowhere (I was checking for updates, but there hasn't been one yet). It's kind of like the new one in Google Chrome, which I already hated. Two issue areas:


1) Before, I had a few most used extension toolbar buttons in the toolbar, and a bunch that I don't often use or never use (because the extension is always operating and the button doesn't need pressing) displaying at the top of the More menu in three lines. I had them arranged in what is to me a logical order - types of extension together, and most often pressed ones at the top, never pressed ones at the bottom. When I needed to press one, on opening the More menu I immediately knew where it was. Now, I have an extension button, and all the extensions are listed in alphabetical order, including the ones that are in the toolbar all the time. It's a struggle to remember exactly what the name of all the extensions are to then remember what the first letter is to know where to look in the list, and it's a list I have to scroll to see all, AND having the ones already in the toolbar cluttering it up, it is so, SO un-user friendly, at least to me. I HATE IT. It makes using extensions MUCH worse.


2 So I looked in Settings>appearance, and found a new 'Show Extensions button' entry and turned it off, hoping that would restore the previous, much better behaviour. It didn't. And what it did was bad.


(i) It did nothing until I restarted Edge Dev.

(ii) The button did not disappear. All the extension buttons were still listed in it, but were now greyed out so nothing could be changed in it. The buttons did not re-appear as I'd had them at the top of the More menu.

(iii) All of the buttons I previously had in the More menu now appeared on the toolbar, squashing up the URL/address bar, and all the buttons I had in the toolbar (and therefore use a lot) disappeared, apparently 'behind' the URL/address bar, so I couldn't use them.

(iv) I now couldn't hide the buttons I had previously had in the More menu unless I turned the extensions button back on. And re-started (again).

(v) Even then, the buttons I'd previously had in the More menu did not hide themselves again, and I and to go through hiding them all again, on which the toolbar buttons I actually want in the toolbar gradually scrolled back into view.


This is HIDEOUS. If you've got to have this display for extension buttons, please make it an option with the previous behaviour, with hidden buttons at the top of the more Menu and able to be sorted by the user into preferred order. And turning off Show extensions button should hide the extensions button. And if a bunch were hidden with the button on, the button is turned off, then back on again, the previously hidden buttons should hide again. And the dropdown list from the extensions button should not include the buttons that are not being hidden, or at least have a filter option not to show the buttons not being hidden.


Every time you get this browser in a state where I start thinking that maybe I could use it, you go and change something very badly in a way that has me crossing it off the list of useable browsers again.


This 'feature' is NOT in a coherent, useable state that should be in Dev.


BTW, this is all likely not a problem for people who have two or three extensions with toolbar buttons. I have 10 extension buttons displaying in the toolbar and 17 showing at the top of the More menu with the old behaviour. With 27 extension buttons this new system is a serious problem, an makes Edge unusable to me.


8 Replies
Yes, the same thing happened to me. By restoring the extension button, I could then hide my extensions again. However, now there is an extension button that cannot be hidden.

I much preferred the previous way of hiding extensions and this seems like a step back.
Dev channel is aimed for developers, not sure why you say it's not suitable for it.
if changes, rough edges and bugs can cause problem for you, you can always use the Beta channel.

these are the official groups each channel is aimed for.

Beta, more general purpose
Dev, as the name suggests, for developers to test new upcoming web features and technologies so they can make their websites, web apps etc. compatible.
Canary, mainly for enthusiasts.
Yes, I know that, thank you very much. I've been a privately invited tester of some major software of various types since the 90s, never mind publicly released testing builds like these..

But there's a big difference between 'Here test this, it may be buggy and rough around the edges' and 'Someone's had half an idea they haven't thought through and cobbled up something that's complete cack to see if anyone can maybe tell them what they ought to be doing'. This isn't rough round the edges, it's completely borked, and doesn't even merit the status of an Alpha - the minimum allowed out of the door to anyone not actually part of the dev team.
For a user with a fair number of extensions, this might just be OK if it was either changed to be, or changed so that there were options to make it ,more like Firefox's toolbar overflow menu. It would need ALL of (i) hide buttons from the dropdown that are openly on the toolbar, (ii) hide buttons for buttons that don't actually have a function on press (the ones currently greyed out in the dropdown0, and (iii) the ability to re-order the (remaining visible after I and Ii) buttons in the dropdown.

Mind you, still not happy at an extra system toolbar button. Edge's buttons take up so much more horizontal room than Firefox's or Chrome's. Ten extension buttons in Edge is about as many as I can have with a just acceptably short URL bar still visible. In Firefox I have 13 on the toolbar (and 13 in the overflow menu) and still have a much longer URL bar visible.
I have a different opinion about that, I think it's normal in the Dev channel and it's not that bad.
if there are too many extension icons in the toolbar, toggle them to appear in the extension menu.
one icon is better than 10 icons.
this is not a half baked idea, Chrome already did it and passed the tests.
... and was why I completely gave up on Chrome



Actually I'd like to re-state the problem in a different way. Edge developers - you have basically made a type mistake, and I was implicitly following the same mistake in my reply.


What you have done is remove a particular useful function. And you have added a fundamentally and conceptually different function. Which is all well and good, but it does not replace the first function as what you have added is a completely different thing.


What you have removed, the area at the top of the More menu, was an equivalent to the Firefox toolbar overflow menu, so I'll call the Edge version the overflow menu too. For people who have too many toolbar buttons, it's a place to put the lesser used ones where they are not in the way but quick to get too, and just like the main toolbar the user can arrange those extra buttons in the order best suited to them.


What you have added is a light-weight dropdown extensions manager. It is to the full extension manager page what the Favourites and History dropdowns are now to the full favourites and history manager pages. And just like the full extension manager page it lists all of them in alphabetical order, which is fair enough as a lightweight extension manager dropdown.


Some people may have a use for that, personally I don't and am happy using the full extension manager page for managing my extensions, but you've put in a button on/off, so fair enough.


But I DO want and need my toolbar overflow that you have removed, and what you have added IS NOT A TOOLBAR OVERFLOW. It's a lightweight extension manager dropdown, which is a different thing for a different purpose.


Chrome did this, when I actually already had a 3rd party extension that provided a button that was a dropdown lightweight extension manager. So they gave me their new built in dropdown extension manager that wasn't actually as good as the one I already had from an extension (for the small amount of use I made of it), but removed the toolbar overflow from the top of the More menu which I made a lot of use of. So I took that as a final 'screw you' from the Chrome devs and have permanently and totally given up on it.


Just because Google made the same mistake is no reason you lot can't see and avoid it.




Lightweight dropdown extension manager: contains long scrolling list of all extensions, whether with a button on the toolbar, a button not on the toolbar, or no button at all, in alphabetical order.


Toolbar overflow: provides an area (could be at the top of the more menu, or a separate toolbar button dropdown) for all the toolbar buttons not on the menu but ONLY the buttons not on the menu, arranged according to the desires, needs and idiosyncrasies of the user just like the toolbar buttons actually on the toolbar.


You have removed the second and added the first. I for one need the second and am indifferent to the first.


You could have both. I'd be fine with that if displaying the first was optional.


OR you need to add a bunch of things to your dropdown extension manager so the user can configure it to act as a toolbar overflow instead: hide extensions that have no toolbar button, hide extensions who have their buttons actually on the toolbar, and allow re-ordering.


It's a long time since I coded anything so I may be wrong, but I imagine it would actually be easier to maintain both the dropdown extension manager and the toolbar overflow separately. After all, they are conceptually different things serving different and distinct purposes


But just because the Google Chrome devs missed the point that an extension manager is not the same thing as a toolbar overflow, so they removed something - and something very useful - without replacing it to a considerable loss of ease of use of their browser doesn't mean you guys have to slavishly follow them over every cliff.


I use quite a lot of extensions and need a toolbar overflow. As of today, I no longer have one in Edge. That means my attempts to use Edge for normal browsing screech to a halt and will not resume until and unless I get a toolbar overflow back. Your dropdown extension manager is nothing like a toolbar overflow.


I will go back to just running updates for just as long as it takes to see if a toolbar over flow reappears, whether by restoring it as was alongside your considerably broken dropdown extension manager, or you have added considerable changes to the extension manager so it can be re-configured as a toolbar overflow.



The previous design wasn't good. there was no point in putting any extension icon under (...) menu and leaving some in the toolbar.
when Edge window was resized and user had to resize the addressbar/omnibox accordingly to better view the results, everything would go either to the (...) menu or back to the toolbar when Edge was back to the full screen view and address bar was resized.

this new extension button doesn't have that problem, things stay where you leave them, regardless of the screen size, Edge window size or the width of the address bar.

you can still Pin everything to the toolbar if you want to, that hasn't changed.