What you need to know
- Microsoft is working on extension support for Microsoft Edge on Android.
- You can already test a small set of extensions within Microsoft Edge Canary.
- Extensions are popular on desktop browsers but only a handful of popular mobile browsers support them, including Firefox and Samsung Internet.
- Notably, Google Chrome for Android does not support extensions.
Microsoft Edge on Android should soon get a major boost in the form of extension support. Edge Canary for Android now has a flag that allows you to enable extensions within the mobile browser. Well-known Edge expert Leo Varela shared the news on X (formerly Twitter) and showed off some of the extensions that are already supported.
Extensions are incredibly popular on desktop browsers, but surprisingly few popular mobile browsers support them. Firefox and Samsung Internet work with extensions but Google Chrome for Android does not. And of course, Edge did not support extensions until Microsoft began testing the functionality in Edge Canary.
Now, if you like Microsoft Edge and extensions, you don’t have to pick between the two, at least if you’re an Edge Canary user.
It will be possible to install extensions in Edge for Android!:https://t.co/18lG5nYyad pic.twitter.com/Sj744tPo6zJanuary 31, 2024
Saving Microsoft Edge
Adding extension support to Microsoft Edge for Android could help the browser compete with Google Chrome. Edge is barely a footnote when it comes to mobile usage, holding just a 0.24 market share, according to Statcounter in December 2023. Microsoft Edge as a whole didn’t even register as “dominant enough” to warrant being under European Commission Digital Markets Act regulations.
I use Edge on a regular basis, but a large part of that is due to my job. I have to keep up to date on the latest Edge features and bugs to cover the browser. I like several elements of it, including its layout and general design, but it’s nothing special when it comes to browsing.
While not unique to Edge on Android, extension support could go a long way in differentiating Edge from other browsers. I doubt many will convert from Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge due to Microsoft renaming its browser, but the addition of extensions could move the needle.
At this point, it’s not clear how many extensions will be supported. Will Microsoft allow a vast library of extensions like it does on Edge for computers or will it be a small, curated list?
How to use extensions on Microsoft Edge for Android
The number of extensions you can use right now within Microsoft Edge Canary on Android is quite limited. At the time of publication, only three extensions can be installed: Dark Reader, uBlock Origin, and Global Speed. You can install or uninstall those three and in my testing, they work well, but that’s it for now.
I hopped over to the Microsoft Edge Add-on store but the option to get any of the extensions is grayed out.
That being said, you can use extensions within the mobile browser, and I assume the general process will remain the same, so here’s how to do it:
- Install Microsoft Edge Canary from the Google Play Store.
- Go to Edge://flags in the address bar.
- Search for “Android Extension.”
- Toggled Android Extension to “Enabled.”
- While on any webpage, tap the hamburger menu (three lines) in the lower-right-hand corner of Edge.
- Scroll down and select “Extensions,” which appears next to a puzzle piece icon.
- Select “Manage Extensions.”
- Choose which extensions you’d like installed on Microsoft Edge.