Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge browser logo.
Microsoft

Browser updates are important. Updates for Microsoft Edge deliver critical security patches, new features, and performance improvements. The Edge browser automatically updates itself, but you can manually check for and install updates.

There are two versions of Microsoft Edge: The original one that came with Windows 10 and the new Microsoft Edge based on open-source Chromium code. How you update your Edge browser depends on which one you have.

How to Upgrade to the New Edge Browser

If you haven’t updated your Windows 10 PC to the new Microsoft Edge yet, you can download it from Microsoft’s website. Install it on your PC and it will replace the old Edge browser. If you want the old Edge browser back, you can uninstall the new Edge like you’d uninstall any other application.

Microsoft will eventually install the new Edge web browser on all Windows 10 PCs via Windows Update. However, as of May 12, 2020, that hasn’t happened yet. If you’re willing to wait, just hold tight—you’ll get the latest version of Edge on all your Windows 10 PCs automatically.

The new Edge is also available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About the New Microsoft Edge Browser

How to Update the New Edge Browser

The new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium updates just like Google Chrome. It downloads and installs updates for itself automatically.

To manually check for an update in Edge, click the menu button in the top-right corner of the Edge browser window. It looks like three horizontal dots.

Opening the menu to update in Edge on Windows 10.

Point to “Help & Feedback” and click “About Microsoft Edge.”

Launching Edge's About page, where you can update the browser.

Edge will check for any available updates and automatically install any available updates. Edge will also show you the browser version you have installed on this page.

The About page will prompt you to restart the Edge browser if you haven’t restarted since installing the latest version.

You can also access this page by copy-pasting edge://settings/help into Edge’s address bar and pressing Enter.

Microsoft Edge saying it's up to date on a Windows PC.

How to Update the Original Edge Browser

The original version of Microsoft Edge included with Windows 10 updates through Windows Update.

To check for an install Edge updates, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Windows will check for updates and offer to install them. Updates for the Edge browser are included in normal cumulative update packages for the Windows 10 operating system.

On Windows 10, Windows Update automatically installs updates so Edge browser security updates and bugfixes will be installed automatically.

Installing updates for Edge and other software via Windows Update.

How to Update Edge to Unstable Insider Builds

If you want unstable versions of Edge with new features, you can download them from the official Microsoft Edge Insider website.

Microsoft offers a Beta channel that gets a major update every six weeks, a Dev channel that gets updated weekly, and a Canary channel that’s updated almost every night. Builds move from Canary to Dev to Beta and finally reach the Stable channel when they’re stable.

Most people shouldn’t install these unstable builds, but they’re particularly useful to web developers who want to test the latest browser versions before they’re released. Enthusiasts might also want to experiment with new features and help Microsoft find bugs, just as they do with Windows 10’s Insider program.

Edge uses the same release channel structure that Google Chrome does, ensuring new browser versions get a lot of bug-testing before they’re released.

You can even have all four versions of Edge installed on your computer at once: Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. Each gets its own shortcut in your Start menu, and each is updated separately. Click menu > Help and feedback > About Microsoft Edge in any of them to check for updates for that browser.

The New Edge Is a Big Update for Everyone

Historically, major new Edge features have been included with the big feature updates for Windows 10. Microsoft generally releases these once every six months.

However, with the shift to the new Edge based on Google Chrome, new Edge features will arrive every six weeks instead. That’s how often Google updates Chrome, too. Big updates like Windows 10’s May 2020 Update no longer include new features for the old version of Edge.

The new Edge offers a world-class browsing experience based on the open-source Chromium code. Google uses this Chromium code as the basis for Google Chrome, so the new Edge and Chrome have a lot in common. Experienced Chrome users will be right at home browsing the web with Edge.

Edge still has some features not found in Google Chrome, like a tracking prevention feature and InPrivate Browsing for privately browsing online.

Microsoft has come a long way since Internet Explorer. Even if you plan to stick with Google Chrome, many improvements that Microsoft makes to the new Edge will be incorporated back into the Chromium platform and make their way to Chrome. In other words, Microsoft is about to make Chrome even better. That goes both ways, of course. The improvements Google makes to Chrome will make Microsoft Edge even better, too. The cooperation between Microsoft and Google is good news for everyone, whether you stick with Windows 10’s included web browser or download Google Chrome.

RELATED: How Microsoft Is About to Make Google Chrome Even Better

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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