How to customize Microsoft Edge New tab page

Microsoft’s new browser, Edge on Windows 10, brings forth some new features. In this post, we’re not going to focus on everything, but mainly the New tab page, one that is similar to what Opera has done in the past. The New tab features allow users to change the way tabs behave when they are created, and what is shown. Folks can choose to only display a Blank tab, Top sites or Top sides and suggested content.

Edge browser New tab page

edge tab page settings

A Blank tab is the classic tab behavior, preferred by me, but considered by some to be too boring. Hence, the reason Top sites tab behavior was brought into play. When a user chooses top sites to be shown when a new tab is created, every time a new tab is open, it shows the web sites most used. This makes it easier for Edge users to quickly get to their favorite websites without having to type in the URL bar or perform a Bing search.

Finally, there’s the Top sites and suggested content feature. This one is similar to top sites, but it goes one step further. The tab shows the top sites along with suggested web content from MSN. It means if users want to get the most out of this tab, then they will require to have an active internet connection.

The question right now, is how does one gain access to these settings. Well, Microsoft has made it quite easy to understand. In fact, the configuration section on Edge is more simplified than Chrome and Firefox, and far more than Internet Explorer.

edge new tab page

To get there, just click the “More action button” at the top right corner of the browser. Scroll down to the button that says, “Settings.” Click on it, and then simply scroll down until the option that says, “Open new tab with” is in view. From there, users can change tab behavior to suit their needs.

I’ve been using Edge for quite some time now, and it is safe to say the new tab features work really well. However, the top sites and suggested content feature in my find is not very well done. Suggesting content is great, but Microsoft does not give users the option to customize and choose the type of content they would rather see.

You can also customize or turn off MSN News Feed in Edge browser Start Page.

More Edge browser tips and tricks here.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

31 Comments

  1. yvonne

    I really don’t like what they did here. The main reason why I open a new tab is to search for info on something I read on the original tab, so all I really want on a new tab is my favorite search engine.
    That seems to be impossible with edge though.
    Is there any way to get that function back?

  2. Seb John

    Go into the settings option and then go to advanced settings, then, under the “show the home button” option, replace about:start or whatever is in the box to http://www.google.com, or your preffered search engine

  3. powerwiz

    No because they know you will use Google and not Bing. Drives me nuts they did not add this which would of taken active thinking so I assume I am right.

  4. Livingfree

    When you change your default browser to which ever you prefer and you click on the new tab button, even though it is the boring grey search engine it will use your default choice. i.e Google.

  5. Rick Gregory

    ’tis true – and annoying! Thanks MS…

  6. Rick Gregory

    Yes but the google suggestions don’t auto-populate as you type… at least not for me. Why in the world wouldn’t MS let us specify our own page to open for new tabs or at least let me get google in the “TOP SITES” area? Only reason I can think of is they don’t want it there…

  7. Xone

    Not exactly the type of design I like. I would rather have the top sites manually customizable – where I can pin whatever links I wanted. Currently there is only option to PIN TO START, which do not have preview or website icon – but just a blue “e” icon… If Pin to Start shows website preview or logo, that will be a whole new ball game!

  8. JasonEnzoD

    Microsoft trying to lever customers again into using their services. Haven’t they realised yet that the all stick and no carrot approach ultimately works against them? And the browser is now an app. I think it will be a flop. Well, I guess people will just have to keep using Chrome and other third party browsers, while Microsoft continue to lose customers.

  9. JasonEnzoD

    A good reason not to use Edge then.

  10. WAL

    I agree with Yvonne. I provide tech support and I want all of my new tabs to open my preferred search engine, in this case Google. Edge doesn’t offer me this option with new tab, thereby making it impossible to do so. Instead, as a workaround, I would have to select blank tab and then put my search string in the search window to open a google search, since I have google set as my default search engine. Until Microsoft fixes this in Edge, I will continue to use IE 11 in Windows 10.

  11. Marco

    Hello WAL, if I understand, you want to have several tabs at the same time when you open Windows Edge. Well this is how you can do it:
    1.- Open Windows Edge and go to Settings
    2.- Select “A specific page or pages
    3.- Click the down arrow and select Custom
    4.- In the box “Enter a web address”, type the address you want to be in the home page
    5.- Add as many addresses you want
    6.- To delete any tab, just click “X”
    Then you close Windows Edge and when you open it again you will see all the tabs you create.
    I hope this can help you.
    Greetings.
    Marco

  12. Rob Kraft

    I would like to open New Tab Pages with a specific Home page. I hope Microsoft brings back that feature.

  13. David Jones

    What Microsoft are doing here is fairly typical, when they introduce a new product. They engineer it in a way that is specifically designed to drive users to their ecosystem. They also then make it difficult or impossible for the same users to make changes to their products that would prevent this. It’s what pretty much all the major software companies are doing. I understand the commercial reasons why they would do this. However, there is a very thin line between making it easy for users to access their ecosystems and being anti-competitive and there are a long line of legal cases about the anti-competitiveness of these companies, especially Microsoft.

  14. JS10013

    I posted recently on the MS Community site re this “improvement” in MS Edge:
    I’ve been using successfully the workaround of putting the Google site on my Favorites Bar since two weeks ago after I realized that MS was quite happy to have “improved” now to have Only their Bing Search Engine as the only one-click option for opening a new tab. I sent an email to the Antitrust Division of the FTC since this appears to me to be an unfair trade practice to benefit MS’s Bing at the expense of Google and other search engines (as well as MS’s customers/suckers.) I only got a form letter from Antitrust in return, but, if they get enough emails, they may get on MS’s case since MS cannot just ignore them as they routinely do for others.
    In response a rabid MS supporter announced that it was a “weird bug” to which I replied:
    You may be correct that this is an MS “weird bug” which coincidentally works out positive for MS’s expensive efforts to increase the usage of Bing, or it may be a chintzy plan by MS. I don’t know for sure and have no way of finding out, which is why I would hope FTC Antitrust would look into it. If it’s just another of the long list of MS’s “weird bugs” that they just can’t be bothered to correct, then it’s sad, but not Antitrust. If not a bug, then FTC is supposed to pursue it.

    Maybe the FTC will inspire MS to make this right, maybe not, but an email to them doesn’t to take much time, and the more received increases the chance of action. JS10013

  15. billrandle

    Agee entirely. It is extremely frustrating and another reason not to use IE. Chrome doesn’t force users to Chrome so why should Microsoft force users to Bing and MSN. And Microsoft wonders why it continues to lose market share to other providers…

  16. yvonne

    I think you misunderstand. What we want is:
    1.- open browser
    2.- browser opens at the search engine of choice
    3.- open new tab
    4.- tab opens at the same search engine of choice
    5.- open new tab
    6.- tab opens at the same search engine of choice
    7.- rinse and repeat.
    Every tab you open, opens with your preferred address. we should not have to type a list of addresses to open, since we don’t KNOW which address we will need this time. That is what the search engine is for.

  17. What a crock. If a user can’t specify what page opens when they click “new tab”, then there’s almost no point.

    “In fact, the configuration section on Edge is more simplified than Chrome and Firefox, and far more than Internet Explorer.”

    “more simplified” isn’t what we were looking for — at least not me. “Better” is what I was looking for, including having the option to set a URL for my new tab pages, like *every other browser* can do.

  18. Tiberius Rex

    Once again, 20 years later, they are counting on the user being satisfied with the defaults or ignorant that choices are available. There are nice things about Edge but this ‘feature’ just makes me not use it at all. Well done MS!

  19. Ry the Stunner

    Um, no. All that does is changes what the URL for when you click the Home button. That does not change the New Tab window to go to whatever site you want.

  20. Rob

    I agree. I want the new tab to be my home page. Microsoft is deliberately trying to monopolize where you go on the internet.

  21. Dino_Zuma

    Holy hat, folks, esp. those who are complaining about how to customize the Edge homepage and tabs. Please FTLOG explore the Settings for Edge. There, you can customize your homepage URL. You can customize your search engine (use Google, Yahoo! or whatever instead of Bing if you like) and note that no matter what view you choose for a new tab, a search bar (using your default search engine) automatically appears at the top.

    Also, by right clicking on an open tab, you can also Pin it to always appear alongside your homepage whenever you start Edge.

    Now if we can only get the Edge team to give us the option of automatically switching to a newly created tab instead of doing it manually, we’d be all set!

  22. Dino_Zuma

    It’s not impossible. In fact it’s pretty easy. Go to Advanced Settings. Scroll down to Search in the Address Bar and choose your favorite search engine as the default. Voila, anytime you type in the address bar, including on the new Tab, you will now search using your favorite search engine as the default. Google away, Yvonne.

  23. yvonne

    Ok, how do I put a new search engine in there? the one I want to use is not listed.
    I see only three options, Bing, Twitter, and Zoeken.

    I really like to use Ask, have used is for almost as long as it exists.
    Google I never use, the few times I tried it, it didn’t give me the results I was looking for.

  24. yvonne

    That is simply not true, no matter what I do I cant get my prefered search engine in the list that you mention. Only search engines MS wants you to use will show up.

  25. Visit your preferred search engine. If it supports OpenSearch, you will see it added as an option in Edge. Select it and set it as your default search engine. See: https://www.thewindowsclub.com/set-google-default-search-edge

  26. Dino_Zuma

    Go to Change Search Engine and click the Learn More hotlink. Your preferred search engine must use OpenSearch technology.

  27. yvonne

    Don’t know if it uses OpenSearch technology, what I do know is that when I follow the learn more link it shows different options then I get when looking in advanced settings – change search engine.

  28. Phong Phan

    Incorrect u can choose what sites you want to see in the content above. If you want to remove the suggested site click the X button in the corner of the site. Then after click the plus button to add what site you want to see. Your welcome

  29. Phong Phan

    u can choose what sites you want to see in the content above. If you want to remove the suggested site click the X button in the corner of the site. Then after click the plus button to add what site you want to see. Your welcome

  30. mlowry

    For security purposes I follow the recommended practice of removing cookies after each session. After waiting for over a year, Microsoft still has not fixed the problem of Edge resetting the new tab setting to “Top sites and suggested content” if cookies are removed at the end of the session. Incredibly poor design.

  31. Munchy

    2018 AND EDGE STILL WONT LET YOU OPEN NEW TABS TO YOUR OWN PAGE OR HOME PAGE. I DONT WANT TOP SITES OR TOP SITES AND SUGESTED I WANT MY BLANCK GOOGLE HOME PAGE WITH ITS SHORTCUTS TO GOOGLES APPS LOL. aND EVEN NOW IN 2018 MICROSFT ARE ASKING USERS WHY THEY ARENT USING EDGE.

    tRY LETING PEOPLE CHOSE WHAT PAGES THEY WANT TO GO TOO LIKE NEW TABS DEFAULT. lIKE EVERY OTHER BROWSER LETS YOU AND SECOND, STOP PUSHING EDGE AND BING ON EVERYONE, THE MORE YOU PUSH THE MORE PEOPLE RUN.

    2018 IS THE FIRST YEASR I DONT USE ANY MICROSFT BROWSER ON MY PC AND I WONT RECOMEND ANY TO OTHER PEOPLE EITHER.

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