Microsoft is rolling out a new update to the Edge browser. It is a major update that brings tons of new features and visual as well as performance enhancements to the Chromium-powered browser. The most notable of them is a new password breach monitor.
Microsoft Edge gets Password Monitor and Password Generator
Following the latest update, Microsoft Edge will now notify you if any of the passwords you have saved to the browser is compromised in a data breach. The browser will also prompt you to change the breached password immediately.
Despite all the advancements in cybersecurity, and people using password managers and two-factor authentication, data breaches are still very prevalent. There's always a risk of your login credentials getting exposed in one such hack or leak.
Microsoft wants to help you minimize any potential damage with the new Password Monitor feature on the Edge browser. It will regularly scan the dark web to find breached passwords and notify the users. The feature is rolling out with Microsoft Edge 88 starting this week. However, it may take a couple of weeks for you to see it in your browser even after you update to the latest version.
Additionally, Microsoft Edge is also getting a password generator with the latest update. Whenever you sign up on a website or attempt to change an existing password, it will suggest you a strong, secure, and complex password that is hard to guess. The password will be automatically saved in the browser's built-in password manager. So you don't need to memorize it.
Both Password Monitor and Password Generator features are already available in other web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. Some password manager apps also offer these features. So Microsoft is kind of playing catch up here. However, it's been just about a year since the company re-released its browser based on Google's open-source Chromium browser. It's still nice to see the browser picking up these much-needed features.
Sleeping tabs, new themes, and more
The latest update for Microsoft Edge also introduces several new themes. Microsoft says it has created 24 new themes so you can personalize your browser the way you want. You can even use different themes for different accounts.
The new themes are available from the Edge add-on site. It adds a new background on the new tab page. Other parts of the browser, including tabs and address bar, also match the color scheme of the applied theme. Microsoft says there are more themes planned for the future. You can also install themes from other stores if you don't like any of Microsoft's first-party themes.
Microsoft is also incorporating elements of the Fluent design system into Edge. Icons in the browser are now rounder and softer, allowing for more visual consistency. The company plans to bring the Fluent design system into more of its products in the future.
In addition to the general look and feel, Microsoft Edge is also getting some more useful features. A new sleeping tabs feature will boost browser performance by automatically releasing system resources for inactive tabs. This will improve memory and CPU resource usage, allowing other active tabs to run better.
The latest update for Microsoft is now rolling out to users globally. The new version should be available to download from Microsoft's website as well as a direct update to the browser. This is in addition to the update released earlier this month that introduced history and tab sync abilities to Microsoft Edge. That update is also rolling out more widely starting this week.