In context: Microsoft’s new Edge browser has been scooping up users like there’s no tomorrow. Though it’s still nowhere near the top (Chrome still controls 67 percent of the market), it has already surpassed Firefox, Opera, and many others. This is due in no small part to its frequent feature updates, the latest of which might just win over a few more Firefox converts: enter Performance Mode.
Available to Edge’s Canary testers, Performance Mode seeks to optimize the browser’s CPU, memory, and battery usage, leading to a faster and overall more responsive browsing experience. While the feature is unlikely to be that useful for those with high-end PCs, it seems perfect for low-powered laptops or other similar devices.
Activating the feature, provided you’re on the latest version of Canary, should be relatively straightforward. Just visit the Edge Settings menu, click the System tab, and look in the “Optimize Performance” section — there you’ll find Performance Mode, as well as the browser’s other optimization settings, such as “Sleeping Tabs.”
Speaking of, turning Performance Mode on reportedly disables Sleeping Tabs’ customizable timer. If the feature is active, it’ll simply put tabs to sleep after five minutes of inactivity, whether you like it or not.
It’s unclear if this is a bug that will be fixed later or an intentional and unavoidable design decision. In either case, the trade-off might be worth it for those that want to reduce their browser’s resource footprint.
The real question will be just how significant that footprint reduction is. Without seeing benchmarks for the feature, that’s pretty tough to answer, but hopefully, users will begin testing Performance Mode and sharing their experiences soon.
Middle image credit: Violet Hansen