Edge Dev build 86.0.594.1 adds Chrome themes and more

Microsoft has released the latest build of the Chromium-based Edge browser to Insiders running the Dev channel version of the browser. There was already a pretty hefty update last week with the release of the first build based on Chromium 86, which included plenty of new features, but this week still includes a few notable changes.

In terms of new features, the biggest news might be that Edge now supports themes installed from the Chrome web store. While Edge has always supported Chrome extensions, themes are a little more complicated, but now it's possible to change the look of Edge beyond the Windows theming options. Here's the full list of new features:

  • Added the ability to install themes from the Google web store.
  • Added a flag to that will allow the Backspace key to navigate a webpage back (or forward when combined with Shift). This flag is currently disabled by default and needs to be manually enabled.
  • Added an option in settings to turn off suggestions from history and favorites when searching in the address bar.
  • Added website permissions for virtual and augmented reality.
  • Added a link between the Passwords Settings page and the Password Monitor Settings page.
  • Added a management policy to Save Cookies When Microsoft Edge Closes. Note that this policy is intended to be used in conjunction with policies to clear data when the browser is closed, and administrative templates will be updated later.

As usual, in addition to a handful of new features, this week's build also includes smaller improvements to reliability. Here's what's been fixed:

  • Fixed an issue where typing into the address bar sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where closing a tab sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where switching tabs sometimes crashes Edge on Insider versions of Windows.
  • Fixed an issue where visiting certain sites in IE mode tabs sometimes crashes the browser.
  • Fixed an issue where tabs sometimes crash upon loading.
  • Fixed an issue where logging into a site with a password saved in Edge sometimes crashes the tab.
  • Fixed an issue where using System Restore causes Edge to no longer be able to launch.
  • Fixed an issue where pinning a website to the Taskbar sometimes fails.
  • Fixed an issue where the certificate viewer doesn’t work.

There are also some fixes to the browser's behavior, where it might not have done what it was intended to do. These include a fix for fullscreen video and an improved UI for installing progressive web apps:

  • Fixed an issue where fullscreen videos sometimes don’t display properly. Instead of entering fullscreen, they just zoom in and take up most of the browser window.
  • Fixed an issue where the address bar sometimes stays in the “translating” state after translation of the webpage is complete.
  • Fixed an issue where not all passwords are migrated from IE to Edge on versions of Windows older than 10.
  • Fixed an issue where websites pinned to the Taskbar don’t have their badging when they’re supposed to. (The badging is the text/number that sometimes appears on shortcut to tell the number of unread messages, etc.)
  • Fixed an issue where items sometimes aren’t added to Collections correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where ctrl + F sometimes leave highlighting on a page.
  • Improved the UI when installing PWAs.
  • Removed the keyboard shortcut for Save As on PDFs (ctrl + shift + S).
  • Removed the ability to use Collections in Guest windows.
  • Obsoleted the Safe Browsing Allow List Domains management policy since it’s been superseded by the SmartScreen Allow List Domains.

Finally, despite all the fixes and improvements, there are still quite a few known issues in this build. Many of them haven't been fixed from the previous release, but there are also some brand new ones:

  • Mac users may see an issue signing into the browser or syncing their data. We’ve identified the cause and are working to get a fix into next week’s Dev build.
  • Users with certain hardware are seeing changes in scrolling behavior that are unintended. For example, pages scroll much faster than they used to. We’re currently investigating.
  • Users of certain ad blocking extensions may experience playback errors on Youtube. As a workaround, temporarily disabling the extension should allow playback to proceed. See https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/articles/known-issue-adblock-causing-errors-on-youtube/m-p/14… for more details.
  • Users of the Kaspersky Internet Suite who have the associated extension installed may sometimes see webpages like Gmail fail to load. This failure is due to the main Kaspersky software being out of date, and is thus fixed by making sure the latest version is installed.
  • Some users are seeing favorites get duplicated after we made some previous fixes in that area. The most common way this is triggered is by installing the Stable channel of Edge and then signing into it with an account that has already signed into Edge before. Fixing this should be easier now that the deduplicator tool is available. However, we’ve also seen duplication happen when running the deduplicator on multiple machines before either machine has a chance to fully sync its changes, so while we wait for some of the fixes we’ve made to come to Stable, make sure to leave plenty of time in between runs of the deduplicator.
  • After an initial fix for it recently, some users are still experiencing Edge windows becoming all black. Opening the Browser Task Manager (keyboard shortcut is shift + esc) and killing the GPU process usually fixes it. Note that this only appears to affect users with certain hardware and is most easily triggered by resizing an Edge window. For users with discrete GPUs, updating graphics drivers may help.
  • Some users are seeing “wobbling” behavior when scrolling using trackpad gestures or touchscreens, where scrolling in one dimension also causes the page to subtly scroll back and forth in the other. Note that this only affects certain websites and seems to be worse on certain devices. This is most likely related to our ongoing work to bring scrolling back to parity with Edge Legacy’s behavior, so if this behavior is undesirable, you can temporarily turn it off by disabling the edge://flags/#edge-experimental-scrolling flag.
  • There are some issues where users with multiple audio output devices sometimes don’t get any sound from Edge. In one case, Edge becomes muted in the Windows Volume Mixer and unmuting it fixes it. In another, restarting the browser fixes it.

While it hasn't been enabled yet, some users have noticed that Canary builds of Edge are allowing vertical tabs to be enabled. Microsoft has addressed this in the feedback roundup post for this week, but the company isn't ready to announce it just yet. The feature only seems to work for some users at random, and it should become more broadly available soon.

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