Microsoft Edge for Mac is a web browser built on the same Chromium code base as Chrome, Brave, and others. The thought of downloading a Microsoft web browser on a Mac might seem strange, but Edge for Mac is a completely different beast when compared to the likes of Internet Explorer and the original Windows-only version of Edge.
Unlike its predecessors, Edge for Mac has a bunch of optimizations and tweaks to make it feel like it really belongs on macOS. It also has some nice privacy features and other touches to make it a more attractive choice than Chrome. With all that going for it, you may even want to download Microsoft Edge for Mac yourself to try it out.
How to Install the Edge Browser for Mac
If you're ready to download Edge on your Mac and give it a shot, the process is really easy. The only catch is you can't get it directly from the Mac App Store (the only Edge is in the App Store which is just for iOS). To download and install the macOS version, you'll have to head over to the official Microsoft website.
How to get Microsoft Edge on your Mac:
Navigate to Microsoft.com/en-us/edge using your current web browser and click Download for macOS.
If the download button doesn't say "for macOS," click the down arrow to select "macOS" from the list.
Click Accept and download.
Wait for the download to finish, then click the MicrosoftEdge-xx.x.xxx.xx.pkg file.
After the installer launches, click Continue.
If your Mac has multiple hard drives or installation locations, you will first need to select a destination for the installation.
Enter your user name and password to allow the installation, and click Install Software.
Click Close to complete the installation.
Click Move to Trash to delete the Microsoft Edge installer and free up some space on your hard drive.
Several notifications will pop up. If you don't want Edge to be able to send notifications, click Don't Allow. If you do want to see these notifications in the future, click Allow.
Edge is installed and ready to use.
Why Download Microsoft Edge Browser for Mac?
Unlike the original version of Edge and Internet Explorer, which were both designed entirely by Microsoft, the current iteration of Microsoft Edge is built on Chromium like Chrome and Brave rather than what Microsoft used to use.
The big difference between Edge and Chrome is that when Google takes Chromium and turns it into Chrome, they add a lot of extra stuff that records your data and tracks your activity. Edge doesn't do that. In fact, Edge has tracking prevention enabled by default.
While Edge tracking prevention is turned on from the start, you do get a great deal of control over it. You can choose to block trackers that Microsoft thinks are harmful but allow ones that are designed to serve personalized ads, block harmful trackers and ones from sites you've never been to, or block virtually all web trackers.
In addition to excellent privacy options, Edge also provides a top-notch browsing experience with excellent usability features and snappy performance even on older hardware.
The tabs page, which opens when you launch Edge or open a new tab, is highly flexible, with three different basic layouts that combine links to your favorite websites with varying levels of top news stories and beautiful background images. You can also dive deeper and customize your own layout.
Easy Setup and Cross-Platform Convenience
Microsoft makes the process of testing out Edge on your Mac or switching over entirely equally painless, with a quick and easy installation process and excellent import options.
If you're coming from Safari, you can bring all of your bookmarks, favorites, and your browsing history along for the ride. If you're coming from Chrome, you can import all of that along with passwords, payment details, addresses, and a whole lot more.
Since Edge is available for Windows, Android, and iOS in addition to macOS, it provides you with the option to use the same web browser across all of your different devices. This allows you to access the same favorites, bookmarks, payment details, passwords, and other information on any device that supports Edge.
Edge for Mac Extension Availability
Edge supports a dizzying amount of extensions because it's built on Chromium. That means it can use all of the same extensions available for Chrome. You even have the option to add extensions through the Chrome Web Store or through Microsoft's own extension collection.
Drawbacks of Edge for Mac
If you're deep in the Mac ecosystem and only use Apple devices, there is one issue that could make Edge for Mac slightly less convenient than Safari. The issue is if you use the iCloud Keychain to sync passwords across devices, there's no way to pull that information out and put it into Edge. You also lose the ability to use Apple Pay to make payments if you switch from Safari to Edge.
Should You Use Edge on Your Mac?
Whether or not you decide to take the plunge and switch completely from your current browser to Edge is a personal decision that's informed by a lot of factors. Switching from Safari can be tough if you're heavily reliant on iCloud Keychain, but the performance increase still makes it an attractive option. It's also a great alternative if you're already using Chrome, since Edge is essentially Chrome with better privacy and a handful of other useful features.