Edge Chromium: Tab Freezing, High Contrast Mode Support

With the latest Canary build, Microsoft Edge Chromium has got a new 'Tab Freezing' feature, along with advanced support of the native High Contrast mode in Windows 10.

After updating the browser to the latest Canary build,  which is 79.0.307.0, you should find a new flag that activates the tab freezing feature.

Just like Firefox, Edge is able to detect that you PC is running low on memory, and can suspend tabs that you haven’t used or looked at in a while. Edge will stop all activity for tabs you have not used for 5 minutes. This functionality is not an exclusive feature of Edge, it is inherited form Chromium.

To Enable Tab Freezing in Microsoft Edge Chromium,

  1. Update Microsoft Edge Chromium to the latest Canary build (see below).
  2. Type edge://flags/#proactive-tab-freeze into the address bar and hit the Enter key.
  3. Enable the flag Tab Freeze using the drop-down menu next to the flag name.Edge Chromium Enable Tab Freeze
  4. Relaunch the browser when prompted.Edge Relauch Browser Flags

Note that it is still an experimental feature for both Chromium and Edge, so it might work with issues.

As of now, you can set the option to one of the following modes:

  • Enabled - enable it with defaults
  • No unfreeze - Edge won't restore tabs in memory.
  • Unfreeze 10 seconds every 15 minutes - Edge will reload your frozen tabs in memory and keep them for 10 seconds every 15 minutes.

Another change in Edge Canary 79.0.307.0 is a flag that forces Windows' native High Contrast mode colors to web sites you are browsing. Quite an interesting feature, which reminds of the forced dark theme for sites in Chrome.

To Enable High Contrast Mode Support for Web Sites in Edge Chromium,

  1. Update Microsoft Edge Chromium to the latest Canary build (see below).
  2. Type edge://flags/#forced-colors into the address bar and hit the Enter key.
  3. Enable the flag Forced Colors using the drop-down menu next to the flag name.Edge Chromium Enable Forced Colors High Contrast
  4. Relaunch the browser when prompted.Edge Relauch Browser Flags
  5. Now, enable High Contrast Mode in Windows 10.Windows 10 Turn On High Contrast
  6. Open a web site in Edge Chromium. You will notice how it renders differently from its usual look.Edge Chromium Forced Colors High Contrast Web Site

New User Profile Icons

Microsoft now ships new, exclusive user pictures for browser profiles (accounts). The images they offer are not included to any other Chromium-based browser. Also, there is a new profile image picker.

To change your user profile icon,

  1. Click on the menu button and select Settings.Edge Chromium Main Menu Settings
  2. In Settings, click Profiles on the left.
  3. On the right, click on the three dot button and select Edit.Chromium Edge Edit Profile Menu
  4. In the next dialog, select a picture of choice and click on the Update button.Edge Chromium Change Profile Picture

Note: The steps above work for local profiles. For your primary profile tied to a Microsoft Account, Edge will lead you to the online account profile settings page.

As you may already know, Microsoft is currently using three channels to deliver updates to Edge Insiders. The Canary channel receives updates daily (except Saturday and Sunday), the Dev channel is getting updates weekly, and the Beta channel is updated every 6 weeks. The stable channel is also on its way to users.

Actual Microsoft Edge Versions

The actual pre-release versions of Edge Chromium at the moment of this writing are as follows:

I have covered many Edge tricks and features in the following post:

Hands-on with the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge

Also, see the following updates.

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