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Microsoft Edge's download management is going to improve soon
[Image: microsoft-edge-downloads-panel.png]

Microsoft's Edge web browser lists downloads in the main interface during the session and on the dedicated Downloads page.

The listing in the main interface takes away space that websites use usually, and that may be an issue for users who use smaller displays.

Microsoft is working on improving Edge's downloads management capabilities. The company is rolling out a feature addition that, once enabled, gives users the option to display a dedicated downloads icon in the Edge toolbar.

First spotted by Twitter user Leopeva64, the feature is being rolled out gradually to all Microsoft Edge Canary users.

The dedicated downloads button is not enabled by default, even if the feature is unlocked by Microsoft for the particular version of Edge.

Edge users have two options to change that:
  • Open the main Edge menu and right-click on the Downloads listing there. If you see the "show in toolbar" option, you may select it to add the Downloads icon to the browser's main toolbar.
  • Open the main Edge menu and select Settings. Switch to Appearance, and check if the "Show downloads button" is available under Customize Toolbar. Toggle it to display the new button on the toolbar
If you don't see either option, the feature is not yet available in that instance of Edge. There does not seem to be an option to unlock the feature right away, e.g. through Edge's experimental flags page. The only unsatisfactory option is to wait until it gets unlocked by Microsoft remotely.

A click on the downloads icon in the Edge toolbar displays all downloads that are in progress and past downloads. Active downloads can be managed right from the interface, e.g. by clicking on the pause or cancel buttons.

New downloads are displayed in a new flyout that originates from the downloads button. You get options to open or save / save as the file.

The downloads menu can be pinned, and a click on the three dots in the interface displays additional download related options such as opening the downloads management page, clearing the downloads history, or hiding the downloads icon from the toolbar again.

Closing Words

Microsoft is collecting feedback as the rollout progresses. The feature should land in Microsoft Edge Stable eventually, giving all Edge users the option to use the dedicated downloads button in the interface.

Edge users have the choice to keep on using the old downloads options, or to switch to the new option instead. I prefer the icon option, as it does not interfere with the browser interface unless activated.

Now You: which option do you prefer? A dedicated downloads button, or downloads displayed at the bottom of the browser window?
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