Microsoft Edge is known for constantly updating its browser with new features, some of which are beneficial, while others may leave users puzzled. Recently, the company has been testing a feature that allows users to save screenshots of visited web pages in their browser’s history. While this feature may sound intriguing, it raises questions about its usefulness and potential confusion among average users.
The latest version of Microsoft Edge, specifically the Canary and Dev channels, introduces the “Save screenshots of the site for History” feature. At first glance, this feature appears to be quite useful. Enabling it allows users to revisit any web page from their browsing history even without an internet connection. Additionally, a thumbnail preview of the web page can be viewed simply by hovering the cursor over it in the history tab. These functionalities could prove beneficial in certain scenarios.
However, Microsoft’s decision to name and describe this feature has caused confusion. The current name suggests that actual screenshots are taken of every single web page visited, which could easily mislead average users. Moreover, Microsoft has not provided an explanation as to how user privacy and security will be protected while saving web pages for later access. Understandably, these concerns raise doubts about the feature’s practicality and user-friendliness.
Instead of automatically capturing screenshots of every visited web page, Microsoft should consider offering users the option to manually save selected web pages. This would provide greater control and flexibility, allowing users to choose which pages they want to revisit offline. By giving users more agency in this regard, Microsoft could address potential privacy and security concerns, while also enhancing the overall user experience.
The currently tested feature is in its preliminary phase and is deactivated by default. Users can enable the feature by navigating to Settings > Privacy and Services within the Canary or Dev channel of Microsoft Edge. Alternatively, the option can be found by visiting the edge://settings/privacy link directly. As the testing phase progresses, it is expected that developers will refine and improve this feature before its official release in the stable channel.
While Microsoft Edge’s new “Save screenshots of the site for History” feature may initially appear useful, its implementation raises concerns about potential confusion among average users and the preservation of privacy and security. By allowing users to manually save selected web pages instead of automatically capturing screenshots of every visit, Microsoft could better address these issues and ensure a more refined and user-friendly browsing experience.