Microsoft Edge logo displayed on a laptop
Image: monticellllo/Adobe Stock

Similar to other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers a Favorites bar. When you bookmark a web page, Edge displays it on that bar or in a folder, depending on your choice. Folders expand on this functionality by allowing you to store related sites together in the same folder. Before you know it, the Favorites bar is full, and the folders have so many links that lists scroll off the bottom of the screen. Even if these bookmarks are well organized, the volume can be overwhelming and difficult to wade through.

Edge Collections can help eliminate a lot of that clutter if you think of them as temporary links. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss the differences between Favorites and Collections and how you can use Collections to reduce the number of bookmarks spread across folders on the Favorites bar. It’s difficult to break old habits, but bookmarking pages to the Favorites bar will become the rarity rather than the norm once you put Edge Collections to work.

SEE: How to boost security features in Microsoft Edge for free (TechRepublic)

I’m using Microsoft Edge on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but Collections is also available with Windows 11.

When to use Favorites vs. Collections in Edge

You can use both Edge Favorites and Collections to save links to websites to access later either on a desktop or mobile device, but you likely won’t use them to mark the same pages. They’re not the same bookmarking feature.

Favorites were the only option for a long time, so if you’re like most of us, your Favorites folders have long lists. Consequently, it can be difficult to quickly find the links you want. There’s still a place for Favorites, but with Collections available, I recommend you start using Favorites for long-term access to sites and use Collections for most current usage.

Collections helps you organize links using more efficient grouping and fewer links, which makes for quicker access. When you’re done with a collection, you delete the whole thing. A simple delete task deletes the collection and all of its links. Better yet, you added no links to Favorites at all.

At first, you might have to rethink the way you bookmark pages. For instance, a good example of a link to put on your Favorites bar would be a link to your client’s invoicing app if you use the link often, and hopefully will for a long time. On the other hand, links to store in a collection would be to research, shopping, and other temporary pages. You’ll have quicker access to those links, and when you’re done, delete them all by deleting the collection.

There’s a reason for almost everyone to use Edge Collections. A collection will have links to the information you need now, but not later. You won’t have to click a folder and browse through dozens of links, and you’ll have all of the links you want right at hand in a collection.

How to save links to Favorites and Collections

Although both features are similar in purpose, you’ll use them differently. Fortunately, both features are easy to use.

To add a page to Edge’s Favorites bar, click the star in the address bar as shown in Figure A. Then, select a relevant folder in which to store that link. If there isn’t an appropriate folder, add one.

Bookmark button circled in Edge
Figure A: Save links to Edge’s Favorites bar.

To access links, click a folder, and the dropdown displays dozens of links, as shown in Figure B.

bookmark dropdown in Microsoft Edge
Figure B: Each Edge folder can have dozens of links.

Once you decide how you plan to use Edge Collections, putting them to work is simple. First, click the Collections icon on the Edge toolbar. In the resulting pane, click Start New Collection, shown in Figure C, at the top of the pane. Add a name and press Enter.

Start New Collection circled in Edge menu dropdown
Figure C: Create a collection, and add links to it.

At that point, you can start adding pages to the collection by clicking Add Current Page, as shown in Figure D.

Add Current Page option circled in the menu dropdown in Microsoft Edge
Figure D: Add a link quickly.

To open an existing collection, click the Collections icon or, for Windows users, press Ctrl + Shift + Y, and then, click the collection to access all the links stored there. To delete a collection, right-click it, and choose Remove Collection. Doing so removes the collection and all its links.

Now that you know how you can benefit from and how to create and access Collections, you’re ready to start using them.

Other functions for Favorites and Collections

Accessing sites saved in a collection is much quicker than browsing a folder dropdown of dozens of landscaping and horticultural sites.

When searching for a specific link, Favorites lets you search using the Favorites dropdown. And while you can search Collections for a specific link on the mobile apps, you can’t with the full browser.

Another useful feature of the Favorites bar is that it can be hidden if desired. To display a list of folders, then, click Favorites on the Edge toolbar or, for Windows users, press Ctrl + Shift + O. It’s a different perspective of Favorites but useful if you’ve hidden the Favorites bar. In contrast, Collections are visible or hidden only through the Collections pane.

Putting Edge Collections to work for you

Going forward, I recommend adding links to Edge Collections when the need is temporary. By doing so, you reduce the number of links you add to Favorites. Once you’re done with a collection, delete it. Subsequently, you will definitely reduce the number of Favorites links and the clutter that goes with them.

There’s no substitution for spending time removing obsolete links from the Favorites folders. As you have time, delete bookmarks you don’t need from Favorites. In the meantime, add new bookmarks to Collections when you know its use is temporary. Eventually, you’ll have far fewer Favorites links to wade through, thanks to Edge Collections.

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