Similar to other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers a favorites bar. When you bookmark a webpage, Edge displays it in this bar or in a folder, depending on your selection. Folders extend this functionality by allowing you to store related sites in the same folder. Before you know it, the favorites bar is full and the folders have so many links that lists are scrolling down the bottom of the screen. Even when these bookmarks are well organized, the volume can be overwhelming and difficult to wade through.
Edge collections can help eliminate much of this 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 in the Favorites bar. It’s hard to break old habits, but bookmarking pages in the favorites bar becomes a rarity rather than the norm once you get Edge Collections up and running.
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I’m using Microsoft Edge on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but Collections are 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 that you can access later on either desktop or mobile, but you probably won’t use them to mark the same pages. They are not the same bookmark feature.
Favorites have long been the only option. So if you’re like most of us, your favorites folders have long lists. As a result, it can be difficult to quickly find the links you want. There’s still a place for favorites, but since collections are available, I recommend using favorites for long-term access to sites and using collections for most current usage.
Collections help you organize links by grouping them more efficiently and with fewer links, allowing for quicker access. When you’re done with a collection, delete the whole thing. A simple delete task will delete the collection and all of its associations. Better yet, you haven’t added any links to favorites at all.
First, you may need to reconsider how you bookmark pages. A good example of a link to put in your favorites bar would be a link to your client’s invoicing app, if you use the link frequently and hopefully for a long time. On the other hand, save-in-a-collection links would lead to research, shopping, and other temporary pages. You’ll have quicker access to these links, and when you’re done, delete them all by deleting the collection.
There is a reason for almost everyone to use Edge Collections. A collection contains links to the information you need now, but not later. No need to click on a folder and search through dozens of links, and you have all the links you want in one collection right at your fingertips.
How to save links to favorites and collections
Although both functions have a similar purpose, you will use them differently. Fortunately, both functions 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 save this link. If there is no suitable folder, add one.
To access links, click on a folder and the drop down menu will display dozens of links as shown in Figure B.
Once you’ve decided how you want to use Edge Collections, getting them up and running is easy. First, click on the collections icon in the Edge toolbar. In the resulting pane, click Start New Collection as shown in Figure C, at the top of the pane. Add a name and press Enter.
At this point you can start adding pages to the collection by clicking Add current page as shown in Figure D.
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 in it. To delete a collection, right-click it and choose Remove Collection. This will remove the collection and all of its links.
Now that you know how to benefit from collections and how to create and access collections, you’re ready to use them.
More features for favorites and collections
Accessing sites stored in a collection is much faster than browsing through a drop-down folder of dozens of landscaping and gardening sites.
When searching for a specific link, you can search using Favorites from the Favorites drop-down menu. And while the mobile apps let you search collections for a specific link, the full browser doesn’t.
Another useful feature of the favorites bar is that it can be hidden if desired. Then, to see a list of folders, click Favorites in the Edge toolbar, or for Windows users, press Ctrl + Shift + O. This is a different perspective from Favorites, but useful if you’ve hidden the Favorites bar. In contrast, collections are only visible or hidden from the Collections panel.
Let Edge Collections work for you
In the future, I recommend adding links to Edge Collections if there is only a temporary need. This reduces the number of links you add to favorites. When you’re done with a collection, delete it. You will then definitely reduce the number of favorite links and the clutter associated with them.
There is no substitute for spending time removing outdated links from favorites folders. If you have time, delete unnecessary bookmarks from Favorites. In the meantime, add new bookmarks to collections if you know they’ll be used temporarily. Finally, thanks to Edge Collections, you have far fewer favorite links to dig through.