Home Android What’s in the latest Edge update? Rollbacks and new browser telemetry policies

What’s in the latest Edge update? Rollbacks and new browser telemetry policies

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Microsoft earlier this month released Edge 86, adding a “rollback” function that will let IT admins restore an earlier version of the browser and enhancing the built-in PDF viewer with support for document tables of content.

The Redmond, Wash. company also patched at least 19 security vulnerabilities, the most serious marked as “High,” the second level, below “Critical,” in a four-step ranking system. (Google’s Chrome, which like Edge is built on the open-source Chromium project’s code, included fixes for 35 flaws, 27 of which were enumerated when it was released Oct. 6.)

Although Edge will update automatically in the background, to force an upgrade, select “About Microsoft Edge” from the Help and Feedback menu under the ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a “Restart” button. People new to Edge can manually download version 86 for Windows or macOS. The Android and iOS browsers can be found in the Google Play and App Store e-marts, respectively.

Microsoft updates Edge about every six weeks, typically a day or two after Google refreshes Chrome to the same version number. The previous Edge upgrade was released Aug. 27.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ (back)

Like Chrome, Edge now lets users — predominantly via IT — to downgrade to an earlier version through a rollback.

Chrome first allowed this earlier in the year (as of Chrome 84); Edge 86 supports rollback, although there’s nothing for it to roll back to. “Stable version 86.0.622.38 is the first version you can roll back to, which means that Stable version 87 is the first version ready to roll back from,” Microsoft clarified.

To assist in rollbacks, Edge, like Chrome, retains one or more “snapshots” of User Data, also called the user’s profile, that contains information including browser history, saved bookmarks and stored cookies. In Edge 86 and later, administrators can call the UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit Windows group policy to set the number of snapshots.

More information about Edge rollbacks can be found here.

PDF viewer, download deletes and telemetry settings

Edge 86 also got a beefed up PDF viewer; Microsoft added support for documents’ tables of content.

Chrome and Edge have mixed it up over PDF viewers lately. Google, for example, has been working on a new user interface for its viewer and plans to debut the UI in version 87, currently slated for release on Nov. 17. That UI will sport a toolbar, table of contents support and a two-page view. Edge already has all those elements, except for the two-page mode. (Microsoft plans to add a two-page view but has not yet set a timetable for the feature.)

In another addition, Edge 86 users can delete downloaded files from Edge’s Download folder by choosing “Delete file” after right-clicking the file from the browser’s Download page. Chrome lacks comparable functionality.

And Microsoft also deprecated a pair of group policies — MetricsReportingEnabled and SendSiteInformationToImproveServices — in Edge 86 (and figures to make them obsolete entirely in Edge 89). Those policies have been used to turn Edge’s diagnostic reporting on or off in Windows and macOS.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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