Sleep Tabs and Immersive Reader Get Massive Upgrades in Microsoft Edge 94

There's a new Accessibility settings page, too!

Microsoft released the first build of Edge 94 at the start of August. Like Windows, Microsoft releases early preview builds to Insiders for the Edge browser under the Dev Channel. These builds help Microsoft debut new features and stabilize them in time for wide–scale public release. Case in point, the latest Edge 94 build comes with two new additions to the browser that enhance the experience of existing features.

Sleeping Tabs

Firstly, the Sleeping Tabs feature in Edge that allows users to put inactive tabs to sleep to improve system performance. Whenever Edge detects that a tab in background that hasn’t been used for some time, it automatically pushes that tab into a low–power state, so it uses the least amount of system resources possible  just enough to keep it open but not function in the background.

Our homepage taking a nap thanks to Sleeping Tabs.

Up until now, the lowest time you could set before Sleeping Tabs kick in was 5 minutes. But, with Edge 94, that time has been reduced to 30 seconds. Now, you can set the time before inactive tabs go to sleep to just 30 seconds. To change this, go to Settings and search “Optimize performance“. You’ll see the Sleeping Tabs options right away along with an option to change the specified time, click on it and set it to 30 seconds. Keep in mind you will only see the 30–second option if you’re rocking Edge 94.

Less than a minute set as the time before Sleeping Tabs kick in and optimize for reduced CPU + memory usage.

Immersive Reader

Next up is the Immersive Reader. Ever felt like there are just too many visual and interactive nuisances on your screen while you’re trying to read something? That’s precisely where Immersive Reader comes in. It allows you to turn off every distraction possible and makes the text and only the text the primary focus. It removed ads, videos, and in some cases pictures as well. You can customize the reader to your liking as well. There are theming options, font sizes and you can even change the font entirely.

Text preferences menu in Immersive Reader mode.

Starting from Edge 94, you can now adjust the width of the text columns. Before, you were tied to just one standard width but now the text columns can be made wider to assist in better readability. The option is available in the “Text Preferences” settings in the toolbar the top of the webpage. Moreover, there are three widths to choose from: narrow, medium and/or wide. And, as a nice bonus, no reloading is needed for the changes to apply!

Make your text wider and easier to read with the new column width options in Immersive Reader.

New Accessibility Settings

Last and also probably the least, there is now a dedicated Accessibility page in Settings. All the settings, toggles, preferences, and other tidbits tied to the browser’s accessibility can be found under here. Options for settings page zoom, improving keyboard usage, and other ease–of–use options populate this new page. The page is located right above the “About Microsoft Edge” option in Settings.

Accessibility page in Settings.

Microsoft Edge is currently on Version 94.0.982.2 in the Dev channel and the improvements listed above can be found in this build. The Beta release of Edge 94 is planned for the first week of September with the stable version arriving on September 23rd. If any of the aforementioned features entice you and you want to try them right now, you can download Edge 94 under the Dev Channel and give it a go. You can also provide valuable feedback on these features so that Microsoft can better tune the build before stable release.

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.