How to Enable Microsoft Edge Workspace and Office Sidebar

Similar to Windows Insider, Microsoft Edge also has an Insider program that lets you test the experimental features Microsoft has been working on. These features can sometimes make it to the stable channel and sometimes disappear without a trace or any intimation.

Back in 2021, Microsoft tested a “Workspace” feature on Edge that allowed you to bundle several tabs into one workspace. This eliminates the clutter from the title bar at the top, and preserves the open tabs if you close the Edge browser. The feature is now supposedly making a comeback in Microsoft Edge Canary to challenge Google Chrome’s tab groups.

Furthermore, Microsoft is currently also testing Microsoft Office integration with Edge, allowing you to use Office products such as Word, Excel, etc., directly from the browser, free of charge.

That said, these features are currently experimental and are only offered in Microsoft Edge Canary – an Insider channel updated daily.

Read through this guide to download and install Edge Canary, and then learn how to enable and use these exciting features.

Download Microsoft Edge Canary

To begin, you must first have Microsoft Edge Canary installed on your computer . Follow these steps to download and install it:

  1. Head to the Microsoft Edge Insider page and click Download under “Canary Channel.”

    Download Edge Canary
    Download Edge Canary
  2. The download should then begin. Execute the downloaded file to install Microsoft Edge Canary.

    Edge Canary installing
    Edge Canary installation

That’s it! Edge Canary will now be installed on your computer. Now continue to perform the steps below to enable and use Edge Workspace and Office integration.

How to Enable Microsoft Edge Workspace

The Workspace feature in Edge Canary should be enabled by default. This can be determined by the little icon in the top-left corner of the browser.

Edge Workspace icon
Edge Workspace icon

However, if you do not find this icon, it means that the feature has been disabled. Follow the given steps to enable it:

  1. Open Edge Canary settings by clicking on the ellipses (3 dots) in the top-right corner of the browser, and then click Settings.

    Open settings
    Open settings
  2. Switch to the Appearance tab, then toggle the slider in front of “Show workspaces button” under Customize toolbar into the On position.

    Enable Edge Workspace
    Enable Edge Workspace

You should now see the icon in the top-left corner of the browser for the workspaces.

You can now begin creating a new workspace for yourself. To create one, click on the workspaces button, and then click Create New Workspace.

Create a new workspace
Create a new workspace

You can now enter a custom name for the workspace and begin opening tabs inside it. You can also create multiple workspaces to isolate your different kinds of tabs. For example, you can open your work-related tabs in the “Office” workspace, and your social media websites in another workspace.

Furthermore, as we mentioned at the beginning of this post, even if you close the browser without closing the workspaces and shut down your computer, the workspaces will be restored with the same tabs as you left them.

How to Enable Office Sidebar on Microsoft Edge

Another feature that Microsoft is testing in the Canary channel is the integration of Microsoft Office into Edge. This feature allows you to use Office products inside Edge and eliminates the hassle of installing Office on your PC or having to purchase a license.

Note: The Office Sidebar on Edge allows you to save a copy of your work locally on your computer. However, to open it natively, you must have the respective Office product or access it via Microsoft Edge.

Perform these steps to enable the Office Sidebar in Microsoft Edge Canary:

  1. Open Edge Canary settings by clicking on the ellipses (3 dots) in the top-right corner of the browser, and then click Settings.

    Open settings
    Open settings
  2. Switch to the Appearance tab, then toggle the slider in front of “Microsoft Office button” under “Select which button to show on the toolbar” into the On position.

    Enable Office Sidebar in Edge
    Enable Office Sidebar on Edge

You shall now see an Office button at the top of the browser. This can now be used to open and use Office products.

  1. Click on the Office button on Microsoft Edge to expand the list of Office products.

    Expand Office Sidebar
    Expand Office Sidebar
  2. You will now see the Office sidebar. Click on the app that you want to use, or click All apps to view a complete list of available Office applications.

    You can also open multiple apps in the same Edge window since they all open in different tabs.

    Select an Office app
    Select an Office app
  3. If you are not already signed into Edge, provide your Microsoft Account credentials to sign in.

That’s it! You can now begin using the respective Office applications from the tabs inside Microsoft Edge Canary as if Microsoft Office was natively installed on your computer.

A great advantage of this is that all your data is being synced with your account, therefore all work will be saved even if you accidentally closed the browser.

Closing Words

Although the features we have discussed in this post are still in the testing phase, we certainly hope that these will make their way to the stable Edge.

Microsoft Edge has come a long way since Windows 10 and Microsoft is presumably making every effort to keep its features and security protocols up to date with its competitors.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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